What do you think about when asked about self-care? Do you think reading a good book, a night out dancing, a good glass of wine, kids put to bed early (or on time) and catch a good and guilty pleasure show, sleeping, being outdoors? All of these are perfectly fine because us mamas; we all see self care in different ways.
While the pandemic has brought our family closer together, one thing that the pandemic has brought to my life, has been several a bit of extra weight. Since the pandemic started, I’ve gained several extra pounds. Initially, I was very disappointed in myself, because I had said I was committed to being healthier as I had some medical things come up that forced me to really look at how and what I was consuming. Well, the shelter in place really changed that for me. I found comfort in food, but what was really different was that I was not as active as I wanted. My days involved going downstairs with my babies, while my husband worked from home upstairs. I wrangled kids, played, watered plants and occasionally did a walk here and there.
I was losing energy and just not really feeling myself, that’s when I told my husband, something needed to change. A few weeks prior, I had mentioned to my husband in passing that running seemed like something I would enjoy and that we should try, I mean, it’s just running I thought.
We watched a couple inspiring documentaries and movies on running and marathons and I was sold. There was something so empowering about using your own body’s strength to propel you to move forward and keep going. The last time I can say that I really ran was probably in high school. It was the famous timed-mile activity. I specifically remember having to do the mile in under 15 minutes in order to get a passing grade, and my PE teacher was the soccer coach, so I knew this was not going to be fun.
12 minutes and 13 seconds… I will never forget those numbers, because that was my time. I was so proud then and that was the last time I thought running was going to be in my life. Little did I know that I would start running at 40 years old. Running has always been intimidating because, well, it’s just you out there telling and showing yourself how strong you are and can be. From a very young age, athleticism wasn’t something that came easy or that I enjoyed to be honest, I would have much rather dance, which is why later in school, I opted to take dance as my physical education credits.
With COVID-19 though, being cooped at home, I knew and wanted to get out and get air to just be with nature. I wanted to honestly not think about all the things that I always think about; when is the next feeding, don’t forget to change the laundry, don’t forget to order groceries, set up appointments, buy diapers, make food, etc. etc. I wanted time just for me in whatever way it looked liked and running made the most sense.
I started running at the end of June, and I’ve had a total of 29 runs totaling 49.77 miles. To me that sounds crazy amazing. I would have never thought I would have ran that much. To some it may not seem as much, but to this 40-year-old mom of two boys, it sounds amazing. From the very beginning I knew that I couldn’t just run for the sake of running, I needed a goal. So my husband and I signed up for a virtual run.
What is a virtual run you ask? You pay a fee (varies by event sponsor) they send you a bib, a T-shirt and your finisher medal. You decide when you run, and share it and get to brag about your accomplishment. Having a goal to train for was the best for me. I am detail and goal oriented so I knew I had to get my runs in to prepare. Since starting running I’ve participated in one virtual event, and have two more lined up that I am currently training for. This is also a great way to stay connected with friends and family from afar due to COVID. I am planning on doing some of these runs with friends and family that live in separate parts of Southern California.
What have you done to get back to you, mamas?
Photo by Andrew Tanglao on Unsplash