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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Doing the parental time warp, don’t forget your own progress.

One thing that every parent I know can agree on is how time moves differently once you have a child. I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately.  Every parent has experienced at least one night that seems to last for an eternity, with a sick kid or a newborn baby waking every hour. It is mind-boggling how all the moments that seem they will never end suddenly turn into the first year of a baby’s life passed by in a wink. 

This week I turned 36  years old, which means I have now known my husband for as many years as I have not known my husband. My birthday got me thinking about the last couple years and how dramatically different those birthdays have been. On my 34th birthday, I was hugely pregnant with our second child and wishing for an earlier-than-due-date delivery; wouldn’t it be cool to share a birthday I kept thinking at him, urging him to make a move before my August 26 due date (he was born September 4). 

On my 35th birthday, I ran a half marathon.

People who have met me within the last year may not realize how strange that sentence is, so I’m going to repeat it.

I ran a half marathon. Me.

That’s 13.1 miles.

The 34-year-old version of me didn’t run. I mean, if there was some super motivating scary creature chasing me I probably would have run. If there had been a time when it would have meant getting to my daughter faster if she needed me, I would have run.  But lacing up running shoes on purpose, going out and running for FUN???  Those people were crazy.

Okay, so those people really are crazy, but now I am one of them and I never, ever would have gotten there if I had not become a mom. My kids were my main motivation to start running, with a Stroller Strides running club in spring of 2010.   While I still love to hear their little voices calling “run mama run!” from the stroller, I don’t run for them now – I run for myself, because it calms me and makes me a better person.

Which brings me to my conclusion, from all of this thinking about time and how it changes once a person becomes a parent. What I have realized is that as diligently as we track our babies' milestones, we should also be tracking our own. What are your own personal goals and achievements? What fitness accomplishment will you make this year? The time to start tracking it, the time to start DOING it, is now – because as we have seen, another year will be gone before you know it.  Make today the first day of your personal fitness journey, you will be amazed at what you can make happen.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant! It really is amazing what progress can be made, and how you can totally change your life given such determination. I had to lay off Jazzercise for a few months due to a knee injury, and I'm just now getting back into it -- it feels great, and your post reminds me just how great it is. Thanks!