Homemade chocolate chip cookies feed my emotions.
Hot oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar feeds my body on a chilly morning.
Hugs and kisses from my family feed my heart.
But running feeds my soul.
For me, feeding my soul is doing what makes me feel like me again. Just "me" before I was a wife and a mother and everything else I do and am.
Years ago, more accurately decades ago, running was my life. In high school I lived and breathed it. I was fortunate to be part of a talented team of some very special people. I learned about dedication, teamwork, leadership, goal setting, friendship, faithfulness, and patience. During adolescence and trying to figure out who I was and where I was going, these qualities became a part of my DNA. The life lessons learned running around a track and up and down the hills in a small town named Bernardsville located in horse country in New Jersey (yes, N.J. actually has a horse country and it’s not right off the NJ Turnpike) became a cornerstone of who I am.
Today, running takes me back to that core, stripped of the roles of wife, mother, volunteer, and sister. It is my Mommy’s Time Out and my date with myself. For me, after a run everything in my busy life feels calmer, less hectic and more settled. Sometimes the miles are part of a faster-paced tempo run and sometimes they are just some slow and easy miles. It may be on a country road, a treadmill or on the narrow shoulder of Love Lane. No matter where I run, I love the satisfaction that comes with completing a run because it’s an achievement as a mom to take some time for myself. And let’s face it, it’s something that is done. It’s over, finished, it can’t get dirty or cluttered for the tenth time today!
Running to feed my soul makes me a better wife, mom, and person because I’ve taken time to feed me, build myself up, feel good about myself. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary. From time to time do I feel guilty about taking the time to run? Yes, I do. But I try to keep this in mind: If I don’t fill up my gas tank I am running on empty and in the long run that isn’t fair to my family. It took me some time to comprehend this but by taking care of myself I am taking care of my family too. And guess what? I have the energy and full appreciation to enjoy all the hugs and kisses my two little girls give me, even when those hands and faces are smeared with warm gooey chocolate chip cookies. Hugs, kisses and chocolate – it doesn’t get much better!