Far more inspiring to me than elite marathon runners is the overweight runner mom who decides to lace up her shoes (or get on the mat, or hop on the bike) after a long time off. With extra weight on her body from carrying and caring for her beautiful babies she puts one foot in front of the other. Sometimes she runs more slowly than she can walk, but she keeps moving forward.
Every step is a struggle and it’s scary. It’s been a while since she has committed to herself. It’s been a while since she’s been with herself.
Day after day she laces up. She goes back for more. While there is every good reason to quit, she doesn’t. There has been a shift and you can see it in her eyes.
Overweight runner mom changes her inner dialogue so that it propels her when people stare. Rather than knowing passersby are thinking about all her jiggling fat, overweight runner mom knows she is being cheered on by everyone she sees. She knows the world is rooting for her.
Overweight runner mom ignores the inner voice telling her she is too slow, too fat, too old. She dismisses the messages that say it’s too late and she should do everyone a favor and give up. She sees the irony that just as her babies need her less, messaging tells her it’s time to slow down and accept her fate. Overweight runner mom doesn’t listen.
She lets the confidence that comes from raising babies and finding herself fuel her. She lets the newly felt self worth encourage another step. She allows the dismissal of her role to be the wind at her back. Because overweight runner mom knows.
She knows now that it does not matter what the passersby think. Whether or not they are laughing at her jiggling rolls is irrelevant to her. She is out there for her. She is competing with no one. She runs for her and nobody else.
With each strike of sneaker to pavement her smile grows. All has come together. Happy babies. New found confidence. Finally in possession of her own worth.
Lots of moms inspire me. When it comes to my health journey, elite runners are fun to watch, but they will never inspire me like the overweight runner mom who gets out there extra weight and all.