Meet Kate. She is a 44 year old Mom to 4 boys, ages 14, 13, 10, and 6. She also happens to be my amazing sister-in-law. When I thought about someone who inspires me, I instantly thought of Kate who, like so many of us, leads an extremely busy, chaotic life that is full of things “to do”. Regardless, she has always made sure to carve some time out for herself. In the past 10 years, Kate has run about three 5K’s and she recently trained for and completed her first half-marathon. Way to go girl!
Kate started exercising in middle-school and has consistently been doing so ever since. She played sports during her high school years, enjoying time on the tennis team, soccer team, and as a cheerleader. Running and fitness have always played an important role in her life, but it was not until she was married and began having kids that she found herself having to work to find time for her workouts and herself. It was then that exercise became her “outlet” and “release” from her role as a busy Mom and housewife. “I run for my sanity; my mental health”, Kate told me. Well Kate, you are not alone!
I asked Kate how she fits in her workouts while managing the household and crazy schedule of her 4 athletic, involved, active boys. She talked about how when the kids were babies, she spent a lot of time pushing them in the jogger during nap time to get her runs in. Also, she was in the habit then of getting up very early in the morning to fit in her routine and if need be would hop on the treadmill while the babies slept. But now that the boys are getting older and in school, Kate makes sure to be in her workout clothes by the time the last two boys get on the bus. That way, she can get started as soon as they leave and have no excuses.
On average, Kate exercises four days a week for about 60 – 90 minutes at a time. Her typical workout consists of an On-Demand workout program (her current favorite being the Fitness Fusion workouts by Ellen Barrett) followed by either time on the elliptical or the treadmill. If there wasn’t so much snow on the ground in the South Shore of Massachusetts where she lives, she would be running outdoors, her preference, instead of using the treadmill, because of the feeling of freedom that it gives her.
So how did Kate end up running her first half-marathon? She told me that a full marathon has always been on her bucket list and she figured a good first step toward that goal was to train for and complete a half. She knew that if she could complete that half it would give her the confidence to attain her ultimate goal of completing a full (which she hopes to do within two years!) Kate looked into a few different training plans and ultimately put one together that would work for her. She started doing her longer runs on Saturday mornings with a local group that included her friend from the neighborhood. Having great support and having to be accountable to the group were huge motivators as she trained. Kate told me, “The camaraderie that is formed amongst a group of runners is like no other. Knowing that the group is showing up in your driveway at 6 AM will definitely get you out the door.”
I asked Kate what advice she has for those of you that might just be getting started with working out or running and for those of you who are busy Moms trying to find the time. Kate said, “Someone once told me that it has to be a priority. It has to be at the top of your “TO DO” list for the day. Everything else can wait. The dishes, the vacuuming, the laundry…it is always going to be there.”
So if you’re reading this and looking to get started on a journey to improve your overall health, remember, everybody starts somewhere. This is the year of no excuses so let’s STOP making them and let’s START making our dreams come true! Small steps will lead you to great things and PROGRESS is perfection! Make YOU a priority and take your first step today!