This evening I was having a conversation with my husband about why women run. Or more specifically why I run. There are the obvious reasons - being able to eat without guilt, and the energy that I feel once I have completed a run, but for me, a run is not about exercise - it is about therapy.
I realized the other day that for about the last 12 years my sister and I have met on a fairly consistent basis once, sometimes twice a week to run. We have run through a total of five pregnancies and several jobs and the ups and downs of marriages. During this same time period, I began to run with a friend who was not a runner, those first months were hard - there was a lot of walking on my part and days when I didn't log as many miles or sweat as much as I would have liked. Through the years the tables have turned my now non-running friend has to slow down for me to catch up and there have been many times I am the one needing to walk. Why do we do this? - it's therapy.
Relationship with my sister and my friend have grown in ways probably not possible without our early morning meetings. We are the only two around, no kids, no husbands, no work, no phones, no distractions. We run and we talk. We talk about our week, our kids, our husbands, our jobs. We talk about our fears, our desires, our joys, our disappointments. We talk and we run - we have one hour of uninterrupted time. This is guilt free time because we are exercising and it is 5:30 in the morning so the rest of our families are still sleeping.
I believe the surge in women's running over the last 20 years has less to do with running and more to do with friendship therapy. Meeting in this way does have great benefits for your cardiovascular system and your "bottom" line, but I think mostly its therapy. When I am feeling stressed and anxious, worn out and uptight I just need a good run. But what I need most is a good run with a great friend.
Why women run ... its friendship therapy.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The title of my blog brings to mind a picture of a small child being pulled out of the toy aisle by a distraught mother at Christmas time. There are times (right now is one of them) that I feel like this small child - my thoughts are "I don't want to do this, this was not part of MY plan, did you hear me I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS! " This past year as been a year of "WHAT???!!" is going on? At first I tried to blame it on hormones, then I tried to blame it on my husband, then I wasn't sure what to blame it on - so a mid-life crisis, I think I need a new career - law school sounds like a good idea - process began to take over my thinking. Slowly and quietly God began to speak, (He probably was all along) and surprisingly, I began to listen. Not my ways, but yours Lord - became my mantra. In the middle of the day when I am exploding out loud at life (and my children) I have to remind myself that God is in control, there is purpose it in all and I scream (sometimes silently) "God, show me your purpose, I am not sure I can take much more of this!" In the quiet moments, those would be when I am quiet, God reminds me of that purpose. To disciple, to raise Godly children, to instruct so that our children can be leaders, to stand above the crowd, to really set a higher standard is a lot of work. I constantly have to explain to my children that just because everyone else might be doing it doesn't make it right, just because that is the social norm we do not have to live by it, just because it has a certain rating doesn't mean that its acceptable. We are called to a higher standard, we are called to love in a way that is not normal, we are called to show people there is joy everlasting.... as moms we are called. Sometimes what we are called to leaves us feeling like that child in the aisle - screaming - just let me stay here in my fantasy world, and sometimes what we are called to leaves us feeling like the mom dragging that kicking child through an aisle of onlookers (most likely shaking their heads) - But know this, whether as a mom in the physical sense or the spiritual - YOU are called.