Run Mom, Run!

How perfect that Mother's Day falls in May - Exercise is Medicine month. A few thoughts on exercise and motherhood...

Mother's Day makes me think about many things - my own Mom and how grateful I am to have her in my life (and not just for emergency babysitting!), and how grateful I am to be a mother to two beautiful, healthy children.

Last year was my first Mother's Day with a daughter. And, although I always wanted a daughter, parenting a daughter scares me. I feel like there is a lot more room to make mistakes - for her to rebel and hate me, and for me as a role model to fail. I don't want my feminist ideals to come on too strong, or make her do a 180 against them and marry the first guy she loves at 18; and I also don't want her to think she has to achieve and impress me all her life - she will be my perfect girl no matter what. I worry about these things, maybe more than I should.

But one thing I don't worry about in parenting my daughter is giving her a positive example of an active lifestyle. I want her to not even remember the first time she saw me run a race or come home sweaty from an early morning run. I want her to see me active and moving every day. I want her to see me eat healthy, whole foods that nourish my body post-workout and that make me feel good from the inside out. I want her to know what a healthy and fit body looks like  - like these women:

Members of the KU Women's Rowing team, Sunflower Showdown 2012. 

Aren't they beautiful? And strong! I wish these were the type of young women my daughter would see in magazines some day. And while I can't control what's published in teen magazines, I can have total say in the one image she will see each and every day - mine. And even if I screw up all the rest and am the world's worst mother, I am going to get this one thing right.

So this Mother's Day weekend in our family will be all about running. My sister-in-law is running her first half-marathon Saturday and we are going to go cheer her on. Then the kids will cheer me on as I run a 5K on Sunday with my Mom, sister, my other sister-in-law, and my niece. Lots of mothers running this weekend.

Happy Mothers Day and "Go Mom, Go!"

Mother's Day 5K 2011 - Izzy was there, too -  but at only 6 weeks old, she was fast asleep the whole time.

*P.S. Need a last minute Mother's Day gift? I heard Gretchen Reynolds on NPR the other day (she writes the Phys Ed blog on the NY Times) talking about her new book, The First 20 Minutes: suprising science reveals how we can exercise better, train smarter, live longer. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds promising.

Find more Exercise posts here.


  1. Your words ring so true! I too worry about parenting a daughter...the concept of body imagery starts SO young. I believe that kids learn by example, so you're healthy lifestyle is the ultimate act of love and will be second nature to the kiddos. I feel so blessed that Haley has several awesome, fit, active women in her life - especially you!

  2. Haley is learning by example from you! It was so fun to see her cheering you on at the finish line of your first half-marathon.


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