Thursday, January 31, 2008


There are a million things that motivate me to go running, from my love of homemade cookies, to the thrill of accomplishing a goal, to the excitement right before a race, to the health benefits, down to the smell of wet sidewalks on a rainy day. But for today’s Take It and Run Thursday, I’m going to talk about just one thing that motivates me. Okay, two.

I have the greatest cheerleaders in the world.

Steve and Jack have been incredibly supportive of my running. When Jack sees me put on my shoes, he understands what I’m about to do, and says, “Have a good run, Mommy.” If we’re in the car and pass a runner, he’ll say, “That lady is running, just like Mommy.” He will even run laps around the yard so that he can be a runner like me.

There are so many things that he does that make me proud. To think that I do something that makes him proud is just an amazing feeling. I love the fact that I’m setting a good example for him – setting goals, creating challenges for myself, and making exercise a priority. And there is nothing like coming home from a run and having him give me a high five and ask if I had a good run.

As for Steve, not once has he complained about my spending an entire Saturday morning on a training run. He understands why I spent $400 on running shoes last year and why our pantry is now cluttered with Gatorade and Gu. Every once in a while, Steve will point out that it’s been a while since I’ve downloaded any new songs and suggests that I get something new for my running mix. He supported me when, on vacation, I took the time to do a ten mile run. Steve will work into conversation with friends that I am training for a marathon, or that I just ran 18 miles, or that I just finished a really cool race – he’s like my publicist, bragging about my accomplishments so I don’t have to! Most importantly, not once has he ever echoed the little voices in my head that say, “You know, it’s kind of hot out today. Maybe instead of running you could sit inside and eat ice cream.”

One of the happiest moments of my life was when I saw the two of them half a mile away from the finish line of my first marathon. Steve was holding up Jack, and the two of them were cheering for me like crazy. It made it easy to give that final kick and finish the race strong, and with a smile on my face.

On a day when I don’t quite feel like going for a run, I will think of the two of them. I’ll think about how many times they’ve smiled and kissed me goodbye before I went out by myself. I’ll think about the signs that they made for me at the marathon. I’ll think about how they tell me I look pretty when I come home bathed in sweat.

It makes me want to show them my appreciation by moving forward, by not quitting, and by being the runner that makes the two of them proud. Better still, I know that my running has helped me immensely to better manage stress, keep my temper, and be a better wife and mother to the two of them. So, I put on my shoes and I go out for a run. For my guys.


chloe elizabeth said...

My favorite post so far. Where do I find a "Steve"? Seriously, reading this made me so happy to know there are such good men out there!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

oh Betsy, that is just beautiful. You are so lucky to have Steve. He sounds like a great guy and that "publicist" attitude is one of the best things for a marriage. It sounds like you are really grateful and realize this, but just thought I would echo your sentiments. You ARE setting a great example, not only for the exercise and dedication, but for the relationship you are showing little Jack.

Awesome post, my dear!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Oh ya, I love that we have really similar pictures, too!

P.O.M. said...

Now that's a great post. My guy is usually like, "Are you sure running that far is good for you? I don't think it is..." Ah - if he ONLY knew what I was like BEFORE I ran, he would change his tune, I'm sure.

newsjunkie said...

Awww that brought tears to my eyes.

And those are awesome pictures!

Shilingi-Moja said...

Cheerleaders are great and it's a real blessing to have a family who is supporive. I ran a half-marathon with a friend last year. At one point, we passed a house with a sign hung from the porch railing -- Way to go Jeff or something like that. Both of us wished we were Jeff. Having someone yell my name when I'm thinking about giving up gives me a real boost of energy.