10. Because you can't control drivers who cut you off with nary a blinker, and deifnitely not a wave of thanks. Or the condescending reaction your boss has to a project on which you worked ridicidulously hard. Or the fact that there are no green grapes at the store and your four-year-old absolutely.must.have green grapes for circle project tomorrow at preschool. (You were told about it last week, but can't always control your brain either, turns out.) The world spins, the highways are clogged, the boss is a jerk, the grapes aren't in season. It's that way, and you've got no say.
9. Because school reunions happen. Even though your confidence is shaky and your heart is thumping when you walk in to a room of people you haven't seen in two decades, your muscular legs ground you. (And you can control what you wear: the perfect length skirt to show them off, of course.)
8. Because you can't control your offspring. What's for dinner? I'm not sure why my teacher is calling you. Why does she get to have a phone and not me? Why can't I watch another hour of television? Why do I have to clean up my room? Why are we having that for dinner? Why do I have to go to bed at 8? Why am I in trouble for swinging at stick at Dillon? Why do I have to find my flip flops; why can't you? What else can I have for dinner if I don't want that? Why will you only make one dinner for everybody?
6. Guess what? You can't control your adult family either. Your husband, partner, ex-husband, mother, sister, father-in-law, on and on. Intentional or not, they make certain observations, cast judgments, choose behaviors that naturally raise the hair on your neck. The very best of us on a great day can smile and realize its not a true reflection of the person we are. (Read: .0001% of the time that happens.) The rest of us carry emotional baggage that threatens to spill open—and onto any innocent bystander—at any random moment. (Always a kick to know you've got that sitaution brewing inside you regularly, isn't it?)
5. Because Mom, really: what's for dinner?
4. Ok, so you can control your pets. Well, maybe not where they mistakenly poop or barf, and the rate of their shedding, but you can count on them for unconditional love, no sassing back, no looking you up and down with a critical eye, no asking what's for dinner—Why, yes, I'll happily eat the same meal you've given for breakfast and dinner for the past 1,236 days! Still, random poop and vomit: no fun to clean up, especially when it involves a rug.
3. Because you instantly connect women like Jen, who recently gave us this brief timeline:
Two years ago: Seven months pregnant with 4th boy, 235 pounds, diagnosed with breast cancer.
One year ago: Boob-less, bald, and ready to get fit! Started with C25K and fell in love with running.
Last weekend: After using Another Mother Runner's plan, ran my first half in 1:59 (with +489 elevation!).
We all know a Jen. We all admire her for stepping up, taking control. She does it? With no hair, no boobs, four small boys? I better try too.
2. Because guess what you can control? You. And your run. Whether or not you chose to go. Your one foot stepping in front of the other one. Your pace. The route you go, the effort you put into it, the miles you cover, the quiet you keep—or the music you blare.
Is it always easy? Never.
Is it that simple? Nine times out of ten, no.
Is it one of the few things in your life where you can set a goal, break it down into tiny pieces, and taste success on a nearly daily basis? Yes.
Do you get a remarkable payback: confidence, strength, joy, perspective, community, and yes, badass legs from a run, this crisp, beautiful, individual thing? Absolutely.
1. Because once you realize how transformative a run is, you don't worry—as much—about the stupid work projects; the mother-in-law who still clucks that her son is too good for you; the nine-year-old who still needs to be reminded to brush his teeth twice a day; the husband who is eyeing a motorcycle because he just needs one...you can't control it, but you can make this your mantra.
Ok, there are about a billion trillion reasons why you should be a mother runner...what's one of yours?