The Local Three, Six, Five: Kate’s Down to Earth Running Community
By: Kate Baron HEADS IN THE GAME – BUT THE CLOCK IS ALWAYS RUNNING OUT Everyday life is hard work. Being a runner is hard work. So, the mother of all challenges? Existing successfully in our day to day lives and creating time for fitness. Everyone has their own story. Everyone’s day looks different. However, I am going to go ahead and assume that we all can relate on feeling like we don’t have enough time in our day – let alone time for fitness. I am often asked, “You run every day? How do you do it with four kids and a full-time job? Add on a husband, and life, etc.?” Below, I'll tell the story of my initial feelings about becoming a runner and how creating the time for fitness was an unexpected battle after I got my head in the game. I began my running career with the “couch to 5k” program. Easy enough on paper – run 3 to 4 times per week, gradually increasing in run vs. walk time. However, I was struggling with my brain. The idea that I would or could I actually commit myself to a program. The idea that I would not see immediate results. The idea that I would feel pain before I felt speed. The idea that I would NOT (and might not ever be!) the fastest or the winner. The idea that I didn’t know what I was doing and might, possibly, fail. I started and re-started the program four times. Once, I finally got over all my preconceived notions and brain hurdles, I was left with a final (and important) challenge – totally caught me off guard: How to make time for my new found priority? I finally got started with the intention to follow to program to a “T”. I was determined to do the exact workout laid out for me, and never skip a day. I figured it was like a recipe – all I had to do was follow it. And that was true, but I had to juggle my day, and clearly determine my priorities in order to make time in my day for this new commitment. No more excuses. NO MORE! So where do we carve out the time? So, here are some community thoughts on how to make time for fitness once you commit to making it a part of your life. It’s much easier to make time when nothing else is vying for your attention, but what if you have a million other things to do and your significant other just wants some attention? That’s when we need to get creative. That’s when we call on our support community to help with ideas, motivation or swapping chores for workout time. How folks MAKE time: “When I first started running I could only get out after 9pm. With only one streetlight even remotely close to my house I decided to map out 250 meters and ran back and forth under that light for 30 minutes.” - (Guilford, CT - Mom of 3). “I sleep in my running clothes sometimes so that I can get up at the crack of dawn to run before my kids and wife gets up!” (Branford, CT – Dad of 2). “I stopped going to happy hour”. (New Haven, CT. – Doctor at YNHH). “I use my lunch hour at work to work out. My husband and kids aren’t even affected by my daily running!” (Guilford, CT – Mom of 4). “When my baby was born and I was finally settled into a semi-routine, I would nurse her at 3am and run at 4am. I was already up…and I knew the baby was happy and full for at least 2 hours!” (New Haven – Mom of 2). How folks TAKE time: “My wife takes my kids on an adventure every Sunday morning while I do my long run”. (Guilford, CT - Mom of 2). “I have paid the babysitter for an extra 2 hours so I could get a run in!” (Branford, CT – Dad of 3). “I recycle cans every month with the money going specifically toward my gym membership. I appreciate it that much more!” (Guilford, CT – local shop owner.) “My husband and I trade kid watching on the weekends with our neighbors so each couple can get a run in together as a treat!” (Bethany, CT – Mom of 3). These ideas are generally from parents – and not everyone is a parent but has the same battle with time! Get creative. Get motivated. Tell me your time saving and making secrets so I can share them with our community! It’s hard enough to get our brain in the game. If you’re committed to making fitness a priority in your life but struggle to fit it in – post and ask questions here! There is a whole community of support that can pitch ideas and relate!