What A Mother Runner Looks Like

 

So I’ve had this idea fermenting in my head for six months now: a photo essay titled What Does a Mother Runner Look Like? A collection of pictures that celebrates the bodies that have carried us through all kinds of miles. I want to show that kickass strong and stretch marks go together–and that, despite what the cover of Runner’s World may broadcast, all sizes and shapes of bodies can be and are runners.

I waffled for a long time, though, because I know how easily we women can fall into the how-great-is-her-body and how-much-does-mine-suck game? And I am not willing to promote those kind of sports. (Running? Yes. Jealousy? No.) So here’s my caveat: if you’re going to go into this post with a coveting attitude, covet just one thing: the fact that these women are so proud of their awesome, capable bodies, they’re willing to put them on display.

I recruited a couple of pals to kickstart the project, because nobody likes to be first to the party. Initially, I had a very rigid idea of what I thought would work (individuals only, sports bras, short or skirt, in front of plain backdrop, whole body, head cropped off) and then I realized being rigid doesn’t make anybody’s life–and especially mine–easy.

So some are group shots, some are alone, some mostly show bellies, others show full bodies, some are headless mother runners and others aren’t. As I work on being flexible, we want you–all of you, no matter how fit you feel, no matter how many little stretchy rivulets run along your abs, no matter if you’re currently channeling badass or not–to join in.

Over 130 mothers joined in. Check them out in part I and part II.