I’m Mom, but my kids also know me as a runner and a writer. I sometimes wonder what will be stored in their memory bank from childhood.
Will they remember running in the Grand Canyon with Mommy? How about the time my son got up before dawn to run 1 mile with me on our favorite trail and watch the sunrise? Or the time I ran and cheered my heart out for my daughter to run hard in a half-mile race? She has her Daddy’s long, willowy legs, but she has my fierce spirit and determination. Will they remember traveling to races, cheering me on and eating a treat that I left for them while I was racing? Running and exploring on beautiful trails together from Malibu to Montana, I desperately hope they remember. We’ve experienced countless sunsets and innocent questions about how bad does it hurt Mommy when you’re at the end of a marathon (pretty darn bad sweetheart, but you just have to keep on going hard until you finish). Flying on the big jumbo jet for lots of hours to Boston to cheer Mommy on at the big marathon. A huge bowl of clam chowdah afterwards and the look in their eyes when they took turns holding the big, shiny medal.
New running shoes, kids weekend races, the annual Forth of July race, running up and down our street, trying to beat Mommy—my 10-year-old son can now sprint faster than I can.
My Mommy is a runner.
Mommy, are you sweaty?
Mommy, how many miles did you run today?
Mommy, did you win your marathon?
I never get tired of their questions, their curiosity. I love that I can model for them what it’s like to be an athlete and a Mom. It’s so important for my three kids to know that I have an identity outside of being their Mom and I hope that I’m someone they can truly look up to. I want them to know that their Mom can make an amazing homemade chocolate cake and run some pretty fast one-mile repeats. I can hug them, kiss their scrapes and cuts and still be there for them after my twenty mile run.
Someday, they’ll grow up and have their own lives and it would be pretty amazing if they would come back to the trails they grew up on and go for a run with their Mom.
For now, I’ll savor this precious time and soak up every ounce of their youth.
I’m a runner.