I run because I am a woman and a mother and I need something to pour myself into. A bucket to fill up with ME, to create a well that I can dip into that is all my own, so that there is more of me to share with my children and my husband, my family and my friends. Running is not just exercise, it is a GIFT.
I also run because of my mom and a very important lesson she taught me. My mom started dating my father when she was 17 years old. He was her first true love. They were married right after she graduated college, then had four daughters and a life full of blessings. For more than half of my mother’s life she dedicated herself 110% to her children and to her marriage. She lived for her family. But my parents’ marriage was pretty much always hanging on by a thread (and believe it or not, my sisters and I had no idea of this AT ALL). After 35 years of marriage and four kids out of the house, my dad finally told my mom he was leaving her. She was nearly 60 years old and had never even paid a phone bill on her own. Her whole world turned upside down and suddenly she was all alone and scared and didn’t know how to define herself anymore. My mom is a strong and beautiful person and one of the most giving people I know. She has taught me devotion and compassion and faith. She has taught me to never give up and to always find the silver lining. She is an amazing person and I am so proud of her, I admire her intensely and I love her so very much. That happened 9 years ago and since then she has worked so hard to find happiness again, to redefine herself and to find new purpose. She is truly amazing.
Seeing what happened to my mom taught me the importance of creating a balance between always being there for my family, friends and loved ones and knowing when to put myself first and stick up for me. That is what running represents to me – it is something I do – a part of me that I have created, that I own, and it reminds me of the importance of my presence in this world. It is why I leave my house before dawn and come home to my family before they eat breakfast. I am devoted to running because it helps me stay devoted to my family. It is my way of making myself stronger, cleansing myself from the inside out. Running renews me spiritually, emotionally and physically. After I run I feel that there is always more of me – more in my bucket – to share with the people I love most in this world.