Monday, May 30, 2016

"I'm a Runner too, Mommy!"

I grew up fat (you can read more about that HERE) and because of that I am very conscious of what I say and do around my daughter when it comes to my own struggles with weight and body image.  She has a healthy sense of self and I never want that to change.

That being said, I make sure she sees all of the hard work I put into taking care of myself.

She watches me run, sometimes cheering me on from the living room window.  When I do strength training and yoga, she does strength training and yoga.  I never force her to join me.  I rarely even ask, but she sees mommy doing it so it must be what women do and she joins in.

Now I just started running less than a year ago, my "runniversary" will be July 5, and it was a long time before I saw myself as a runner.  In fact, I'm not even sure at what point I had finally convinced myself that I was a runner.  Yes, I run several miles a week, trained and completed my first half marathon, PR'ed in a 5K and invested in all the fancy timing gadgets, but was I a runner yet?  Meh.

Back in March I signed her up for her first run a "Leprechaun Dash" which was held before the Shamrock Shuffle that I pushed her in the jogging stroller during.  She bubbled over with excitement about it and in the weeks leading up to the event she told everyone that she was going to run and get a medal just like mommy.

When the big day came she nearly backed out of it.  The main race was quite large with 3,000 runners and there were even more people milling about with the St. Patrick's Day parade being held right after (attendance for that was estimated to be 12,000).  All of the excitement, crowds, and noise got to her and she wanted nothing to do with it.  Well, until she found a friend from school who was also running it and then she was all in.  She happily took her position at the start line.  When I screamed, "Go!" after the announcer started the race she took off with the biggest grin on her face.  At the finish line I greeted her with her very own medal that I had purchased from a virtual race company.  She beamed.  Her little 3 year old life had been made.  She finally had her medal just like mommy.
The medal I purchased for her.

Now that the New England weather is warming up and the Spring runners are back out on the road, Scarlett is quick to point them out.  "Mommy!  He's running just like you!  Just like you, Mommy!"

The other day, however, I saw a runner first and said, "Scarlett, look!  She's running just like Mommy."

Her response?  "Just like me, Mommy.  I'm a runner too.  She's running like me."

She's 3 years old and already she sees what most women, including myself, can't - she sees herself as a runner.

I hope that never changes.

Follow me Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.