Last week, I decided to start training for a half marathon that will take place in New York City in April. There are a few things that factored into my decision, but the greatest reason was a desire to finally put my health first in the New Year. I have two young children and lately I can’t help but to feel like I am letting them down. I have been eating whatever I want, and like so many other people, I have a gym membership that I never use. It’s unfortunate, but I recognize that I have fallen into the trap that so many busy parents fall into. I have been failing to put my health first.
Training for such a long race won’t be easy, but I know I am capable. I am thrilled about making a decision to take care of myself, push myself, and set a goal to accomplish something major. What’s even more exciting is that after a recent conversation with my husband, we have decided to train and run in the Baltimore marathon in October— yep, 26.2 miles. It’s crazy. And I have to admit; I am shocked that my husband agreed to join me on this journey. He’s been struggling with putting his health first and this is a major decision for him as well. They say, “go hard or go home,” so I guess we have both decided to go hard in 2014.
This decision to put ourselves first is not only going to benefit each of us on an individual level, but it is going to strengthen our marriage and our family. When I think about our son and daughter cheering us on as we cross the finish line, it makes my heart happy. When I think about having more energy to play with them and participate in activities with them, I know that it will have such a positive impact on their childhood and who they become as adults.
When children see their parents set and accomplish major goals it has an incredible impact on them. There is something so meaningful about seeing the people you admire and love most doing something difficult in order to better their lives. This is a message I want to instill in my kids. I want them to know that even when something is difficult, they can still accomplish it. I want them to know that there is never, ever an excuse to neglect their health, because without your health your entire life begins to suffer.
I am not a mind reader, so I don’t know how 2014 will play out, but I do know what I have in store for my family and myself. I do know that I will do everything in my power to successfully complete this half marathon in April and this full marathon in October with my husband. I think training for this race together will challenge us in so many ways, but I truly think it will also change us and stir up something wonderful in our marriage and within our family unit.
I know that resolutions are cliché, but this is about a lot more than making a resolution. This is about assessing the current state of your health and asking yourself what you want your family’s future to look like. Do you want your children burdened with taking care of you in their teens and early twenties purely because you neglected your health? Do you want to run the risk of changing your two-parent household into a single-parent household because one of you leaves this earth prematurely?
I hope you take a moment to think about where you are and where you want to be, individually and as a family, and I hope you are blessed with the will, courage, and strength to accomplish whatever you want to accomplish in 2014 in an effort to put your health first. This is the hope that I have for my family and myself. Whether you want to walk a 5k, change your diet, run a marathon, take up cycling, or explore a Zumba class — just make it happen. Do something that will make you proud of yourself, while also making your family proud too. There is no time like the present to get your health on track and make your family stronger.
BMWK Family, what are you doing to put your health first in 2014?