I was always in great shape as a college athlete. I passed all my fitness tests, finished speed exercises in the top echelon, and excelled in the weight room. However, I have never been as fit as I am right now. Yes. You read it. I am 31 years old, with two children, an almost 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old boy, and I am the fittest today than I have ever been in my entire life. I just completed a half marathon, which is 13.1 miles, in 1 hour, 30 minutes, and 4 seconds. That means my average mile time was 6 minutes and 52 seconds. It was a challenge for me to run ONE mile in 6:52 when I was a Division I women’s soccer player, let alone 13 miles. How is that even possible?
Well, I will tell you. The key to my speed and endurance right now is having little kids. It all started when Levi was a baby. We had just moved to Pikesville, Maryland into a beautiful neighborhood including many amenities. One was a fitness center. The fitness center included three treadmills, with a ledge next to the first one; an elliptical machine; two bikes; and a few weight machines. It is a nice room, but definitely limited in space. Therefore, if there is more than one person in there, it is imperative to be respectful of volume of music, television, and phone conversations. Since you are not supposed to run in a stroller until six months old, I was left with the option of taking him with me if I wanted to exercise. It was essential for my sanity, health, and mind.
So, each morning, I would stroll my baby about a quarter of a mile to the fitness center. That was just enough time to lure him to sleep. I’d swipe my card to get into the clubhouse, quietly open the door, and pray the fitness center was empty. But, there was always that one person in there exercising. So, I would remove the car seat from the stroller, place it on the ledge next to the treadmill, and stare at my baby sleeping. I would look at him, and plead, “Please, baby. Let me just get my run in, and then you can scream, cry, or do whatever you want for the rest of the day.”