On the way out of my last ever group exercise class I lost my 4 year old, Ruby. It was highly traumatic and I vowed never to return, ever. Out of necessity I dusted off (literally not metaphorically) our treadmill in the basement and began the painful process of running (or in the beginning fast shuffling with lots of huffing and puffing) because it's free and doesn't require me to leave my children with texting teenagers I do not know. Six months later I am at an 12.5 minute mile on a good day and it feels like dying and/or being reborn depending on the amount of sleep I got the night before and if I had pizza. Pizza = super traumatic soul killing runs where I can feel/hear each joint weeping. I may never run outside, I hear there are inclines and declines and I'm not really into those. I am not a graceful runner nor do I have the correct running attire. I see ladies in cute running shorts but if I try to run in those I spend the majority of my time pulling them out of my crotch. Not pretty. I wear 2 way tight sports bras to keep my "running companions" in place. A single sports bra capable of that task would likely cost upwards of four thousand dollars and contain space age, gravity defying material. My face turns an alarming shade of red and I sweat like nobodies business. When I run in my basement I picture myself running along Lake Michigan in Chicago or sometimes in the forest from the Twilight movies. I imagine I am very small and fast and dressed like those girls in the Athleta catalogs. I listen to Pandora stations such as The Ting Tings, Florence and the Machine and Robyn. I pray fiercely through the last minutes for God to give me strength and for just the right song to play. I focus on the fact that I have four beautiful children and I want to be healthy for them not sad. I don't like to weigh myself but I think my clothes are starting to fit different and more importantly I don't want to hurt my children when the everyday needing, repeating every sentence 12 times, whining, yelling and mess making happens. When I run my life is better. All this being said I can't seem to think of myself as a RUNNER. Runners are those girls with sculpted arms and actual abs. The ones who wear adorable clothes and meet up in the morning to run OUTSIDE with cute friends. I see their messages and mileage on Facebook. I will never be that fast or that pretty or that runnerish. But I am MOVING and for right now that is a pretty good thing.