Do you remember when you started running?  A few months or years ago?  A lot of years ago?  Do you remember WHY you started running?  It’s kinda fun every once in a while to think back on that newbie runner you once were.  Even if you ran competitively in junior high or high school, you’ve had to make a decision to start running as an adult.  Think back on that decision.  Why’d you do it?  It must have given you something, right?   So why did you start this craziness?  There is no right or universal answer.  It’s all you.  Are  you a better person with this sport?  Have you met any goals?  Surpassed any goals?  Changed any goals?  Has your running path given you something physically?  Mentally? Emotionally?  Has that path relatively straight thus far or has it been a trail of hairpin turns that dead end into a collapsing canyon?  And why in the world are you still running?

Because this sport continues to give us something, that’s why.  It gives us a lot of things.  For me, it offers a calorie crusher, a friendship circle, a karaoke hour, a meditation time, a future goal to shoot for, an endorphin kick and a cooler confidence, just to name a few.  I actually need all of these things now and running is the current gateway to these things, so it goes to reason that I’ve got to find a way to keep this sport in my life.  Keeping in mind that sports injuries can and will happen and other priorities can and will trump running, I’ve got to establish myself in the best way that I can to keep this wonderful hobby on the front burner.

Enter the 10 simple habits for RUNaway Moms (and all runners for that matter).  Actually, these habits are great for anyone!  But this is for our group, right now.  Great habits to try out and add to our current running and personal awesomeness.   No, this isn’t a 10 step program and it’s not anything original or ground breaking; it’s just 10 great habits.  These aren’t difficult habits to grasp and they certainly aren’t difficult to add to our lives.  I fully realize that not one of us is screaming from the rooftops “Hey, I’d like a lot more stuff to think about and more things to add to my daily schedule.”  No, this is easy stuff.  We just need a little awareness and nudge, because deep down we really know a little bit of all of these things.  AND the most wonderful part is that you don’t really have to give up anything.  Oh goodie!  But here’s the big secret - shhhh, here it comes.  When you ADD new wonderful habits to your life (a little at a time remember, not all at once like a big downpour), then I’ve found that our crummier habits may, just may, start to take a back seat, take a vacay or disappear altogether.  Yes, we all have our share of crap habits.  Sigh.  You know those habits that you are mindlessly “addicted” to but you know deep down are also sucking the life out of you.  They are hard suckers to break up with though, so we are just going to ease them out.  

Here’s why I like to ADD great habits  vs. having to SUBTRACTING something not so great - 

If I am forced to give up a vice (temporarily or permanently, it doesn’t matter), then you can bet your boots that I’m going to count the minutes until I can have that forbidden fruit again.  Say, for instance, I am told that I can’t have a cupcake for the next month.  Well I might not even eat cupcakes regularly, but now that I know I’m going to be denied cupcakes, I am going to eat 6 before bed tonight and then count the minutes until that sad time of “no cupcakes” is over and then have 6 more after my deprivation is over.  Keep in mind that I didn’t really want 12 cupcakes in the first place, but you double dare denied me and now I HAVE to have them.  The same is true with food, wine, soft drinks, mindless tv, and overscheduled calendars and anything else that is bleeding us to exhaustion.  I know they are not great, but dare me to subtract one of those from my existence and I’ll fight it every step of the way.

Instead, let’s just ADD wonderful habits to our lives.  Maybe those crappy ones will get the hint that they aren’t as valuable and just fade off into the sunset gradually instead of making us feel like a horrible teenage breakup.

It’s time to add to our awesomeness.  Let’s do this.

ADDITION 1 - WATER.  Your new best friend.

ADDITION 2 - FRUITS AND VEGGIES.  Taste the rainbow.

ADDITION 3 - VITAMINS AND MINERALS.  Take 2 and call me in the morning.

ADDITION 4 - STRETCH.  How low can you go.

ADDITION 5 - ROLLING AND MASSAGE.  'Cause that's how I roll.

Week 6 - CROSS TRAINING.  Be even more awesome.

Week 7 - REST.  The workout that trumps all others.

Week 8 - READ.  Running smart always wins over running strong.

Week 9 - ORGANIZE.  Cleaner surroundings make cleaner spirits.

Week 10 - PRIORITIZE.  The power to pick.