Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Racing for Two

I don't know how long I (like so many other people) used the excuse "I don't have time" as an excuse for avoiding an exercise routine. This morning I was walking home from dropping off my son at school and remembered that only a year ago, less really, I accepted this 6 block walk as my daily fitness routine. It was all I could fit in, I told myself.

Now I have every allowable excuse you could have for not adopting a regular fitness routine. I am a single mom with full custody of a young child who can't be left at home alone. I have no family members nearby. I work full time at one job and have several smaller contracted jobs to make ends meet. I volunteer at church and the school and try to be active in my community. I am also now a soccer mom.

One of the songs on my I-Pod when I run is "Eat for Two" by 10,000 Maniacs. It's about a woman who is pregnant (a race I will DEFINITELY not be entering again!). It goes "I eat for two, walk for two, breathe for two, now." I think of my son as I chug along to these words and realize that I don't have a choice. I have to make my health a priority so I can be here for him.

Last night he was setting up a domino train on the table. When he had them all lined up he said "This is one of your running races, Mom. Here you are at the very front. All these people want to follow you". I realized what I am teaching him about living a healthy life and how it needs to be as big a priority as any of our other demands.

And so, every Sunday night I sift through the emails and commitments and plug in my daily workouts for the week. I ask for help. I suffer the guilt of taking time for me and I race for two, now.