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Running and parenting are not mutually exclusive
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I recently received a letter from a reader telling me, among other things, that I needed to focus on running or parenting; both could not be done. I adamantly disagree. Running and parenting are not mutually exclusive. - photo by Arianne Brown
Recently, I received an email with the subject line Antelope Island 50K. Because this race took place last March, I was curious why I would be getting an email about it, especially since it wasnt from the race director.

But this was not an email about the race, nor was it a very kind letter. It was from a reader, and he was not a fan.

This particular reader came across an article I had written about a race I participated in. Actually, I wrote two articles about that race one about gaining inspiration from my children, and the other about not getting discouraged when a run turns into a walk.

In the email, he commented on my improper training and went on to say that if I wanted to become a better runner like him apparently, he had run over 100 marathons I needed to wait until my kids were older so that I had time to properly train.

His last remark stung the most. He said that I could not be a good mother and run, and that I needed to stick to one or the other.

My answer to him would be: Yes, I can, and no, I dont.

Running is something that I have done for as long as I can remember. It found me at the age of 11, when I was trying to find myself in the confusion that is the preteen years. It was something I was good at and something that made me feel like me.

It would be more than a decade before I would find something else that felt as natural to me as running and that was when I held my first-born child in my arms.

Over the next few years, I approached being a mom with the same enthusiasm, ambition and desire as I did running. But as often happens when being a mother, I got lost in the mix of it all and needed to find myself again.

So one day, after having my third child in two and a half years, I laced up my running shoes and did laps around my neighborhood. For the first time in a long time, I was back.

I returned home that morning with more energy and desire to spend quality time with my kids because I had taken care of myself.

It has been nearly nine years since that run around the neighborhood, and I havent stopped since.

Sure, I may not be reaching my full potential as a runner. I may stop to walk up a hill during a grueling 50K. And I may not be at the top of my game all the time.

But that isnt why I do it.

I run to be me, and if there is no me, then my kids are not experiencing the best mom that they can.

I will keep running, and I will keep being the best mom I can be. The two are not mutually exclusive.
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