Saturday, February 12, 2011

Running vs. Parenting

Okay, so I'm brand new at this running thing. But, I am also kind of proud of myself for not quitting yet. I started the day after my 45th birthday, September 28th, with the couch to 5K program and am now doing the bridge to 10K. That being said, I have not moved beyond a 5K but can run it fairly comfortably. And, as hard as it is to get started, once I get going I really like the way it makes me feel. It can be grueling at times, and seems like there is no way I can get through it but somehow something kicks in and I stick with it and in the end feel pretty good about myself.

Not unlike parenting. Well, parenting preschoolers as far as I know. I suppose they both fall under the "anything worth doing is worth doing well" category and the "no one said life is easy" category. Both feel like real accomplishments. Both are good for me. Both have intrinsic value.

I have never been a good exerciser. Much less running. I would see people running and think to myself, "I just don't get it. It looks awful and boring and I don't see how anyone could find that enjoyable." What I did not know was what happens when you run. It's not just putting one foot in front of the other and pounding the pavement. For me, the first ten minutes are pretty bad. I think there is no way I can finish (I know, it's a helpful way to think!) but after those first ten minutes very interesting things start to happen. I start to have interesting streams of thought, I feel burst of energy (periodically) where I find myself pushing myself much harder than I did last time I ran. People use the term "runner's high" and while I don't quite feel high, I do feel changes in my mood, outlook, energy and a certain clarity of mind where there previously was fog. It's great. And I am really loving it.

It's also hard, and an uphill battle and something that I am working daily on mastering...much like parenting. Knowing I will not ever truly master either endeavor, both of them help me with the other. Running seems to make me a better parent and I'm hoping that in some way parenting will help make me a better runner.


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