Plenty of women out in the world take up running to lose weight. They like their sweets, and they run in an effort to avoid adopting the general Twinkie body type. You know: Apple, Pear, Twinkie, and Giselle.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m as vain as the next girl. I run for fitness and to fit in to my skinny jeans from LOFT. The efforts have paid off for the most part. I mean, Victoria’s Secret isn’t going to offer me a contract this season, but I do okay.
But that’s not the reason I run.
I run to stay young, and by “young” I mean, clinging to the ideals of a teenager.
The teenage example I’m talking about is the attitude that screams, “Just WATCH me go prove you wrong”. For now I’m passing on the route that includes piercings, a neck-wrenching hair flip, and the 26.2 tat. Though, I admit, the ink sounds more and more appealing every day.
It’s like I’m being defiant every time I step out onto the street with my shoes laced for a run. I shrug off “mom” label, peel the “you can’t do that” sticker away, and wipe the grape jelly off the front of my shirt. I’m a mom; it’s not always glamorous out here.
Running is my little rebellion against the people who said I couldn’t do it at my age, and with all of those kids at home. The people who said, “It’s too dangerous” (really? Is that the best you’ve got?); “It’s stupid to try if you can’t win” (“stupid” is not a word we allow in our home, and besides, who says I can’t win?); or my personal favorite, “it’s harder than you think.”
Yeah,I get that. Running is really hard. But hard is why I’m here testing the limits of my 30-something-year-old body. Hard is the reason I don’t give up even when I’d like to lay down in the dirt and take a nap. Hard is a familiar place of pain mingled with glory that every mother recognizes on some level.
I run because it’s hard. It makes my rebellion that much sweeter.