Daily Chatter

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fitting It in?

Like many of you, I read a lot of blogs.  One thing that I read repeatedly is how each of you "fit it in."
I don't want to just "fit it in". 
I don't run each day to simply prepare for the next race.  In fact, I honestly wouldn't need to race very often at all.  I run every day because I enjoy it.  I run because I need to take care of the body I have been given.  I run because I need time to reflect on my day, to focus my thoughts on others, to quiet my mind and pray.  I run to show my children an active healthy lifestyle.  I run because I am a person beyond the roles I play in the friends and family's lives.

Running fills a place inside me that is essential not optional

I wonder why so many feel that running or fitness in general is something to be done when we "have time."  Something to be fit in around all the other things in our lives. 
Why is taking care of ourselves considered a luxury instead of a requirement?
Why must I choose between time with my family and time for my health?  Why do people say that I am choosing between the two? 
 I am not. 
I am not choosing to take time from my family to exercise. 
I am choosing to give some of the time I am given each day to making myself a better person so that I am more able to give myself to my family and friends.
Why is it so often seen the other way?

Is this distinction because unlike love that we share with our families, our time is a limited commodity?
If I give love to one child it doesn't lessen the amount I have for another child.
But when I give time to myself each day it is viewed as taking away time from family.
When I get a shower or brush my teeth or have my hair cut or go to the doctor, no one ever tells me I am taking time away from family.  When I scrub the floors or wash my car or clean the bathroom or cooks meals, no one ever tell me I should not be doing that because it's time I should spend with my family.

I wonder.
When in a lifetime does a person lose the ability, luxury, privilege to use some of the time they are given each day on themselves? 
  Doing enriching healthy activities that make you a better person;  isn't that part of what a life is for?

Your thoughts, please.


  1. I'm bookmarking this and coming back to it often. Every word you have written here is 100% true.

    Now I just need to remind myself of it more often :)

  2. i think when I say fit it in, i mean i'm working 80 hours a week and dealing with a personal situation, I want nothing more than to run so I have to carve out that special time, but it isn't always easy

  3. You are very wise. All of us grasshoppers have much to learn from you.

    Although I'm not married nor do I have kids, I totally agree with you. If I want to be the best me, I have to take the time to take care of me. And one of the ways I do that is by running or going to the gym. "Fitting it in" for me means setting aside the time for pursuing what makes me happy - running - during the busy workweek and social time. I need the time to rebuild what I've lost - the patience, the calm, me. So, I hope once I'm busy with a husband and kids, I'll already have a schedule of taking care of me. That way, there won't be any question of "fitting it in" when it comes to my family.

    Run on.

  4. I agree!
    I also think that if we have to "fit it in" and it is very difficult to do so, then we might need to re-evaluate our situation. I do the same thing with God. If I'm fitting Him in and having trouble doing so, then my life is too busy and I should be able to change some things around.
    We are not always as much victims of our circumstances as we might think.
    I know that some people have very very busy lives with jobs and kids and those things aren't always easily rearrangeable, but on days when I feel like that, I know that "often" I have the choice to make some changes to my schedule or my life to get out of it what I want.
    From giving up tv to working less and not being able to have as many new clothes or afford a new car, they are all choices that give me more TIME...and TIME is precious!

  5. totally agree!
    i like this post. its very honest.

  6. Amen! You have it so right..not sure where all the guilt comes from or why people consider taking care of themselves selfish. A mindset change is in order!

  7. I think others see it as selfish, because they do not understand all of the benefits. Yes, taking time for yourself, may or may not be time away from your family, but you need to enrich the soul. Everyone has their own ways of doing it. For some it's running. For some it's reading. It can really be anything. No one should ever have to sacrifice the things that make them complete. And in a perfect world the people you surround yourself with would understand that.

  8. The way I see it, running is just as crucial to looking after ourselves as going to check-up sta the doctor, cooking healthy food, keeping the house (relatively) clean.

    When I take the time to run, I feel it enriches all other aspects of my life and makes me a better person.

  9. LOL - I fit my life around my fitness activities. Some people may think I have my priorities screwed up, but it's what I have to do. ;)

  10. You were right -- I loved the post. :) Great thoughts.

  11. Running is jus one way I take time to tend to myself: I also have other interests and methods of relaxation, so I make sure it's a part of my regular life, but it doesn't HAVE to be a part of my everyday life.

  12. For me, it's more a terminology issue. Running is something I do at least 4 times a week. I have specific goals each week and each run (even if the goal is just to enjoy an easy run - that's my goal for that run). But, I do have to "fit it in". Will it be during preschool? After school? On the treadmill while the kids play wii? It's just a matter of figuring out each days schedule. Heck, some days ahem*yesteday*ahem I don't manage to "fit in" a shower or lunch. So, I'm not flexible about it happening, I'm just flexible about when.

  13. like everyone else i like this post :)

    "Running fills a place inside me that is essential not optional. " EXACTLY :)

  14. Some people aren't as focused as you and don't understand the importance. I am doing this Biggest Loser thing at work...oh if you heard the excuses!

    But there's the opposite extreme where we do too much and get injured... grr.

    Happy Weekend, girl!!

  15. Shelly. I say. Amen.
    To. All. Of. What. You. Said.

    This is the best post I have ever read regarding this topic.

    The only thing I may squeeze in.....I do try [out of convenience to the rest of my life] ;) to try and get my run in early. If I can't, I don't feel bad...I have noticed that when I make an effort to run early [in the quiet/alone hours]. I somehow feel even better. ?!

  16. I just think you're amazing. If there was one blog that I look forward to reading it's yours. You motivate me to be a better runner, person, mother, wife...

    I TOTALLY agree with you 100%. It's like I tell my husband, how can you take care of your family if you don't take care of yourself? You have to take care of yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, etc if you're going to take care of anyone else.