what it means

I have never worked harder as an athlete in all of my life.  At 35 years of age, I think this is saying a lot.  I was an avid soccer player growing up, fiercely dedicated to the sport and to my teammates.  I wanted to be the best I could be and worked hard to achieve that.  It was incredibly important to me that I not let my teammates down and that during the years as team captain I was a solid leader and a good example.  I went to soccer camps all summer long and ran during the off seasons to keep in shape.  Although I was keeping myself in shape, however, it somehow was still never really about me.  I didn’t see it that way, anyway.  It was always about the team and my love for the sport.

Once I entered the real world and began working all day five days a week it became harder for me to find ways to stay in shape.  Being a “gym rat” just wasn’t for me.  Still isn’t.  I played soccer on a co-ed indoor team for a few years but that was just one night a week, no practices.  It was fun but not nearly enough to fuel my appetite for exercise or fitness.  Once I found running and more specifically training and racing, I was hooked.  After becoming a mother my soccer fell by the wayside (our games were always late at night and it just didn’t work for me anymore).  Running fit in where and when I wanted it to because it was just up to me to make the time for it.

Now as a mother of three who exclusively nurses my almost 6 month old baby, I recognize in myself the same fire of dedication and determination that was within me as a 16 year old high school soccer player.  Only this time, it IS for me and I know it.  And my “team” is my family: I am (one of) their captain(s).  I am taking care of myself and being the best me I can be by staying dedicated to my running and making it work for me and for my family.  Yes, this has meant nursing my baby at 4:30AM and heading out the door by 5:30AM on weekdays so that I can be home by 7:00AM before my husband goes to work.  It means doing the same on my Saturday mornings so I can beat the heat.  My friends who don’t run truly think I am crazy.  Today a friend at the gym actually called me an animal.  Is that a compliment?  I don’t know and I don’t care because the fact is that by now I know myself well enough to know that what others think of me doesn’t really matter so much and that I need to do what I need to do.  And right now, that means that I need to RUN.

5 thoughts on “what it means

  1. I love this post – and yes, you are an ANIMAL {it's definitely a compliment} When I have kids, I'll be coming to you for advice and tips! 🙂

    You are the best captain ever – and your kids will be forever grateful to you!

  2. I love this. My non-runner friends just shake their heads when they realize that I am up by 4:30 most mornings to get my run on. But, I love it and I wouldn't have it any other way. Happy Friday:)

  3. believe me, yes it is a compliment!! you are a rockstar. I remember nursing and heading out the door early mornings and it is one season in my life that I truly felt like one tough mother-runner. I admire you so much, doing what you are doing. You are one heck of a 'team captain', jessica! Keep it up!

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