Mother Runner

I was that girl that knew just what she wanted from the time I was about 10 years old. I wanted to go to college, get married, become a teacher, have four kids, and be the perfect mom. And besides the four kids thing, because I am not cut out for that kind of torture everything has unfolded almost exactly as I imagined it. 

I managed to earn my teaching degree in four and a half years (from Western Michigan University…Go Broncos!!!), get married at the ripe age of 22 holy cow that sounds way too young, and have two kids before my 29th birthday. Everything went perfectly according to my plans, as far as the timing went. I wanted to be a young, fun mom, and not follow the new trend of waiting until my thirties to have children. 

For me, becoming a mom was not what I thought it would be. My first born was colicky, and my world fell apart. Sleep was something I no longer knew anything about, and I basically withdrew from friends and social events. That first year was SO HARD. It took a while before I was ready to have another child, and my dreams of having four children quickly went away. 

Luckily, my second son was much easier than my first. But honestly, newborns are still not my favorite aged person 🙂  I just wasn’t very good at being “me” when I also had to be the “perfect” mom to an infant. My whole identity was somewhat lost in the new mix of being a wife, a mom, and a full time teacher. 

But, after a few years of getting into the swing of things, and my boys getting a little older and less “infant”, I finally got the hang of it. I was able to manage being a good mom, good wife (because that definitely took a hit in year one), good teacher, AND good friend, sister, daughter…ME. I was back to running, started triathlon, and just spent more time trying to figure out who I really was. 

Unfortunately for me, none of my friends were on the same “I want to have babies while I’m young” plan. Instead, they have nearly all decided in the last 1-2 years that now is a great time to have kids. Currently, three of my close friends are pregnant and three more had their first baby less than a year ago. 

What this means for me is that I’m kind of the odd guy out right now. I’m not pregnant, I don’t have a newborn, I’m getting enough sleep, I don’t feel guilty about leaving the house overnight, I can drink a glass of wine whenever I want, and when my kid is crying, they can simply tell me what is wrong. And that, my friends, is amazing.

So, although I kind of miss my “old” friends right now, I completely understand what it’s like to be a new mom. And it’s not as much fun as all of your Facebook posts make it look!

I’m taking advantage of this change in my friends’ lives by focusing more on my personal goals. My dream of qualifying for Boston has taken a front row seat in my daily thoughts and planning. I haven’t had this level of dedication to a training plan since I trained for my first Ironman. There’s a chance I’m a little addicted to it right now…

I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a long time before the Sparkle.Pounce. girls all run another 50K together. So in the meantime, I will be working on improving myself. And knowing, that the years of being a mom to an infant don’t last forever. 

Sparkle.Pounce.Be the best you. 


Inside Force Vs. Outside Force

I was browsing Pinterest, looking for the perfect quote to inspire the perfect blog post, when I found this…

This is so so so true. 

I read this and immediately started thinking about myself. When anyone tries to tell me things that I need to improve on, I normally get a little defensive and hold on tight to what was said, taking it as criticism, even if it wasn’t meant that way. (That’s me, being broken by an outside force.)

But, if I am the one who realizes the flaw, I am much more willing to work hard to improve on it. The desire has to come from inside myself, not from someone else.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. No one likes to be told they’re doing something wrong. No one wants to hear that they have things to work on. 

However, sometimes we all need to hear it. We can be blind to habits that have changed, not realizing the effect is has on our mood, our health, our job, our friendships…whatever it may be. 

If you’re like me, after I am done sulking and being angry about any constructive criticism, I can usually see some truth in what was said. And, if I really want to make a change, I have to decide that for myself and let the desire to change come from within me. 

In the end, we must want it, work for it, and not be too proud to listen to those who offer words of advice. If it’s someone who loves you, there’s a good chance they know what they’re talking about.

Sparkle.Pounce.Desire Positive Change.

Weight….Why Do We Care?

I’m a lucky girl, in that my weight (besides the two times my body was taken over by baby humans and stored enough extra fat to last at least two years without being fed) has not fluctuated more than 10-15 pounds since I was in high school. So…why is it that this conversation with my husband annoyed me SOOOOOOO much?!

Husband: The scale at the doctor said I weighed 10 pounds more than our scale here at home. What does it say you weigh? (Insert guess that is 10 pounds OVER my current weight.)

Me: (In complete disgust…) What?! No! I don’t weigh that much. I haven’t weighed that much since giving birth. Why would you guess that?!

Husband:  I don’t know. You’re a lot bigger than when we got married.

Me: (Flabbergasted…) Are you serious? No I’m not! What are you talking about?

Husband:  Well you are. Your arms are bigger. Your back is bigger. Your butt is WAY bigger. Your thighs are bigger. You’re just bigger.

Me: I only weigh 5 pounds more than the day we got married. I’m NOT bigger.

Husband:  Well, you’re definitely bigger. I was watching you work out earlier and you looked awesome. Your muscles are a lot bigger.

Me: So you mean I’m more muscular? Not bigger. Because bigger means fatter.

Husband:  You’re such a girl.

In retrospect, the thing that bothers me the most about that conversation is the fact that I allowed myself to get upset about it. I feel pretty good about myself, and yet, one other person’s comments left me questioning all of that. Was I really “bigger”? Was our scale really off by ten pounds? Is my butt THAT much bigger? What the heck?!

I should have been able to brush those comments off without getting annoyed…especially since it was simply a misinterpretation of what was being said. 

I am certain that the above affirmations are a much truer interpretation of how I feel about myself than the negative thoughts that rushed through my head during that conversation. And the next time I have a moment of self-doubt, I will remember that I am me. And I am pretty darn fabulous just as I am.

So…how much do I weigh?  I DON’T CARE!!! Am I bigger?! Heck ya! 

And it feels good 🙂

Sparkle.Pounce.Be Fabulous.


No Regrets

I’ve been following my marathon training schedule perfectly for five weeks. It includes five days of running, one day of cross training (I actually do two though), and one day off. Man, how I LOVE that one day off.

In those five weeks, it really hasn’t been that hard for me to work up the motivation to do my workouts. Having a plan written out to follow generally keeps me on track. And I did the “Winter Won’t Win 100 Mile Challenge” in January, so that helped too. But, last night I really, really didn’t feel like doing my speed workout. It was kind of haunting me all day. The plan called for 4 X 800, otherwise known as Yasso 800’s, otherwise known as 1/2 mile repeats, otherwise known as torture.

So, after I put my six year old in bed, I was having a bit of an inner struggle. To run…or to crawl into my nice, cozy bed at 8:00pm… 

And just like that, it struck me.

If I’m going to try my hardest to qualify for Boston…I’m really going to try my hardest to qualify for Boston. What if I come “this” close, but don’t make it because I skipped speed work? There are some regrets that just aren’t worth it.

So, I changed my clothes, hopped on the treadmill, ran my little heart out, and called it a night. 

And I slept well. Without a single regret.

Sparkle.Pounce.No regrets.