This morning as I am getting my girls ready for school my oldest daughter, Sara, randomly said to me, “Mom, I like it when you run.” I was making her breakfast and I turned around and laughed, thinking it was a funny comment. Then I asked her what she liked about me running and she said “it makes me really proud of you and I like a mommy with big muscles.” I laughed again, but it hit me hard. For once I am setting a good, healthy example for both of my girls. They are watching my every move, mimicking my behaviors, both good and bad, using my life as a baseline to navigate their world. I have commented so many times in recent years that my youngest daughter, Kate, is my clone. She acts like me, looks like me, and talks like me. I see myself in Sara a lot of times too.
I have prayed since the day my girls were born that they would not follow my footsteps into the unhealthy world of an eating disorder. I have always been hyper sensitive to body comments, weight, etc. in my household. I try to mimic behaviors that I want my girls to follow, and avoid them seeing behaviors that I think can be unhealthy. I make it a cognizant habit to talk about the Lord with my girls on a regular basis, read the Bible with them and to them, pray with them. I want to set an example of faith for my girls, I have always known this, but I never thought I could set an example of health for them as well. As we were driving Sara to school, I said to my girls, “do you know why mommy runs?” Kate says, “to get sweaty?” We all laugh, then I tell them that I run to be the healthiest mom that they can have. That I want to be here for years and years to come and this helps me be healthy and keeps my heart strong. It gives me energy to chase them through the park, jump on the trampoline with them, and take them on bike rides. They both agreed this was a very good thing.
My girls are beyond precious to me, they are the most amazing gift God could have given me, second only to my salvation, and I smile when I know that He gave me two girls. Two strong, independent, and very different little girls for a reason. This mommy had to get healthy and be an example of not only a godly woman, but a healthy, strong, and confident woman to help these two navigate this crazy world they are growing up in. They suggested that in a few years we could all run a race together, whether that happens or not, it doesn’t matter to me, they don’t have to be runners just because I am. They will each find there own way in life and walk their own path, but what I do know is that I will be there to watch them, guide them, and set the best example I possibly can for them by God’s strength and with MUCH grace. Running is changing me from the inside out, each step, each mile, I am gaining a new understanding of myself and seeing new strengths each day.