Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, if you’re a mom, you understand that having children changes you as a runner. In all ways good and days when it’s all a little less than, being a mom who runs definitely has its moments. Let’s face it, life is what it is right now. We’re all having our moments. Running gives you something that is all about you, and the chance to give those you love the most (even when they drive you mad) that much more when you are all together. In honour of Mother’s Day, we asked these runners to share what motherhood has given them as runners, in one way or another, and here’s what they had to say.
“My children have seen me get back up after setbacks and challenges. They have seen me beat the odds by doing what hasn’t been done. Through my running they are learning to keep aiming higher and plan for the next challenge. All this to say that, in time, seeing me run may influence them to do the same someday, whatever their life path may be.” — Krista DuChene, Canadian Olympian, Brantford, Ont.
“Being a mom has made me appreciate my running just a bit more. Running alone or with friends is cherished time that recharges me and makes me a better parent. Having my children has made me want to push myself because I want to show my kids the value of working hard and achieving your goals.” — Polly Moody, teacher Calgary, Alta.
“Being a mom and a runner at the same time has given me so much strength and perspective. I know she’s watching what I do every day, she already loves to run. My hope for her is that she can see I’m working really hard at something I love. She’s still too young to see it now, but maybe when she’s older. —Melissa Bishop, Canadian Olympian, Windsor, Ont.
“Becoming a mom has changed me not only physically, but it has also made me reevaluate what matters most. As a parent, my son has taught me to really be present in the moment and appreciate simple things, such as a good sleep, a solo run and a hot coffee. I’m also running faster to go back to my baby sooner!”—Sasha Barak, marketing manager, Toronto
“Running helps my parenting and my parenting helps my running. I love that my boys can be a part of my training and goals. We have made it a family lifestyle by choosing fun locations to run and then play and going on family trips to races that the boys can enjoy as well. Being a mom has allowed me to keep the process fun while keeping the priority on what matters most: Teaching my boys about physical activity, healthy living and having fun pursuing your goals.”—Malindi Elmore, Canadian marathon record holder, triathlete & coach
“I was a runner before I was a mother, even still, choosing to run as a mom sometimes has felt selfish when I felt I had to be selfless. What I now realize is that regardless of whether you think you’re selfish or selfless, your children depend on you to never lose your sense of self. Now, I am grateful for every run because each step reminds me of the joys in my life. Running grounds my soul to what is important and makes room in my heart to really embrace motherhood.” — Anne Chang, nurse, Calgary, Alta.
“Participating in road races is all about teaching my child the value of hard work. You must be disciplined and self motivated to train and get the job done. It’s also to show him the joy in one of life’s simple pleasures. Running is just one foot in front of the other, while inhaling and exhaling.”—Sabrina Young, iRun marketing solutions producer, Toronto
“Running is my free time away from being a mom so that I’m a better mom for my children. Running is part of my self-care routine. It helps me to de-stress and is my escape from reality.”— Lisa Sun, logistics manager, Toronto
“Whether I’m training for a race, or running to get outside, my daughters have seen that you can make time to do something you enjoy, no matter how busy your life might be. Making time for yourself and having fun is just as important as putting in hardworking when it comes to something you love. As they get older, I’m hoping they continue to pursue whatever activities make them become better versions of themselves, which continues to be my motivation to get out there and run.” —Anna Lee Boschetto, iRun contributor, Bolton, Ont.
Anna Lee Boschetto is a regular iRun contributor. She also writes about health, wellness and travel.