I was lucky, I was raised in an active family and as result, I have always understood the importance of a healthy lifestyle. It has always been important, but it hasn't always been easy. In University I had other priorities, after my knee surgery it wasn't possible, for 6 months while pregnant and recovering from baby #1’s c-section it wasn't advised . . .then baby #2, then there was baby #3! It has been a struggle to find time to get out running through the years, but I kept at it, started over many times, and now I am a proud Mom with healthy active kids!
I have the same busy life all moms do with kids, a husband who travels and a work from home office with a great view, but no child care! Getting out my front door without kids is very tricky. Over the years I have gotten quite creative! I will run to my child’s soccer game while the rest of the family goes in the van, when I drop a kid at a birthday party I run around the neighbourhood until I can pick her up again. On days I used to work in an office, I would run on my lunch hour and then sit at my desk a little sweaty all afternoon! Any alone time I saw in my schedule, I put on my running shoes! My husband & I hire a babysitter for an hour so we can bike or run together. My running happens because it has always been my priority. I find as moms with long to do lists, we tend to put the workout at the bottom. We have to make our health a priority to find windows of time in our busy days.
Three of my proudest achievements after the birth of my 3 children, is crossing a ½ marathon finish line with my husband and each of our daughters in a jogging stroller when they were just 8 months old!!
We signed up for the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll ½ Marathon happening 7 hours away and just 8 months after the birth of our first daughter. I did whatever I had to to get in those runs. I started with the run/walk with her in the jogging stroller for 3km and once I could run 3km without stopping, I added 5 minutes every weekend. Within a few months I was running 2hrs and ready to try my first ½ marathon. Race day was not the funnest 2 1/2 hrs in the rain, but we did it and my baby has a finish line photo and medal on display in our house.
12 months later I had my 2nd baby girl and my elaborate training program started again! This time it was a bit trickier to fit in runs as I was not a double stroller kind of girl!! Eight months later my husband and I crossed the finish line at the Ottawa ½ marathon and she too has a finish line photo and medal hanging in our house.
Then we had baby #3 . . when the heck would I ever run again?! We committed to the Quebec ½ marathon just 8 months after her birth. I got up early, I ran in the cold, I ran when I was tired and I ran when I would have rather sat and had breakfast with my family. I took my babies to the local YMCA and put them in programs and babysitting so I could run on a treadmill. We crossed that finish line in our best time yet with our 3rd daughter and she too has a medal and finish line photo.
I proudly display my babies photos and medals and talk to them often about how great they were in those races. I want my daughters to see the rewards of setting a goal and following through and to understand that it takes dedication and effort. My kids are 5, 7 and 9 and have already done their first triathlon and two family 5km runs . . . we are a truly an active family!
It is a priority to be a healthy mom, a healthy role model for my girls and to raise healthy kids . . . I am committed to it, even if it means I have to run to swimming lessons!
How do you fit in exercise?