Every now and then, I feel a little bit selfish about my running. Sometimes, as a single mom especially, I feel bad that I carve out 1-2 hours a day away from my daughter so that I can train or run a race.
Whenever I start thinking that I am being selfish about taking care of myself each day, I am reminded of what flight attendants on airplanes tell me every time that I fly with my 2 year old. They say that in case of an emergency, I should put on my own oxygen mask before putting the mask on her. The first few times I heard that I thought, “Why in the world would I do that? Of course I will put her oxygen mask on first.” But then I realized the only way that I can help her is if I am doing okay myself.
Running isn’t selfish. It simply helps me to be a better mom, friend, girlfriend, daughter and sister. Taking some time each day for myself helps me to aid other people.
Running makes us stronger and healthier, and that allows us the ability to help others. When I start the day off with a run, I am much more patient with my toddler. The little things don’t bug me. Running helps me to have more energy, which allows me to keep up with my 2 year old, and she sure is fast. It helps us to relieve stress and feel gratitude, which are two things that can always benefit the relationships in our life.
Running gives me a boost of confidence that I hope my daughter recognizes and feels about herself as she is growing up. Running makes us to sleep better. We get sick less often when we are exercising and eating well, which is definitely needed when we are spending the rest of our days working and serving others. Running allows me to hold onto my own identity. It helps me to be more than happy to wear all of the many different hats required of me such as being a great parent, a good friend, an effective employee, an active citizen in my community or even a spouse again someday.
Don’t feel bad about taking care of yourself each day.
Make sure to put on your oxygen mask first so that you can continue to help all of those people in your life.