Natalie is an everyday mum of one scrumptious child and has a love of marathon running. She wants to encourage more mums to push their limits and take time for themselves. She has shared with us, a bit about herself and the juggle to fit everything in. Enjoy.
The Running Mum Juggle.
The mum juggle is so real in our every day lives, from sunrise to sunset. I know it all too well myself. So I can understand a little bit why I do get the raised eyebrows from people when I tell them I will be training for a marathon.
“Where could you possibly find time to do this? ” “Why would you want to do this?” “Do you not have enough to do already?” But I’ve learnt to just smile off the questions and the sheer look of surprise.
Running and training for a marathon has become second nature to me, much like being a mum and handling the mum juggle. It’s just what I do. It’s just what I have become. To me running is so much more than a hobby, a past time or an exercise, it’s a lifestyle choice and it is one that I have made purely from my passion of giving it a go.
I was never the athletic type growing up, nor did I partake in any sports. I was the academic one. And so as I got older I wanted to try this “sport thing” for myself and what drove me to try running was simply that I hadn’t done it before and didn’t think I could do it. Run after run, distance after distance I got stronger at it and my enjoyment for it never wavered. It gave me a new purpose, it taught me the power of setting goals and most importantly it taught me that I can do absolutely anything I put my mind too.
Of course, it was only natural that once my daughter came along that I would continue to run. Motherhood changes you and who you are in so many ways, that running was the only part of my life that I could keep control of. And without a shadow of a doubt I wouldn’t be the mother I am today without running.
My appreciation for running and what the body and mind can do is stronger than ever. I’ve had moments where my husband would walk in the door and as quickly as I could I would pass my infant daughter to him and say, “Babe, time for mum to run”. Running was not an escape from my daughter. It was an escape from my tired mind. It was an escape from my tired body that would’ve just collapsed on the couch had I given it the chance. The reward to my family of being able to go for a run was that mum was now centred again, refreshed, re-energised and ready to take on the night time ahead.
Or there were countless times when my expected eight hours sleep would not go to plan with a teething or sick child and I had to get up at 5.30 in the morning to run 30km plus. But I never complained, I just did what I had to and wanted to do. And it was the drive and determination to achieve my end marathon goal that got me through. You see because if I didn’t achieve my goal I was not only letting myself down but I had a new set of eyes watching my every move and there was no way I was showing her that it was too hard because mum didn’t get enough sleep.
I will be the first to admit that it is not always easy, that’s why I call it the Running Mum Juggle. Yes I love it and I am committed to making it work. Its the challenge of overcoming the juggle which is appealing. Now that my daughter is 2 and a half, she understands that mum runs. In fact whenever I have my runners on she thinks mum is going for a run. She joins my husband on the side lines cheering me on and even as recent as the weekend gone, she grabbed my hand and ran with me through to the finish line. My goodness my heart just about burst out of my chest with happiness and pride, I may have even had a little tear in my eye. This is why I run, to share moments like this with my girl.
So how exactly do I make this work? Of course this can be applied to any passion you have but these are some of my tips for running.
Just do it. Make time – As soon as you make the decision that you want to ignite your passion, the means to which you will make it happen does occur. I love the power of visualisation and can not recommend it highly enough. Visualise yourself completing your passion, hobby or lifestyle choice – I do this often when I have a marathon coming up. I always visualise myself doing the run, crossing the finish line and from here it makes me see what needs to be done and the action to do it takes shape.
Set a goal – It doesn’t need to be a big goal. Start small but lock that goal in with a timeframe so you have something you are working towards – it will keep you accountable.
Plan, plan, plan – Us mums should be professionals at setting routines. And your “setting a routine” skill will come in very handy here, you need to schedule in the days you are going to do your activity particularly around all of the other family activities. My husband trains for triathlons and Ironmans so we need to set our days and times for when we both do our training, particularly around my daughter, my dog, work and friends and family time. It’s a must if you are going to make it work.
Enjoy it – don’t lose sight of the enjoyment and love you have for the activity you are doing. It will bring you immense pleasure having found something you love. If you don’t love it then of course you are not going to stick at it. Make sure what you are doing aligns with what is important to you and what you want to achieve from it.
I have recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic and one part of it that resonated with me was about a friend of her’s who took up ice skating, years after having stopped. She used to do it as a child and all through school and then as it does life got in the way and she stopped. As she got older she felt the pang that she was missing something in her life and reignited her love for it. She has never looked back and continues to ice skate, even though she is the oldest one amongst the kids having their lessons. This is such a nice story and has a clear message of doing what you love, no matter how young or old. Think outside the square and take up that passion you thought being a mum made you too busy for.
Natalie took her running passion to a whole new level in 2016 and created her business Running Fit Box. Natalie’s business is aimed at encouraging and motivating women to live a healthy and active life through running. She does this through her Quarterly Subscription Boxes which are full of products that will excite and motivate you to run.
Natalie has 10% off her subscription boxes at the moment which you can take advantage of by using RUNNINGFITBOX10% at the checkout.
You can find Natalie at www.runningfitbox.com.au
Running Fit Box
Running Fit Box