This week, we have Teresa from Journey to the Finish Line. Teresa is a fellow twin mom with adorable b/g twins and a speech therapist who has an amazing series of posts on her blog on how to use everyday toys to help develop your child's speech. I highly encourage you to check it out!
Today, Teresa is sharing her passion for fitness. More specifically, for running. Man oh man do I wish I shared this passion! I love the imagery she uses of running through her problems. I want that for myself. Too bad I hate running. And too bad I physically can't run ever since my ankle surgery. That said, I've decided I'm going to get better at personal fitness because I want my boys to have an example of a strong mom. To that end, I joined a gym this month. I've been once, so that's a start. This post has motivated me to lace up my sneakers and go again. I hope it motivates you too!
My relationship with fitness began as love/hate. Although always a thin and active kid, as I reached my teenage years I began to feel uncomfortable with my body. I still can't remember what exactly caused a switch to flick in my brain, but I suddenly became obsessed with how it looked. I scrutinized myself in the mirror and looked at girls who I'd now consider to be too skinny with longing. Her thighs barely touch, I'd think, while mine are huge.
As I began college, scared to death of the dreaded Freshman 15, I began to keep a close eye on calories in/calories out. I exercised some. I weighed myself almost daily, rejoiced when the number was less and berated myself when it was more. Truth be told, I was severely depressed and felt very much out of control. One day, during my Sophomore year, I felt so overwhelmed with stress and anxiety that I threw some clothes on and literally ran out of the front door of my dorm. I went as far as I could without stopping. At the time, it was maybe a quarter of a mile. When I stopped, I was totally winded, but I noticed something.
For that quarter of a mile, my anxiety was gone. For that few minutes, I felt a little better.
This isn't to say that run transformed my depression and anxiety forever. I continued to walk on a tightrope between exercise being healthy vs. somewhat self destructive for several more years. I spent many hours in therapy, and many more spilling my soul into journals. Still, no matter how little I wanted to, or how desperate I felt, I made myself lace up my shoes and run. First that quarter of a mile, then eventually one full mile. Then two, three, five. I still remember the sense of accomplishment the first time I ran six miles without stopping.
When I felt lost after graduating college, I ran. After moving 12 hours from the city where I grew up, I ran. While struggling through graduate school, I ran. When my (ex) husband deployed, when we moved overseas and I knew no one, when I came home by myself 6 weeks later and through the divorce process, I ran. When I felt guilty for leaving, I ran. When I thought I'd never meet someone new, I ran. Through our struggle to conceive, I ran.
|Finishing my second marathon about 6 months before we started fertility treatments|
Running saved my sanity, and despite the initial unhealthy relationship, has helped me learn how to accept and love my body and mind because I continue to push the limits of what I think I can do. When I injured myself last December, it broke my heart because I feared my running would never be the same. It probably won't, but I've learned to embrace biking and swimming since then, something I never would have done otherwise.
As the twins grow older I look forward to sharing this passion for fitness with them. They may not want to run, but I hope that I can be a positive role model and encourage them to be active somehow. I want to teach Abby that strong is more important than skinny, to show Miles how to channel his frustrations and stresses into something healthy. I want them to understand how important it is to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Not just tell them, but show them.
|Babies first 5k|
It is my time to reflect, think and feel when life is most crazy. It is my time to problem solve; my time for myself.
|My first sprint triathlon|