October 5 2017
Mirna "The Mirnavator" Valerio shares an excerpt from her first book.
There’s nothing I like better than running by myself. It is my me time, my thinking time, my time away from dealing with that thing called “adult-ing”—making critical life decisions, planning lessons, writing blog posts, listening to podcasts or just listening to myself breathe.
In fact, I’m the first one to tell mothers to RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! Get away from the family, make sure you have some time to yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. Take a bath—alone. Use the bathroom—alone!
I grew up in a family where women did and still do everything, many times to the detriment of their own health. For that reason, I am a fierce advocate of moms getting used to being alone with themselves and not having any qualms about it. If mommy is healthy and happy, chances are the family is too. That’s how I like to live my life.
But this weekend, after I quasi-forced my son on a hike on Saturday (there’s only so much time you can play NBA 2K16 on a beautiful, mild day in the mountains) he chose to run seven of my ten miles with me on Sunday. I enjoyed every single minute of it, even though I thought that at any moment this basketball-playing, tennis-loving pre-teen would say something snide and dismissive about running as a sport. Believe it or not, there were no surly comments, withering stares or ARE-WE-THERE-YETs!
We ran and walked on the road and on our school cross-country trail. We talked about how pumped he was to go to camp again this summer. We ran side by side. We talked about our upcoming trip to New York and how excited we both are to see family again. He even pushed me to run a little extra when I my sore legs started speaking to me.
I don’t usual get all sappy, but I treasured this time with my boy. I savored not being alone for this one weekend—even though he also invaded my nap and couch time while eating all my snacks. But I’ll take it. I’ll take the fact that running and hiking this weekend brought us together without the yelling, threatening, bargaining, compromising or grounding—once more, just as he is about enter the beautiful black hole of adolescence.
Thank you, running.