Why I Run: Ginny Flynn

Fastinista: You may recognize Ginny from SBS's running and fashion Runner's World article

Let’s find out what gets Ginny Flynn, a mom of three in Richmond, Virginia, running. Then saunter over to her blog or find her on Twitter.

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.

25 responses to “Why I Run: Ginny Flynn

  1. As someone who came to running kicking and screaming at the age of 44, I never thought of myself as a ‘running rebel’ or ‘non-conformist’, but guess perhaps I am. I certainly like that I’m doing something that most (of my friends/acquaintances) won’t. In fact, I recently told my training partner that I really want the 10K to be ‘my’ race, because that’s one that is ‘odd’. Everyone does 5Ks, and ‘real’ runners do 1/2s and marathons; the 10K is quirky, different, unique, a little bit tough, and that’s what I want to be…I also never thought about choosing to do something ‘hard’. Does that even make sense? I mean, really, isn’t life hard enough with work, kids, house, spouse, church, family, etc. But it’s the ‘hard’ that makes it so gratifying when it’s right, when it works, when the run took the stress out of my day. Thanks for helping me re-frame the run. When I’m on a long run, I’ll remember, it’s the ‘hard’ that makes me strong, unique, tough, ME! and be thankful for it.

    Love the part about peeling off the labels. I love love LOVE putting ON the label ‘runner’. That label was one of the things that actually drew me TO running. I hated how it felt to run, but loved how it felt to say ‘I ran’. 🙂 And now, I love the looks I get from others when I say it. 😎

    Thanks for a great post, Ginny!

  2. I started running at 50 – as a way to prove to my “young” mom friends that I didn’t like it and I couldn’t do it – guess what, I’m still running a year later (20 miles a week) and training for my first half. funny how the younger mamas kept encouraging me and friends that are my age kept telling me that it’s crazy -I think they must be jealous of what I’ve found out there on the road

  3. Why other people bring their dark cloud to other’s is beyond my comprehension. I think I am forever a teen in my own state of “don’t say I can’t, because I will.” Heck yeah,for mental youthful optimism! Love the outfit!

  4. Love it! I just received a FB message asking me if there was an easy way to do a Half IronMan (“like where you can ride the whole way”). My response was “there’s no fun in easy”. You just confirmed that! You go, Girl!

  5. I actually had someone tell me, “well, just remember you have kids!” Like running is gonna make me somehow forget about them! Crazy

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