“Mommy, I need to go on a diet and I want you to go on one with me,” were the words that escaped my seven-year-old’s mouth when I realized I had fallen off the healthy wagon and re-entered the zone of “fat.” My running had tapered off, I had failed to make even ONE triathlon I had signed up for over the summer, and my son had taken notice.
This is not what I wanted to hear, but it was definitely what I NEEDED to hear. The problem, I had no motivation. Between moving into a new house, school starting back, and just life, I had lost all desire to spend what free time I had training. What resulted was another 20-pound weight gain, and my son took notice. I felt defeated. I had come so far just to take so many steps backwards.
I needed something to motivate me, something to push me forward rather than backwards. I found that in my tribe.
At our last girl’s night extravaganza, one of our tribe suggested we run the Louisiana Marathon. Not the half (which I know I can do), but the whole 26.2 miles. YIKES! I have never been overly interested in running a full marathon, but then again, I wasn’t interested in running a half until I did it. As I thought more and more about it, I thought, if these girls can do it, surely I can too, and with them there to encourage me, I knew I wouldn’t give up. It was just the push I needed to get off my lazy bum and start training again. And who better to train with than other mothers who understand the business of motherhood?!
My biggest issue with other run groups I have found has been that most members no longer have small children. Sure, some do, but not most. My experience has been that most have already been through the small child phase and so they have a bit more freedom than parents with small children. But within our tribe, we have four mothers of small children, two grown, and one who acts as a mother to the rest. And even though the entirety of the group has not signed on to run the marathon in January, each one has found a way to encourage the rest of us on this journey. We get it when we have mother duties and are always willing to compromise our own schedules to fit each other’s schedules.
We all need a tribe. Whether it’s for running encouragement or just simple down right encouragement; we all need a tribe. As parents, we run ourselves until we are down right exhausted leaving little time for our own self-care. We get discouraged when we are not able to meet certain goals or when we put on 20-pounds over a six month period. We each need encouragement and positivity in our lives, and that is what my tribe has provided for me over the last year. I couldn’t be more thankful for these ladies. What started as a group of ladies, most of who didn’t know each other, getting together for a fun trip to Disney World last year has ended in lifelong friendships.
Now, to tackle 26.2 miles, and hopefully, finally get back on track to the healthy lifestyle my family deserves of me.