Our friends at Another Mother Runner recently wrote about their most important miles, and asked their tribe of mother runners to do the same. As has been firmly estabished by now, what Sarah and Dimity ask of us, we do! These ladies are our idols and, in a way, my most important mile led me to this moment: meeting and running with my idols.
But how did I get here? Well, we have to back up to the mile I have chosen to call my most important one of all. There are so many miles that I consider milestones: the first mile of my first half-marathon, the last mile of that same half-marathon, the first mile I raced with my kids, the first mile back after an injury. But it really all comes back to the first mile, period.
About 2 years ago, I laced up for the first time since becoming a mom. I just happened to be kids-free for the night so, instead of heading downstairs to my elliptical machine, I headed outside. I planned a quick run around the neighborhood, but that night was actually the beginning of a much longer journey; I just didn’t know it yet. I enjoyed the freedom and simplicity of the run. I had no idea how far I’d gone or how fast. I wore a regular cotton t-shirt and $40 running shoes that had seen better days. I didn’t know about Garmins or negative splits or the significance of numbers like 13.1 or 26.2. There were no cheerleaders or photographers to capture the moment. I was a running virgin making many rookie mistakes, but it didn’t matter because something bigger was happening: I was losing myself in the run. Eventually, I found myself there too.
After that first mile, and a few other milestones, I ended up on a race to the Castle at Disney’s Princess Half-Marathon, a goal that seemed near impossible when I first said it out loud. It was about more than just a race. It was about proving something to myself. It was about setting a goal and achieving it. It was about being feminine and athletic, not having to choose. It was about showing my daughters that strong is beautiful. It was about having faith and trust in myself, and still believing in pixie dust too.
Well, in true happily ever after style, I made it to the Kingdom and, as you know, my journey didn’t stop there. But it all started with that very first mile – breaking routine, indulging a whim, trying something new – and discovering a passion for running and dreaming big. Princess-style, of course.