Running pearls of wisdom



I find running with my children a great opportunity to impart some motherly wisdom.

This morning my son Jan rode his bike alongside me, and I pointed out all the lovely fall colors to him to which he dutifully nodded.

I long to instill an awareness of nature in my children and running is a great way to do that.

I also pointed out some very odd looking houses. You know the sort, built by an architect with illusions of grandeur. Not practical at all, but certainy striking. A lot like high heeled shoes!

But the biggest lessons I can teach my children during running concern character.


So why don't you stop running?


After about thirty minutes of running I whined: 'I wanna stop! I don't feel like running anymore!'
My son is nothing if not a practical child so he answered: 'So why don't you!'

But of course I kept on running on and said:

'You can't just quit something because you feel like it! It's all about willpower and pushing through! As it is in life, so it is in running!'

And the next time he doesn't feel like cleaning up his room, or doing his homework, I'll be sure to remind him of today's running/life lesson.

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Spilling chi


In ChiRunning it's important to keep your pelvis level.

Imagine your pelvis as a bowl full of chi also known as life energy. And if that doesn't do it for you, just imagine it filled with chocolates or potatoe chips. You wouldn't wanna spill any, now would you?! I didn't think so.

Before I start my run, I put myself in position


So before I start my run I always take the time to put myself into the right position. But during my ChiRunning course I got some good news and some bad news. I got the position right, but as soon as I made a run for it, I heard my instructor shouting: 'Okay Nicole, stop please! You immediately let your pelvis go!'


Spilling my chi all over the place


Obviously I'm still spilling my chi left and right during my runs.

I'm like the woman in dr. Hook's song: 'Baby makes her blue jeans talk'.

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The mother that could


Thanks to several training programmes, by John 'the penguin' Bingham and Jeff Galloway, I can now run at least 45 minutes at a time.

And on Sundays I even run for two hours to a local restaurant where I can get a cup of coffee. And then I turn back home.

It takes 45 minutes to run for 45 minutes!


But now here's the thing: it takes at least 45 minutes to run 45 minutes! And because my inner running snob feels she's too good for a thirty minute run, one day I almost didn't run at all.

I was lying on the couch, bored and busy talking to myself:

'Thirty minutes isn't worth the trouble, so I won't go. It's not my fault we had people over all day, is it? If there'd been time I wóúld have run to Westendorp, really I would have! Besides: now I'm too tired. Are there any chips left?'

It's the left side of your brain talking! Ignore it!


In his book You can do it, Jeff Galloway says these kind of thoughts come from the left side of the brain. The left side of the brain is afraid to exert itself, and prefers to lie around on the couch with a big bag of chips.

The left side of the brain reminds me of me.


I think I can, I think I can!


But while I lay there going nowhere, I felt myself getting more and more depressed. So when my left side of the brain wasn't looking I quickly jumped up and ran out the door. I huffed and I puffed and I felt like I was walking through the children's playdough, but I was doing it! And instead of whining: 'I don't wanna' I said to myself 'I think I can, I think I can!'

And you know what?!
I could.

I'm the mother that could.

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Therein lies the toe rub

toe rub
My little left toe and its nearest neighbour, rub each other the wrong way.

And yesterday, after my run, I discovered they'd made a bloodbath. So I wrapped the neighbour in a nice plaster with little trains on it, and thought no more of it.

I'm hurt real bad!


Today I went running, but after three miles my little left toe started sending me frantic messages:

'I'm hurt real bad!'

I ignored it, because I hate whiney toes. But after another mile it hurt so much I decided I to take a look.

I took off my shoe, and saw my little toe's neighbour's plaster had created a nice big blister on my little toe! Feeling like the little mermaid I tried to hobble home, because there was no way I was putting my shoe on again. It hurt too much!


How do I get home?


'So this is barefoot running', I thought to myself. But soon my feet started to hurt and I tried to find another solution. I tried to tie my whole shoe beneath my foot, but that most certainly didn't work. Then I had this great MacGyver moment:

'I'll use my sock to wrap my little toe in! And then I'll put my shoe on.'

So I did, and it felt wonderful! 'I can walk again!' I shouted in delight.

But when I got home I put a plaster on my little toe, just to be sure. It had little eskimo's on it.

I hope it's neighbour doesn't get jealous.


How to prevent toe rub: tips and pointers!

Using some lubricant, like Bodyglide, on the toes that rub each other the wrong way can help a lot. Also make sure your running shoes are suitable for your feet.

You could also buy some toe socks, like Injinji toe socks.

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Running lessons

running

The Dutch publisher of Anna Fels' book Necessary dreams: Ambition in Women's changing lives asked me to review this book, saying she was really interested in my opinion! So I was all flattered and everything and told her: 'Of course! I'ld be happy to review it!'

Where's a picture book if you need it...


So now I'm reading it and I find it very hard going indeed. My mind is groaning and moaning with effort, begging me to stop and read something a little easier. Preferably a children's picture book.

There I was, ploughing along when suddenly it hit me: reading this book is a lot like running! In both cases I want to, but also I really, really don't want to.

Using running lessons


So I decided to apply the principle of running programs to reading this boring book:

Divide the task at hand into little managable pieces! 

The book consists of fourteen chapters, and I've decided to read two of them a day. That way I'll finish it in seven days.

Suddenly it's not so daunting any more.

Isn't it wonderful how the wisdom gained from running applies to life in general?!
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By John Bingham, she's got it!


I'ld like to toot my own horn because I finally managed to stay 'in the moment'.

Wherever you go, there you are does nót apply to me : (


I find it quite hard to stay in 'the moment'. The mindful saying of 'Wherever you go, there you are,' doesn't apply to me, much to my chagrin. It would be more apt to say:

'Wherever you go, there you are not.'


I'm usually somewhere in the future


Instead of being in the moment, I'm usually off gallivanting somewhere in the nearby future. Thinking about the things I have to do, thinking about how much further I have to run, thinking about what's waiting for me when I get home (pandemonium and mayhem), and then thinking: 'I don't wanna go home.'

Right now, I'm here!


But yesterday I managed to stay in the moment for a moment! I was completing my Sunday ten miler, and I was, as usual, trying to see what was ahead of me, when I thought:

'No Nicole, wherever you go there you are, and right now you are here!'

So I concentrated on my legs and feet moving one step at a time, my arms pumping away, and just feeling myself run. And what do you know: it felt good! So I said to myself: 'By John Bingham, she's got it!'


Thank you John Bingham!


So thank you John Bingham for writing about the joy of running; about enjoying every simple step of running as a goal in itself.
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In the long run

long run

I feel that a long run gives you the opportunity to show what kind of person you are. Or at least to try and become the person you want to be.

The long run


For me that's someone who doesn't give up. Someone who shows willpower. Someone who is strong and keeps on going when the going gets tough.

By going for a long run, I know that I'll become that person. Because going for a long run requires me to show all these characteristics.

In the long run.
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The Mom Run!

Thanks to Mapmyrun, I know exactly out how many miles I went. In neat lines it proudly appears on the map.


My body moves in neat lines. My mind does not.


But while my body moves in neat lines, my mind doesn't. To be quite honest: it bears a remarkable resemblance to my life as a mom.

Proudly introducing the....


So I'm proud to introduce a completely new type of run: the Mom Run. Also know as the All Over The Place Run.

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Learn by example


I was happily running along, minding my own business, when a fellow runner passed me by.

How can he run so effortlessly?


He looked like he'd just stepped out for a little stroll. While my face was contorted with effort, he managed to look as if he was having a day at the spa. But going faster than me nevertherless.

In my mind I screamed: 'It's not fair! Why should he, effortlessly, get to go faster than me! It's not fair. I want my mommy!'


This also happens in motherhood


This unpleasant phenomenon, of people who seem to perform all sorts of tasks without any effort, is also present in motherhood.

You probably all know her: the mom who manages to effortlessly juggle career, children and husband. And she does so succesfully. It wouldn't be so bad if her kids turned out to be little rascalls, but they're as sweet as sugar and spice and everything nice. Unlike your own brood...


How does she do it?!


Gritting their teeth, the Not So Succesfull watch the Succesfull, wondering 'How does she do it?' Indeed, sometimes they even write a book about it, thereby becoming succesfull in their own right, but I digress.

I'm going to learn by example


I've decided to learn from the Succesfull. So while I run and mother, I keep my eyes peeled for the Succesfull, hoping to catch them in the act of doing something succesfull and then learn by example!
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A shortcut!

shortcut

Yesterday I sprayed deodorant behind my ear thinking it was perfume.

Today I searched the phone book for the telephone number of the children's school, looking futilely for the 'King's school'. Not surprisingly, I didn't find it, since the school is called The High Ground, and the addres is King's road.

Mommy really needs a break


So I said to the children:

'Mummy really needs a break!' 

And I ran straight to the self-help section in the nearest library. Seeing all that free therapy made me feel better immediately. I grabbed the indignant 'Why doesn't God do anything?' by Deepak Chopra, 'When life hurts' by Rene Diekstra and the triumphant 'I'm not okay, but you're not either!'

The road to love and happiness: Short version


But my best find was 'The Runner's guide to the meaning of life'.

While the rest of the world ploughs through all those thick books I've found me a shortcut to love and happiness!

And if I run I'll get there even faster!

I feel happier already!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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The Runs: not the way you think


I was walking the kids to school when Piet suddenly stopped in his tracks. He panicky started pulling his pants down revealing an unpleasant brown stain, giving a whole new meaning to the term 'school runs'.

Hm, something told me yesterday's runs weren't over yet.
'Eeuwh!' he cried. 'I don't wanna wear my pants anymore, I don't wanna wear my pants anymore!'

No


I couldn't really blame him, but in the name of public decency I said in soothing tones: 'Never mind Piet. Just pull your pants up, and we'll go home and get you some clean ones.'
Piet thought about it for a minute, looked at his brown stain and then declared firmly: 'No!'


What to do?


There I was, with four children who had to be in school within the next ten minutes, on the sidewalk . Twelve years of motherhood have rendered me too weary to mind indecent exposure so I simply said: 'Jan, Teuntje en Ot, you three go to school, and I'll take Piet home.'

I tried one more: 'Piet, pull your pants up!' but even some giggling schoolgirls 'Ooh, look at that!' couldn't sway Piet to cover himself.

Shuffling home


So I took his little hand in mine and we shuffled home together, because with your pants around your ankles you can't take very big steps. I was dressed in my running clothes because I was planning to run straight from school into the world for a long run. But with a sick child a mother doesn't get very far.

'Oh well,' I said to myself: 'At least I got to experience Piets Runs.'

Image credits: Shutterstock
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Running shows character!

running

Has anyone seen the movie 'Run fat boy, run'? It's about a man who left his pregnant girlfriend at the altar, and tries to prove to her he has changed by running a marathon in London.

Running: a way to show what you're made of


What I liked about this movie is the way running is portrayed as a way to show what you're made off. A way to show you can commit to something, see things through and are someone to rely on.

It's not very realistic...


Granted, the movie isn't very realistic: Dennis Doyle, played by Simon Pegg, runs the marathon without even having breakfast, and after only three weeks training.

Oh dear, running shoes as a gift?



And the way he gets his running shoes, someone gives them to him as a present, probably makes shoe experts wince. And the jokes often are a bit crass.


The message is great


But the message of the movie is great:

Running makes you a better person.

And to that, I couldn't agree more.

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