I’m pretty thin size-wise. Lots of people would call me skinny. I don’t mind though. When I was in high school and dealing with the fact that I had no curves and all my friends who did went out with all the cute boys, my mom said, “People pay lots of money to look like you.” Well, it gave me just the boost that I needed and the pride in my genetic gift stuck.

After my daughter was born I decided to try running and fell in love. I am not a major athlete but I really enjoy my runs. Now with 2 kids and the much busier life that comes along with them, running is usually the only time I am truly by myself. It is my time with God. I pray and I listen. It is my time to get grounded. So when I don’t get to run, I can get a little off kilter. I recently read an article in the March 2010 issue of Runner’s World magazine (www.runnersworld.com) by Kristina Pinto describing her week without running because of a sprained ankle. The thing I love about the story is how she describes the look of fear on her husband’s face when he realizes the emotional toll it will have on her and the subsequent wrath the rest of the family might endure. I laughed the whole way through because that could be me. When work has been overwhelming or I’ve just had to miss my runs because of weather or a meeting, something about me changes. I can’t quite put it into words, but my family knows. My kids know. Mark knows. And when I’ve reached a certain point, Mark will just say, “Why don’t you go for a run?” It’s his way of suggesting I need some “me” time. In other words, I’m being a grouch! By now I get the hint and go change into my running gear and hit the door.

This week on my run I had to stop for some road construction. One of the road crew gave me a look and I smiled my guarded female runner smile. But he was kind and just wanted to let me know I needed to cross the street and he stopped traffic for me. As I was preparing to cross, he said, “You running to build muscle? ‘Cause you already small.” I just replied, “Yea!” As I was running away, I heard him yell to the other workers. “She runnin’ to build muscle!” It almost felt like a big brother making sure his little sister wasn’t getting out of balance. I smiled. I don’t think of myself as running to build muscle, but I guess building mental muscle counts!