Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Run Like A Mother

 Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving- and Not Lose Your family, Job or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea

Just finished this book.  It was great!  There are so many great parts/quotes from this book it may take a couple of posts for me to get through them.  The chapters are easy to read, short, and don't only involve these two author's points of view, but also other women who answered a running survey they sent out.  So not to inundate you in one post here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book...

Chapter on Mental Toughness: Training my Brain Dimity wrote
Conveniently for me, I don't think mental toughness needs to be built.  Although I rationally know you have to accept pain in order to get better, I also believe this: As a runner, no matter your level or mileage, you are, by definition, mentally tough.  There's a reason why less than 10% of this country runs, and why the elliptical machines and recumbent bikes fill up at the gym way before the treadmills do.  Running isn't physically enjoyable.  It takes discipline and courage to propel yourself forward faster than a walk.  So whether you come in 5th or 5,000th in a race, realize you have more mental toughness than 99 percent of the people you've encountered in your life.

Chapter on Clothing: Dressing for Success
T-shirt slogans...
"If found on the ground, please drag across the finish line".
"All it takes is all you have".
"Does this shirt make my ass look fast?"

Chapter Running Partners: Friends, Indeed
Running is conductive to frank, sometimes soul-baring conversation in the same way road trips are: When you keep your eyes on the road, you can speak from your heart.

Chapter Children: Managing the Offspring
My mom demonstrated how to be passionate about something, how to delicately weave an activity into your life so that it marks you but doesn't define you.  She showed me you can be a mother, have another job, and still carve out time for yourself.  Although your kids might resent your absence some days, you taking time to run or ride actually teaches them that the world-news to them?- doesn't revolve around them.

I've done this mothering thing for long enough to know that what I want for my kids has little bearing on what they actually want to do.  When I'm intent on us all going to the pool, they want to paint.  When I'm ready to set up the easel, they've moved on to setting up the Slip n'Slide.  As every parent quickly learns, "force" is not a verb that works well with kids.  Still, I'm going to, um, strongly encourage them to find their own version of running, somethingng that alternately challenges and calms them, makes them feel alive and proud, and surrounds them with lifelong friends. 
     When this strategy inevitably fails, I'll turn to the other two signature emotions of parenthood: hope and faith.  I'll hope they stumble into their version of running, as I did into mine.  In the meantime, I'll have faith in the all-to-accurate message from a magnet my mom surreptitiously stuck on my fridge: "Sooner or later, every daughter becomes her mother". Side note this magnet sounds like something my own mother would give me.  Otherwise known as my "payback is a you know what" line.

Ok so maybe I didn't just give you a couple of lines, but this is just the start.  They had some great ideas on speedwork, playlists both short and long runs, too.  That will be entering this blog in the future. For now, enjoy the above and if interested look into picking this book up.  I do think it is a fitting book for mother's day too. 

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