My husband was away and I hate asking for help. So, I bundle two of my girls into the double-stroller, put mittens on the oldest as she got on her bike and we set out on a run to their gymnastics class.

 

“Are you running, mom?” they call out to me from the stroller. “Yes, I’m running, but it’s hard to push with both of you in there.”

 

I drop two of my daughters off and leave the other parents sitting in the hall, busy on their phones. The youngest and I, we keep running.

 

Hours later, once we are back home, my six-year-old daughter goes missing—momentarily. I take a quick glance out the front window. There she is, running up the driveway pushing the stroller.  “Where were you going?” I ask. “I was going for a run.” Oh, right.

I ran in my first half marathon two weeks ago. I’d never run in a race before. And my girls were at the finish line. There was something in this that I wanted them to witness.

 I’m not much of a goal setter. And without goals, I will not push myself.  A friend invited me to run this half marathon with her. So, I pushed myself, followed a program (somewhat) and I finished. I sweat like never before. And it feels good. I am stronger.

 

I’ve been fixated on my stomach since birthing my third child. Nothing seems to make it go away or look prettier. Running has not been the miracle drug for it either, but I feel better about my body overall. And this gives me a little more confidence, which makes me feel a little sexier, which pours into how I relate to my husband.

After giving birth, I remember being so proud of what my body could do. Not of how it looked but what it had created, nurtured and brought to life.

 

Now as I run, I am amazed at how far my legs can take me. I’m amazed at how rest can refresh me for the next run. I can hardly grasp the potential within me. It spills over… what capacity do I have for personal growth? For pursuit of God and getting some understanding of Him? I’m on the brink of living into more of myself just as God created me to be.

 

The peace that I feel after a run lends itself to being a calmer Mama. And like Elle says in “Legally Blonde” — “exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands.”

 

So, I keep running.

___

Laura Witham lives in Richfield with her three daughters, pastor husband and three egg-producing backyard hens. When there’s an extra moment, you might find Laura biking around Lake Harriet or tucked in a corner at Rustica or Sunstreet Breads, deep in conversation over a steamy cup of tea.

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