Because I Can

11 Comments 18 September 2012 / by

For those who know me through this blog, or from The Urban Mama, or twitter or other social medias, already know that I’m taking it seriously about running now. After 6 months of continuous and routine runs every other day since I gave birth to my second child, I can feel and reap the benefits from it. I like how it changes my body, my mood, even how I become more energized to tackle my duty as employer, a mom and a wife.

However, people do ask me, why I choose to run, and not other sports? Why pushing myself so hard for it? And so on and so forth. So let me tell you why I’m running..

With 2 kids, I barely have time for myself. So I wake up earlier, so I can have my morning runs on my scheduled run day.

My days are started with me waking up at dawn, preparing myself to go for a 30-min morning run, when I’m scheduled to run. By the time I come back, I spent at least another 10-15 minutes on stretching (important part of running, cannot skip this!). Then if my kids are already awake (usually by 7.30AM), I made sure that Naia is having her breakfast. Hubby is usually ready to leave for work and play with Neishia for a bit before he goes off. If Naia had her good days, it would be easy. She’d eat her breakfast on time, finish within 20 minutes then off she goes to take a shower. In practice, does not always happen that way. She’d prefer to do things her way, bargain to watch more TV or play with iPhone before taking her shower, bargain not to go to school (“I like Neishia, I want to be with Neishia instead of my friends“), picky about her breakfast (“I don’t like this, I want that!“), refuse to take her shower (“showering is no good, i don’t like!“) then spent 10 minutes in the shower, playing with soaps and bubbles. It’s all normal. So, I have about an hour or so to ensure she’s ready, while I’m also getting ready for work. This whole time, I had to hand Neishia to my maid, where Neishia would usually playing cheerfully or having her breakfast too.

Once Naia is done, it’s usually around 8.30-8.40AM, I’m also done and off we go! I dropped her at daycare on my way to work. I reached the office by 9.15-9.20AM, read my emails while having my breakfast (I usually starved by then!), attend a meeting if I have to (while chowing my breakfast as fast as I could before the meeting), and rushing to finish one work to another. I had my lunch at around 1PM for 30 minutes and spend another 30-45 minutes in the nursery room, pumping. Return to the office by 2.30PM the latest and just work work work until 5.50PM. If the work is not finished, I just take my laptop from the dock, and snatch my purse, my expressed milk in fridge-to-go then drive fast to pick up Naia from her daycare. At home, I spend time to play with Neishia a bit while trying to handle Naia’s request for dinner or play in the playground. In the meantime, I turn my laptop on and connect to the office’s network. I don’t sit and continue my work yet, but will monitor if there are any urgent requests that comes in.

Sometimes, if I have to, I’d go and cook for dinner or at least Naia’s dinner, while she’s in the playground with my maid and Neishia. Once she’s back and taken her shower, it’s dinner time for the kids. Usually hubby is back from work already so I will attend Neishia while hubby attends Naia to finish dinner.

By 8PM, kids are all full. Naia is usually playing with her toys, “read” her books or watch TV, while hubby and I catch up at the dining table, eating our dinner. Neishia is either asleep or sat with us in the dining table. Sometimes she’s being changed to pajama by my maid.

By 8.30PM, we’re done with dinner so I can breastfeed Neishia to sleep. If she still wants to play, either my maid would hold her while I continue to work or I play with her, while Naia plays with her dad or vice versa.

By 9PM, Naia is preparing to go to bed. Brush her teeth (sometimes with me, sometimes with her dad), change into pajamas. By 9.30PM we are all in bed, me with Neishia, hubby with Naia, reading to her and telling bedtime stories till she falls asleep. By 10PM, kids are usually sound asleep. Hubby would watch TV while I would continue to work if I have to, or also watch TV with hubby, or if I’m too dead tired, just fall asleep.

So tell me.. when would I be able to squeeze in time to go to the gym, take a yoga class or pilate class or whatever it is I can do to exercise? The easiest way is just to not do any workout at all, isn’t it?

Yet, I refuse to live that lifestyle with no workout planted in the routine. I need to prioritize that working out should be part of my routine, so the only workout that is most effective, where I can do within short period of time and with the most calories burned is.. running! And I can only do it in the morning. Because I can just walk out of the building, and voila, the running track is in front of me! And it all fits my schedule.

Sometimes I do go for an afternoon run after work, this usually can be done only when I don’t have to continue work from home.

When only Naia was around, I struggled to fit a workout session in my routine by going to the gym. Sometimes I run on the weekend, but I made all the excuses of not going too long because I don’t want to leave Naia alone. I learned the lesson that 30 minutes every other day for me to do my own thing, is okay. The kids won’t miss me too much. If anything, it should be a positive example for them.

A few of my old friends ask me why do I want to push myself so hard and running the distance I’m running now. My running schedule is 2x 5km run on weekdays, and 1 long run (min 8-10K) on a weekend, usually on Saturday morning. For me, I think the schedule is pretty reasonable. It’s not like I’m really pushing myself. It just takes discipline to keep on that schedule. And I intend to keep it because I want to be healthy.

The reason why I insist to include a workout routine on my lifestyle, merely because I want to be a fit mother. My daughters deserve a healthy mom and I need the energy to keep up with them and my demanding jobs. As a mom with a very minimum support at home, I cannot afford to be sick. So being fit and healthy is the only option.

I want to be there, fit and healthy for my kids, until they grow up. I want to be there, fit and healthy, when they graduate from college, when they marry their soulmate, when they have a child of their own. I want to be able to carry my own grandchild one day, play in the park with them and still have the energy to do more.

So, all of this, I do not do just for me. Yeah I keep saying it that I need that 30 minutes to keep my head sane, as a me-time. True, it’s a me-time while I run, but in my head I keep reminding myself that I’m doing this for my family, for my kids. It’s a constant battle on my head – Do I wake up for a morning run or back to sleep? Do I stop or continue for another kilo when I run? ? Do I slow down or up my pace? It never ends. But I do reap the benefits from it.

That is why when I try to motivate a bunch of my friends to start working out (doesn’t have to be running, could be anything) it saddens me to hear their answers.. they gave all those excuses I used to use for myself. From being too lazy, can’t find the time, to saying that at the end of the exercise, all they want is to eat, so what’s the point? Well, nothing comes in an instant. Yes, you won’t see the results of what you are doing now right away, but if you are consistent at doing it, you will see how it transforms you.

From the beginning, I never aim to lose weight. I know that if I take care of my body well, exercise and eat well, my body will take care of me. It will reduce its size by itself, and stay healthy for me.

Hey I’m not an athlete, so I won’t race and train like an athlete would. Running is a high impact sport, so I be careful about doing it. I don’t want to overdo it so I would injure myself. So i keep it moderate, as to what I can do and how my body can handle it.

I run because I want to. I run because I want to be healthy. I run because I owe it to my kids to be healthy. I run because my kids deserve a healthy mom. I run because I can.

What’s your excuse?

Psst.. btw, I do other sports too other than running, like pilates or swimming. Not as often and scheduled as running, for the same reason that it will take me longer to finish a session of swimming or pilates, than running. So I do them only on my rest days.

Your Comments

11 Comments so far

  1. Bonnita says:

    Hi Shinta.. salam kenal ya.. I admire your determination!! i wish i could be more like you. Schedulenya ketat banget.. Tapi emang sih berasa kalau di kantor kalau sibuk jadi kerja terus dan at the end of the day merasa senang karena udah accomplished banyak hal. Kalau lagi nganggur bawaannya jadi males.. malah gak accomplish anything.. sama halnya dengan daily life.. kalo kebanyakan waktu luang malah jadi males, kalau dikit waktu malah end-up do more.. 🙂 hehe

  2. sherlie says:

    Slesta, i’ve been ur silent blog for years now and never had the urge to post a comment. I have always lame excuse to work out. my best friend has been kicking my ass drag me to the gym but it never happen..
    Our schedule is almost the same but my 3yo son sleeps at 11 or 11.30pm! I’m not a morning person so wake up at dawn is a struggle for me coz I used to work when after my son sleep up to 1 or 2 am.
    Not healthy, eh? I guess I really have big willing to do so.
    I love running since my teens years.
    Tapi sekarang mulainya yg males..and reading ur blog its like hitting the wall..
    mesti mikir gmn mulainya neh.. Lame me.. 🙁

  3. sLesTa says:

    @bonnita: thank you! i’m sure you can too.. if i can do it, i’m sure everyone can too 🙂

  4. sLesTa says:

    @sherlie: it’s not lame, you just need motivation. when i only had my first child, i made all the excuses not to do it. now, i refuse to make all the excuses. i just have to get on it. believe me, i’m also not a morning person. but i was determined to include an exercise routine in my lifestyle, that’s why i made sure i have it done, even though i would drag myself to wake up in the morning, i even sleep wearing my running attire so that i can get up and just go for a morning run..hahah!

  5. Windy says:

    Thank you,.. you’re so inspiring,.. reading this article, and your article in TUM really boost my motivation to work out so can be healthy for me and my family.
    Same as you, I am also working mama with two children, a toddler and a baby, seem so impossible to work out in my tight schedule.
    Now,i start to do my work out, which is spinning at gym beside my office,in my break time 12-1 PM, 3 times a week. It really hard to start, since i use to go to mall or having lunch with my friends,or go to cafe, or other much more interesting activity at that break time, than just spinning in the gym, but i always put in my mind what i read in your article that i do this for my family, my kids, my beloved hubby.
    Maybe i haven’t reap the benefit yet (its still my second week do the routinity, haha), but at least finally i start to work out after so long time of laziness (hoho), hope i can maintain the spirit and reap the benefit as you do! 🙂

  6. Fairy says:

    Hey Shinta, you are one hot mama, that’s for sure. Your girls are cute too, they’re lucky to have a mom who takes good care of herself as much as she does them! Keep up with the running, let’s run a race together some time. 🙂

  7. sLesTa says:

    @windy: yay! semoga bisa keep up ama schedulenya ya. they say, the hardest part is to start, tapi menurut gue for us moms, it’s even harder to maintain the schedule, soalnya dengan kesibukan kantor plus ngurus rumah, bener2 suka gak punya waktu untuk itu. tapi kalo emang determined to keep it, pasti bisa!

    @fairy: aww.. thanks for visiting and for your lovely comments. whenever you are in SG, call me up, ya! would love to meet and run with you too..

  8. crey says:

    Well written, shin 🙂 thanks for inspiring ya… Yang paling berat pas mau mulainya itu ya, but then bener lama2 badannya yang nagih…

    Btw, you rock! 😀

  9. sLesTa says:

    thank you, crey! bener banget, the hardest part is to start. all mama runners out there rock! cuz it’s not easy to find time in between taking care of your babies and home. so yeah, you rock too!! 🙂

  10. lativa says:

    Hai Shinta, salam kenal…
    Saya bener-bener berterimakasih karena tulisan ini yang bikin saya ‘memaksakan’ diri untuk olahraga. I mean, if a working mom like you is able to squeeze running in your daily routine, then there is no excuse for me to not do the same. Thanks for your share ^_^

  11. sLesTa says:

    lativa: yay! memulai itu yang paling susah. setelah itu pasti bisa kok squeeze waktu untuk lari, lama2 nagih krn jadi me time yang menyenangkan!

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a worker by choice, a mother and a wife by nature / owner of / co-founder of the urban mama / the urban muslimah | email: slesta[at]slesta[dot]com

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