Run like a mother, for mothers

If you follow me anywhere on the internet, or know me in real life, you probably know, or have gathered, that I’m super ambivalent about running. On the one hand, it’s a really convenient way to get exercise, especially with a certain baby around. And I like the way I feel after I run, or when I have been running regularly.

On the other hand, I pretty much think it’s torture. All the time. No matter what.

My ambivalence means I dip in and out of regular running (okay, let’s be honest, running is a generous word; let’s call it a jog or a shuffle).

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I’m not the person who can go out and spontaneously run a few miles with friends. I’m the person who has to build up in tiny increments, 60 seconds here, now 3 minutes there, until after weeks of walk/shuffle intervals, I can knock out 3 miles without stopping.  I’ve started the Couch to 5K program countless times over the last 5 years, and I’ve actually completed it twice. Each time I jump back in is like starting from scratch.

It’s like a bad boyfriend who won’t put a ring on it, but I just can’t give up on, either.

Anyway, all this to say: in October, I’m willingly submitting myself to more torture, but it’s not just about me this time. I’m doing it to support Every Mother Counts, an organization that aims to make pregnancy and birth safe for women around the world. It’s a cause that feels really, really personal and meaningful right now.

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If I hadn’t had access to amazing care while pregnant and while giving birth to Mackenzie, I honestly don’t know how things would have turned out for either of us.

I don’t mean to be melodramatic. We both made it through in perfect condition, but the outcome could have been so different had we not had access to care: around the world, a woman dies every 2 minutes from pregnancy or childbirth complications. And 98% of those are preventable.

I’m so grateful that we are healthy. I’m so grateful that my mom had the same access to care and was there not only through my childhood, but also at Mackenzie’s birth, and in those first few hazy, confusing, postpartum weeks.

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Imagining becoming a mother without my own mother’s presence and support is basically unfathomable to me. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without her.

Maternal mortality one of those big, scary problems that I want so urgently to do something about. I’m not a clinician. I can’t go volunteer, save lives, make a difference in the field. What I can do is raise funds and awareness.

Through the #sweatpink community, I’m partnering with everydayhero for their If Girls Ran the World event.

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That means I’m committing to raising money and awareness, and tracking my miles in October as part of a collective goal to run around the world.

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Ugh, that means I’m going to be shuffling a lot in October.

I love pretty much everything about this event: it supports women and girls. There’s a beautiful symbolism in women coming together and achieving something amazing, together. That’s how we do.

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It’s happening in a heated political climate in which I find myself newly horrified by the sexism and misogyny still so rampant and so accepted in the US and around the world. That, too, feels so big and so beyond my reach.

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So I’m going to run. I’m going to run, and I’m going to make a dent, however small, in the care and opportunities available to women and girls.

 

Will you get involved, too?

There are lots of ways:

This post was sponsored by everydayhero. I’m honored to be part of this incredible event, and as always, all opinions, running hatred, and political commentary are my own. I so appreciate your support of me, the sweat pink community, and our amazing partners. 

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