Why Run Together?
May 22, 2016 is the Dirty Girl Mud Run, and dozens of moms from Fit4Mom VA Beach and Chesapeake are going to finish it together as a team. It involves a 3.1 mile run, scaling obstacle courses, and getting muddy. Sound intimidating? Think again.
These ladies will help push you and give you the courage to tackle things you didn’t think possible. Think of this race as a metaphor for motherhood. It’s dirty, unexpected things come up, it’s challenging, but you’ve got to figure out a way to get through it. And just like motherhood, you don’t have to go through it alone since you’ll have your teammates by your side cheering you on and giving you a helping hand—and above all, it will be fun.
But first off, who are these women? Fit4Mom VA Beach and Chesapeake is my village of sisters who are there to take care of me, my kids, and to lift me up when I fall down. Before joining, I scoffed at the idea of a “mommy and me stroller work out group.” I was too good for that, since I was a former cross country and track runner, and thought the idea of working out with a “bunch of moms” sounded like we were just going to wear yoga pants, stroll around the park, and gossip while sipping lattes (although now I think that does sound pretty amazing). No, thanks. I wanted a “real” work out, and I could do that by myself. I’d always preferred running on my own, so why would I need some workout class now?
Then I became a mom, and suddenly I was so alone. I had no idea what I was doing, I had a husband who was gone a lot for work, no friends who were moms, and a colicky baby who hated sleep. I felt like I was drowning with anxiety and postpartum blues and yet didn't want to ask for help because I wanted to appear like I had my act together. Doesn’t everyone do this?? Why can’t I just figure this out? I’m used to stressful situations at work, so why is being at home with ONE baby taking so much out of me? I would beat myself up about how I was failing as a mother and really disliking being at home with my daughter. The runner in me had no time to even think about working out, and everything that once was important to me fell by the wayside. That is when I found Stroller Strides, and it became my life line.
By showing up every day, I felt connected immediately to this sisterhood. It was more than just about working out and getting in shape. For me, the physical fitness aspect was an added bonus. These ladies reached out and told me it was okay to not be strong all the time and held my baby for me so that I could work out and release some frustration. When Emily would scream for the whole class after being up all night, I would get flustered and embarrassed, sprinting to my car to leave, only to have other moms run after me, begging me to at least come back and try again tomorrow. When my husband deployed, they were the ones who made sure I wasn’t alone, invited me over for dinner, and were always a phone call or text away. I began to see the importance of running together with these ladies who barely knew me but were willing to help me out at a moment’s notice if I were to ever need anything. When my sisters offered their support, I began to take it, and it has made all the difference.
I’ve been a runner since I was in 8th grade, and as I improved at running and sports throughout the years, I forgot what it was like to start out and be that beginner, terrified to even show up, afraid of feeling judged or inadequate. As women, we tend to compare or critique each other a lot, when really we are all very much the same. Everyone wants to be accepted, to feel supported, and feel loved. For me, the Fit4Mom community has taught me how together, we can accomplish so much more when we support one another instead of being critical. We are all shapes, sizes, and colors, and come from all different types of backgrounds, and we celebrate and draw strength from each other. I used to be the shy kid who was always picked last in gym class, who somehow worked hard enough to develop into a competitive athlete throughout high school and college. Then I became a running snob, resting on my laurels, taking for granted what I had and passing judgment on others. It wasn’t until I had babies and gained an immense amount of weight, dealt with sleep deprivation, and a hormonal/changing body, that I was once again reminded of the courage it takes just to simply show up and commit to putting one foot in front of the other, along with having faith to believe that nothing is insurmountable. Motherhood is a humbling experience, and it has taught me (and is continuing to teach me) about acceptance, gratitude, and abundance. I wouldn’t have had the ability to do this if I didn’t have the encouragement and inspiration of these ladies surrounding me and my children on a daily basis.
Whether you were a seasoned Division 1 collegiate athlete or this will be your first 5k, you deserve to wear the titles of runner, athlete, and badass, because being a mom requires a special kind of courage. Motherhood is practice in believing that you can survive this moment and get to the next moment on tough days. We as mothers do superhuman things on a daily basis. A 3.1 mile run with obstacles is a cake walk compared to growing, birthing, feeding, and raising beautiful babies. Getting muddy is nothing compared to cleaning up projectile poop and vomit like a boss and getting on with your day. I may look at my 5 month postpartum body and see someone who needs to lose 30 pounds, but my daughters see me as mommy, and my oldest sees me as “mommy run really fast!” I may not be happy with my run times lately, but it makes my heart soar to hear her say “I wanna run fast like mommy!” Motherhood breaks down all sorts of barriers, and even though everyone has a different opinion of how to raise kids, it is universally true that we are sacrificing so much for our children, and that takes an incredible amount of strength and grace every day. And for me, my village of Fit4Mom women motivate me to have that strength and grace.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up and join us for this run! Shed any self-doubt about whether you could do it, because we will be there to support you and high five as we cross the finish line together!
For more information about the race, go to: http://godirtygirl.com/virginia-beach-va-2016/
And use code VBFITMOM for a 10% off discount!