cancer · Childhood Cancer Awareness Month · parenting · running · special needs parenting

How Becoming a Runner forced me into Self Care

This morning I needed a run.  My body and mind were craving even a few miles after 2 days off.  I texted Hannah  (have I mentioned lately how much I love technology), and asked if she would babysit so I could get a few miles in.

Once upon a time that was almost impossible for me to do.

I’m that mom.  If you aren’t one you know one.  I bust my tail to ensure that everyone else gets their needs met, and wind up with my needs in last place on the docket more often than not.

Believe it or not, cancer is what changed that.

When your child has needs that so completely exceed what you can provide you are forced to enlist help.  For me, running was the catalyst for that.

I started running in the first year of Ben’s cancer treatment after letting my needs slide down into an abyss. Thankfully my husband noticed and prompted me to change.

That change was more than a positive impact, it was transformative.   Not only did running improve my mood, coping and sleep, it was addictive. I swear by endocannabinoids for quality of life (yes, the human body produces cannabinoids upon exertion, so the runner’s high is a true high, similar to pot). 

Not only that, but the literal addiction was enough for me to advocate for myself, and ask for help so I could get a run in.  Nothing else had pushed me over that line.  So I learned to ask for help, because my craving for my runner’s high was the one thing I couldn’t deny myself.

Over time I have learned to apply that to other areas of my life.  Once I learned to ask and got positive results  (I’m pretty sure my family likes me better after a run), I was able to apply the ability to other areas of life.   It’s long overdue.

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