We were born to run.

We grow up free and barefoot and wild, with tangled hair and scraped knees - never asking for permission to move our bodies.

As we get older, what happens?

We start to get a different message. Namely, that in the school of life, exercise is an elective. The side gig. The take it or leave it… as in, maybe you’ll grow up and prefer art history instead.

When women become moms (IF they become moms; because being a mom does not make you a more complete human or ensure a happier or more fulfilled life), the message changes again. It’s as if the world pats us on the head and says “oh hey there little lady…looks like your body just took a MAJOR detour...time to slow it down.”

And sometimes our entire identity morphs. We’re asked to give a bunch of it up, and get with the new program. We’re now the provider. The nurturer. The nest maker. And we can lose ourselves. Some women find it to be a lovely new adventure. And some think it’s confusing as hell. Like the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (which I now view as anti-woman propaganda), there is an expectation to give and give and give until all that’s left is a lifeless stump in the ground that your adult child comes and sits on. WTF.

Maybe you’re immune from mom guilt. Maybe you’ve always been able to stride confidently toward the door, every time, without ever uttering an apologetic assertion that you’ll be back soon.

I aspire. But if you do struggle…especially during the early years, when life feels like a blind folded Cirque de Soleil routine, please keep going. Keep running. Don’t ask. Don’t waste time feeling guilty or projecting anxiety onto children who will be fine. Just go. Use the stroller. Get a sitter. Ask a friend. Share childcare. Put your kid on a bike. Let them play on the infield while you run in circles.


Allyson Ely
Tagged: Training