I am a runner. I have been since seventh grade. I’m not sure what inspired me to lace up my sneakers for the first time but since my middle school years, running has become more than an activity, a form of exercise or a routine. It is a lifestyle. Despite the rising popularity of running, many people are still perplexed by my desire to rise before the sun each morning only to pound the pavement and endure the heat, wind, cold and snow Mother Nature blesses us with each morning.
At least once a month, someone questions my love of running. Why, they ask, do I insist on running and how do I find the will power to forgo sleep for an hour of monotonous exercise? I never have a great answer for them but simply respond with, it’s just part of who I am.
Running might have gained a few new fans in the past decade but it definitely has not won over all of rural America.
But I have my reasons to continue moving. Running keeps me sane, it gives me an hour to think, reflect and connect with nature and God and it allows me to continue my often less-than-healthy eating habits that I just can’t seem to kick.
In addition to my usual selfish reasons, I now have a new reason to keep on keepin on.
In late August, my husband and I learned that we would be welcoming the fifth generation to the Sawyer Family Farm in May 2013.
From the moment I learned the news, I swore to myself that I would keep running as long as possible. I even went as far as selecting a doctor that I knew supported and encouraged her active mommies-to-be.
I made it through my first trimester with my running routine still intact. I am now in my fourth month and still hitting the pavement each morning. My stride has changed some and my pace is a bit slower but I’m still out there and enjoying every minute of my runs.
Today I continue to run for myself but now also for my little one. Research shows that mothers in motion gain fewer pounds during their pregnancy, have easier labor and raise children that are more likely to be able sooth themselves. I have become a healthier eater and devoted vitamin popper since I learned the big news, but I truly believe continuing my running habit is one of the best things I can do for myself and my baby.
People remain amazed that I not only continue to run, but want to continue run as long as possible through my pregnancy. Yes, I want to be that front-heavy lady shuffling down the road. Giving up running is giving up my “me” time and think time. And it would also leave me wondering what to do with myself at 5:30 a.m. each morning.
So until I just can’t get my shoe laces tied or my doctor finally puts her foot down, I intend to continue to hit the road, dogs in tow, and run through this pregnancy and again after the little one is here, and then with a stroller in front of me.
I am a farm wife, a social butterfly and a runner and none of that will ever change.