10 ways being a runner prepares you for parenthood

Before I was a parent I was a runner, a while I haven’t hit the pavement much since becoming a mom, I’d like to think that running helped me prepare for this special journey.

The game plan

For some people, the road to procreation involves a lot of planning, much the way a proper training schedule does. But, even if you didn’t plan on becoming a parent, there’s a certain amount of preparation that goes into having a baby once you get the news.

Get a coach

No parent is perfect, and children don’t come with instruction manuals, so if there is someone who’s parenting style you admire then reach out to them and ask them your questions. Getting a little guidance from a trusted source can help you bring your A game.

The sprint

Everything from getting ready in the morning before work to getting ready for babe’s arrival can be considered a sprint. You give your all in the moment with the hopes of just making it across the finish line sometimes.

Hill training

Anyone who’s done hill training knows how grueling these progressively tougher runs can be. Sound like parenthood? From sleepless nights and teething in the early days to discipline and potty training later on, the hill is the perfect metaphor for keeping your head up and slugging on, even when you just don’t think you can do one more repeat. You’ll soon come out at the top. Find an inspiring song or mantra to carry you through the difficult times.

The marathon

Parenthood itself is the marathon of life, if you ask me. You’re really in it for the long haul when you have a kid. Slow and steady will see you complete the race. Just don’t be in such a hurry to get to the finish line that you miss all the great scenery along the way.

Race day

Nerves, excitement, anticipation. That feeling that you might just crap your pants while throwing up at the same time. It’s either race day or your in labour! Make it to the end and you’ll have bragging rights for a lifetime — plus a pretty sweet prize.

You can’t phone it in

Sure, sure. Some days you can just throw on the cartoons and take a breather, just like you can skip the occasional training run. But, skip too many and you’ll only end up sabotaging yourself.

Consistency is key

Successful running or parenting — they both benefit from being consistent. Children thrive on routine from the day they are born, and runners who keep progressively training are more successful and avoid injury moreso than a weekend warrior.

Sometimes it’s OK to take a sick day

You can’t be on 100% of the time and sometimes it’s OK to step away. There’s no shame in admitting you can do it all or asking for help. It’s admirable, and you’ll arguably come back to things in better shape than before you took time off. So go ahead and order take-out, call a babysitter or leave the baby in a safe place for a few minutes while you gather yourself. Parenthood is hard work!

You’re running your own race

There’s always going to be someone who has something to say about the way you parent, but it’s not about them — it’s about doing what’s right for you and your family. Try not to get swept up in the crowd.

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