I’m so very excited to have one of my race buddies guest posting today! You have all seen Laura pop up on the blog in race recaps, but if you’re not following her on her blog you are missing out. Laura is a fantastic writer, and though I know she is super busy her posts are always wonderfully written. And I happen to know she didn’t have the time to spare to write this post, I’m so glad she did because it’s a message so many need to hear!
I did not exercise consistently until I became a Mom. It is a funny irony that I didn’t become motivated to do this important thing in my life until I had remarkably less free time to do it. I had a gym membership before my wedding that mostly went unused. Now, I would give my left leg for a gym membership or a pass to hot yoga, but since having kids, we just haven’t been able to afford it.
So here is my reality: It is hard to find time to exercise. It is suddenly important for me to exercise.
I didn’t really get the chance to grow up and be a responsible adult before getting pregnant with my first baby. I was one year out of university (and one year married) when I found out I was pregnant with Cameron. I was a waitress with part time hours. One thing I had was time. I was young. I slept in. I watched TV. I even played video games. I knew I probably needed to work harder on being healthy but there was always later in the day, or maybe tomorrow, or maybe next year. I had time. The mini-gym in my apartment building mostly went unused by me.
Today, I don’t have much time. I work full-time. I manage some part-time stuff on the side. I have two kids and a husband who want and need my time. I am legitimately exhausted.
I have also learned that my body will never again look like it did before I had kids. It isn’t a simple matter of diet and exercise anymore. I will always hold onto very physical evidence of my pregnancies. These scars and stretch marks and extra skin used to make me upset, but I’ve learned to love them as part of my story. These physical markers of motherhood are visible representations of all that my body has accomplished.
The strength that I see in these less than beautiful body markers is the very strength that convinced me that I could become physically strong. (Confession: Body dissatisfaction after a baby first pushed me to start exercising, but body pride convinced me that I could keep it up). I discovered a strong woman who could survive pregnancies, miscarriages, and childbirth so I made her into a strong woman who could run 5Ks, 10Ks, and even a half marathon.