Ten years ago, my mother called me to say she had just been diagnosed with leukemia. She was being admitted the very next day to undergo an aggressive chemo regimen. I had to put this near-hysteria-losing-my-mind panic somewhere. So, I started to walk-jog-walk to keep my world from crumbling.
Then I was running. When I run, I become centered again.
I ran through being laid off. I ran through my divorce, through packing up my home of 20 years and moving the kids to a new town, new school, new job.
I ran through dual diagnoses of my kids’ severe depression, the ever-present fear of teen suicide, the constant, self-blaming voice in my head that “I have failed as a mom.”
You have to be strong for your kids. Game face was on until I could lace up my running shoes and fall apart on the asphalt knowing that by the end of my run I would be re-glued again. Running asks only one thing: for me to be me. Slow me, strong me, whimpering me, fast me – whichever Me shows up, it is still okay. My runs make me a better mom, daughter, and friend-to-self.
I run to restore my place of peace.
Bridget is a mother of two, ages 20 and 16.