The life of a mom is no doubt a busy one. Between getting kids ready for school, helping with homework, cleaning the house, cooking meals, and working to help contribute to the financial well-being of the family, finding time for yourself is really hard.
As a wife, mother of seven, freelance writer, and wannabe runner extraordinaire, I often find that my time spent running is confined to logging miles on the treadmill, around the neighborhood or nearby foothills during the dead of night — which is just what I need on most days.
But sometimes, a mom needs more than just the casual run or hurried up out-and back from her doorstep. Sometimes what she needs is to gather some other mom friends and head to the mountains for hours of mountain medicine.
Recently, I found myself needing a healthy dose of the higher altitudes, mixed with the crisp, cool air that only a mountainside lined with junipers, and aspens can provide. I also needed to be surrounded by friends who understood me, and who also craved adventure in the mountains.
So, I called on four good friends of mine who didn’t mind a 4:30 am wake up call, and together, we left our sleeping children at home (who collectively numbered 26) and headed for an adventure up Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountain Range.
As we made our way up the mountain, with our headlights illuminating the world around us, I couldn’t help but feel like a child again. The anticipation of adventure brought back the youthful me that had often been shoved down with the daily grind of motherhood.
With each step on newly fallen leaves, and as I reached higher heights that looked out over the valley below, I remembered what it was like to let go. My mind and body was reminded of the carefree girl who would hop over rocks, splash in puddles and stomp through snow.
I was even finding that I had a skip in my step that I often admire in my kids when we go on walks, and have wished many times to have again.
In no time, I was me again — the real me who is playful and happy, and who makes jokes without worrying about who thinks I’m funny or not. I was genuinely enjoying myself as I was reminded of the person I once was, and of who I want to be.
But it wasn’t just the carefree me that I was in search of as I ran through the mountain range, but of good company and understanding from women in my same mode of life. Over the course of the miles trekked that morning, we told stories of our children; we shared concerns, and did our best to figure out how to be better at something that is really hard to be.
As I made my way down the mountain, and during the drive home, I was happy and fulfilled. More than that, I was excited to see my husband and kids. I looked forward to being able to thank them for the time they gave me to find me again, and to figure out how to be a better wife and mom.
To think, all it took was going for a run in the mountains. And this mom can’t wait to go again.