My alarm sounded this morning at the usual time of 4:30 am for me to get up to begin my day. I live a hop and a skip away from my parents so getting my son to his grandparents isn’t an issue. Actually the biggest issue I find is getting him up at this hour but he has been doing it for a while now and has become more accustomed to it. I got him down to my Mom’s and put him back in bed with her and I scooted up the road for a morning run.
My first thoughts as I began running were of how thankful I was for the support I have now in my life. I went for so many years with little to no support for this love I have and I feel very gracious for the family and friends I have in my life now. As I ran on I continued thinking of how important support actually meant to us, not just single moms but any runner or athlete. When it comes to our training and competition having proper support from friends, family and even teammates can be so powerful in our lives. This is another lesson I have learned the hard way over my years of running and being an athletic woman.
Before the running boom hit like it has now, it was extremely strange to see a woman (OMG, and did I mention a mother) out running at all hours of the day, 4 am, noon, or even at dusk. I lived in a small town when I had my son back then that the majority of the women in this town didn’t work out or run and were the normal stay home cook for the hubs and kids kind of mother. They never broke the standards of stepping out of that era. If someone knew you were doing something outside of this mold it was a catastrophe and the rumor mill began. Well, I am happy that I have always had a mind of my own, plus my passion to be active was developed from my near death experience so I never paid much attention to those standards and I broke those boundaries placed on women wide ass open in several different ways.
#1. I was a very active woman, and on top of this I was a power lifter with muscles from head to toe. It was never intimidating for me to walk up in a gym and work out in front of men. There isn’t too much in this life that scares me anymore. Then #2, I began running and I ran through my pregnancy. People in this town I can remember would stop me on the road and tell me I should go home with that baby bump! Then after I delivered my son exactly 6 weeks later I knew I wanted to train for my first marathon! When I decided this I knew who I wanted to train me for this race and he was a black man. Well, I was the mom who juggled a job, husband and child to run and train for a race, so support was one thing that didn’t come to me that well. I always heard things like “she’s running wanting attention” from different people, even my husband at the time and his family. But the love and passion I have for this sport was too deep to let any of that stop me. No one really knew where my passion and drive came from for this sport and I didn’t talk of it much at all back then. So my love and passion took me back to this place I am now that has plenty of support.
Having positive support is such an important thing to us runners and everyone really. When I am not running or racing I enjoy volunteering at races or with any sporting event. I do this just to provide fellow athletes with encouragement to help their confidence levels because I know how powerful it is. In fact, when I am injured I have found this to be the best medicine to stay focused and stay involved. When I have people come to me for advice about injuries I always encourage this to them. But any way you can find and keep some support I always recommend it. Surrounding yourself with good people that do not discourage your dreams is a good idea to keep too. One negative comment will discourage anyone, so I try to keep my distance from these types of people. I pay close attention to people and I do not want anyone in my life that will try and throw me off course with anything. I live a positive life and do not want any negative people or things in my life anymore. I have graduated from those stages in my life.
I am very thankful for all the supportive people in my life today. The best advice I can give beginner runners or athletes is to always be cautious of who you bring in your life and find your support system even if its those long runs all alone. The road is the best support I have ever had. It took me along time to realize how to live my life happy but now I that I know this tactic I will not look back….