As a mother and a runner, there is something really damn annoying about the title of “mother runner”! It is an over used rhyme, for runners who happen to be mothers. To be a runner and a mother are actually two very separate things for me. Both elements / roles are extremely important, commanding equal positioning in the genetic fabric of my soul, my being, my sanity.
Each have single handedly created a very resilient human being, blossoming from my core. Each have taught me love, deep deep happiness, a sense of order, and a sense of relief. In equal measures they have also driven me bat shit crazy and forced me to look at the reality of my failure. Of missing expectations and grounding myself in the limitations of my “Now”! Not that this has to be continuous, but it grants me the time and space to sit in the moment and to feel, taste, tangibly experience loss and pain, in a safe and controlled way.
Motherhood has been my making, yet, so has running. However, they are not part of the same thing, they are not joined or rhymed or even belong together. But they can flow in harmony, rubbing together with a slight friction that creates the “spark” that is my drive and superhuman powers to dig in and welcome the ability to feel extremely uncomfortable in wilding emotions and pain for long, excruciatingly long periods of time.
Although the Mother runner phrase is ridiculously over used, and even slapped across tee shirts, to be a mother and a runner with goals makes me an outlier, an outsider, a juggler. I cannot make the 7am run or the 8am run, I cannot take naps after a 60 mile week, I like many run on a perpetual empty, I cannot stay and chat, I have to run, pack up and haul ass back to the fold of wild boys, school, runs, packed lunches and activities. PTO commitments, work, dinner planning, shopping, washing, cleaning, folding, doctors appointments. I work fucking hard in my over scheduled life to carve out a daily 1-2 hour slot to run, to train and to not impact my home life. That does not make me a mother runner, but a “Mutha Fucking Runner!”
But, there are others, other mothers running in those twilight hours, alone and dedicated. Other Mother fucking Runners” all juggling, all exhausted, all so badass and dedicated to managing time to have the ability to leave, alone. Propelling ourselves forward, stride after stride. Stride, arm swing, breath, sweat, inhale, exhale – repeat over and over and over again. We run together at 5am pushing each other with a strength and understanding no one else can provide. We hold each other up and listen in those dark morning hours, just waiting for the sunrise to peek above the horizon, beckoning, calling us home. As the light hits the trees we crouch in tiny groups stretching, pulling off sneakers, guzzling water, moving inwards, shedding our runner skin as the mother once again returns, all business as she kisses small children awake, drinks coffee, busying whilst listening for the waffles to pop.
Wake up children! The Mother has returned.