Last weekend was my mom’s 50th birthday party, which I got to help plan. We kept it super casual and laid back. My mom has multiple sclerosis and isn’t able to do a whole lot anymore. The disease has progressed quite a bit over the last three or four years. Being home reminded me of a main reason why I initially started running.
My mom was diagnosed right after she got married, at the age of 23. Growing up, I would have never known she was sick because this woman was always doing something. Every morning she would run a mile or so and then do an hour of a Denise Austin workout video. I remember being a little girl waiting till she finished so I could watch cartoons! I had my priorities!
For the last few years, her legs haven’t been able to work. She can no longer walk and I know it kills her to not be active anymore. My mom always talks about how much she wishes she could run and she has refused to give up on that dream.
I remember thinking to myself (back when running still seemed like torture to me) that I wanted to run because I still could. I wanted to run because I knew my mom would love to have that ability again and if she couldn’t do it anymore, then maybe I could do it for her. I guess a part of me feels like if I stopped running, I would be wasting a gift that people like my mom would never take forgranted.
I think a part of staying motivated to lace up the tennies and hit the pavement (or the treadmill) is keeping mental notes of all the reasons why you’re doing it. There doesn’t have to be one singular reason. I have a bunch!
1. I enjoy food, a lot!
2. It’s a mental and physical challenge
3. I set a goal and I am determined to reach it
4. I relieve a whole ton of stress (especially now, during finals…yuck!)
5. I enjoy it
But my mom is always going to be the motivation that pushes me farther and gets me out the door. I hope one day they’ll find a cure for this disease and her and I can run together!
What are your reasons for running?