motherhood · Running

Setting a Course

I’m sitting here at my kitchen table, drinking coffee at seven-something in the morning, feeling more content and more steady than I have in a while.

Why? Well, at least part of the reason is that I just got back from a run. It’s the first time since Laura’s birth that I’ve run two days in a row, and the first time since her birth that I’ve run in the morning. I could pen paragraphs about how spectacular it feels to run in the morning again, but that’s not what this post is about.

I registered for a half marathon!

I did this yesterday, fueled by a decent night of sleep (!), an ambitious run involving hills and dirt and a spontaneous extra half-mile, and some very strong coffee. But I was also fueled by another force, one more powerful than endorphins or caffeine, one that’s been tugging at me for days. Okay, probably weeks.

That force is the desire to make plans. To reach. To orient myself. To focus. To dream BIG, and act on it.

Yes, my life is mostly centered on motherhood, for which I’m profoundly grateful, and Lord knows it keeps me on my toes. But sometimes it can feel a little…rudderless.

I’m ready — and realizing that it’s downright necessary– to lift my head and start peeking out. What’s out there? What’s been going on in the world since I’ve had my babies? What can I do while diapering, feeding, bathing, and cultivating? What is something that’s manageable, yet fulfilling — something that will make me a better, healthier person and a better, healthier mom?

Lots of questions there, with endless answers. Thinking about it all could turn (and has turned) into an exercise in spinning tires.

I’m not interested in spinning tires. I’m not interested in drifting. I’m interested in setting a course and following it, no matter how slow or small my steps are.

Thus: signing up for this half marathon. Not a 5k, not a 10k. I need to reach further. I haven’t run a longer-distance race since 2015 and I MISS IT.

The race is in September. I have months and months to train, which suits me. I’ll have time and space to acclimate as a mom of two beautiful, energetic girls, and to reacclimate as a runner. I’ll have time and space to mess up and recover at both, and to savor both.

Submitting that registration form shot a thrill through my veins. It’s an act of faith. It’s an assertion to myself that I can be a good mom and be other things, too.

It might be a small step, but it’s a big dream. And what is life without those?

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