Theresa is a first-time mom and lawyer with a great sense of humor who blogs over at The Brez Blog and is one of the 'blog friends' that I've been fortunate to make. I'm really looking forward to getting back into running this summer so I was happy when she agreed to post about running after having her little boy.
I am someone who firmly believes that you should schedule some time in your day to decompress. Whether you are a student, a professional, a mom, or all of the above, take the time to do something that gives you energy. Pencil it right on in to iCal. Not that I have an iCal calendar anymore. That’s for fancy people. What I’m trying to say is, make it a priority. It’ll be worth it. For some people, it’s obvious – take a nap! For others, it’s reading a blog, or writing a blog, or maybe cooking or gardening. You get the picture.
Mine happens to be running. And I would not have my sanity without it.
A little background. I played college lacrosse and for as long as I can remember I’ve been involved in organized athletics and required to do physical activity on a regular basis. Flash forward to my first year of law school and I went 2+ months without any exercise whatsoever, besides feverishly typing every word of the professor’s lecture into my laptop. The day before my torts final, I decided it would be a great time to start exercising again to work out some of the freakish stress that accompanies first semester law school finals. I ran 1.78 miles, could barely breathe, and felt that I was surely dying. But afterward, paradoxically, I felt wonderful. At this low point I decided I would train for a marathon, started running regularly, and I never looked back.
That is, until I got pregnant and stopped running. Then I looked back. 45 pounds allll the way to the back.
Nowadays I’m a work-from-home mom with a 3.5-month-old. The daily struggles are a little different from my life as a student and professional (i.e., poop, poop, and more poop. Oh and some spit up and so. much. baby. gas . . . . in addition to the deadlines and the research and the writing.) I need some quiet time to myself, not because I am competing with 398 other law students, or necessarily because there is no case law on an obscure area of law I’m battling, but because I have a tiny human depending on me for his every need. I don’t know about your baby, but mine is, like, really needy for some reason.
I am that stereotypical first-time-mom with too many parenting books at her disposal. My very own worst enemy. To combat the crazies, I started running again with reckless abandon at one month postpartum. I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and do something for myself. I finally felt physically recovered from childbirth, all my postpartum helpers had come and gone, and my husband was gone for military training for the next 6 weeks. As a new mom feeling totally on my own to figure it all out, it was the one part of the day where I wasn’t wholly focused on only Will. On his latch, his weight gain, and his diaper output. On his routine, his sleep cues, and his REM cycles. It became about me, my cadence, and my breathing. On the sweet fatigue of my muscles, my running form, and my (oh my gosh oh my gosh so slow) pace. It was just what I needed and what I still find myself needing daily. Not to mention that after a long, hard run, I feel totally justified in eating anything I want. Because if running is my favorite therapy, ice cream is a close second.
So even when my house is a wreck, I’m approaching a work deadline, I’m feeling particularly sleep-deprived, or my blog is collecting dust, I figure out a way to make running a priority. It helps me be a happier, healthier person to better serve those around me: God, family, and beyond.