Out running most mornings with my pram I get one of two looks from other mums already out and about.
There are only ever two looks and they go like this:
1. You are MAD, what the HELL are you doing, WHY would you be out running at this time in the morning, you TERRIBLE mother!
2. GOOD on you, you go CRAZY woman!
I always smile, a little on the outside, a lot on the inside. I love my running time with baby. He has already been up for a couple of hours and is ready for a nap. I settle him in and he happily watches the world whizz by. Bang on 1 mile he is asleep and I am free! I know I have about 40-50minutes to get some exercise in before he wakes, I put on my ipod, turn up the volume and go for it. Sometimes its fast, sometimes its slow, sometimes I stop and just listen to the birds and enjoy as much peace as a park in London can offer. As we head home, baby normally awakes and asks how my session went (OK, he doesn't actually ask, but I tell him) and then we are done. The rest of the day is free to completely devote to baby. I feel refreshed, energised and so much better about myself and my job as a mum.
And that is the beauty of running. Whatever doctors, trainer manufacturers, physios like to tell us, we are meant to move our bodies. It is part of our natural flight or fight defence. It is what makes us feel alive and powerful. It is like anything in life worth having, hard work at the start, but so worth the effort.
And when two runners pass each other nearly always there is an acknowledgement, a nod, a grimace or a smile, more often than not a brief hello. We are part of a secret club, there are millions of members, we are an easy to please bunch, anyone is welcome, you only need a pair of trainers. Come on join in!