As I sit here waiting for my middle child to finish up with gymnastics class, I realize I have some time to blog. These moments are few and far between it seems. Of course, I know I need to make it a priority. That’s with literally anything in life. If it’s a priority, you make time for it, regardless of how busy you are. I learned this as I navigated the turbulent life of a post college graduate.

For instance, I had a boyfriend in college who, once he graduated (about a year after me), and moved back to his hometown several hours from me, wasn’t sure what he wanted out of his life. He was stressed about trying to find a job in his field. He was trying to figure out if he even wanted to be in that field. He was contemplating going back to school. I was working in a field not related to my degree, but I had gone back to school to be a paralegal. Things were still relatively uncertain for me too.

Then we tried the long distance relationship thing…that failed miserably. Simply put, I was not a priority in his life.

Then I met my husband. Was he certain about what he wanted to do with his career? No. Was he sure if he wanted to go back to school or pursue something related to the degree he had gotten? No. Was he sure about me being in his life, and a priority? Yes!

So, how do I relate this to fitness, or, more specifically, running? If it’s important to you, you’ll make the time for it. You will make it a priority, regardless of whatever else is going on in your life that may be adding stress to it.

So many people out there have countless excuses for not exercising. I’ve heard a lot of them, too, and for various reasons. I’m even guilty of making excuses. In the past, prior to marriage and children, I was “too busy”. This makes me laugh now, with how much busier it seems my life is with children.

It seems like the more hectic my life has become over the years, exercise has become a huge priority for me. I began running in junior high (see previous blog posts), and through high school I continued. Once I got to college, my running became very sporadic. I did continue to run and belonged to a gym throughout my 20s (in fact, I still recall my first phone conversation with my husband I had been running on the treadmill when he called), but it was still relatively sporadic, and I didn’t have any specific goals I was “running towards”, so to speak.

Then I had my first child in 2009.

I wanted to lose weight after pregnancy, and the freedom that running afforded me really helped me with the stress of having a new baby. Then I started training for my first half marathon in 2011, and it just evolved from there. One half marathon turned into 5 (completed last year), and somewhere in between I figured out that strength training was an important added element to avoid injury (again, see previous blog posts regarding this). Now, exercise has become such a priority in my life that I track it regularly, and I even hold myself accountable through social media-as you can see if you follow me on instagram (@irish_runner80). Though I think most of the people that know me understand I don’t need a ton of motivation to get out and run. 😉

Obviously, running is my favorite, but I’m definitely a work in progress, as we all are. There are things I want to get better at that aren’t running related. For instance, properly handling my weight in body pump. For as long as I’ve attended body pump class, you’d think I’d have a clue as to how to properly set down a barbell. Wednesday I acted like an amateur as I dropped my weight after my squat track, while arching my back! Um, yeah, my back is finally starting to feel better. Clearly, I need to make proper form a priority! In the meantime, I know it was muscular in nature, but I’ve spoken with another running friend of mine who has shared success with a chiropractor, and even told me that I should visit a chiropractor when I’m not injured (even if I believe it to be muscular in nature), to ensure continued success in running, due to possible underlying conditions.

I’m no medical person-I just like to seek the advice of “Dr. Google” every once in awhile, which I know tends to be a bad idea. But I do value this friend’s opinion, and in the interest of wanting to be able to run well into my 80s, I think this friend has the right idea. So, I’m planning a visit with that chiropractor on Monday.

I will definitely be posting my observations of this at some point! For now, let’s leave it at this…I choose to make myself a priority so that I can continue to make my children and my husband priorities. There is that saying that in order to make others happy you need to make sure you are happy (or something like that-I’m sure there’s a more eloquent quote out there about this). This is why I make exercise such a priority-why I run. It makes me happy, which makes everyone in my house happy! 😄

As a side note before I end, I would welcome suggestions on how to properly drop a barbell after squatting in body pump class! I am pretty sure I needed to squat in position again, then slowly lower the barbell-but honestly, that was my second day squatting my heaviest to date, so that was part of my awkwardness in the first place. All you body builders (and even non body builders who may have more of a clue than me) out there, any thoughts are welcomed!

In the meantime, happy running! 🙂

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