Running is a challenge. It’s physically painful and mentally exhausting. It seems like such a natural way to move our bodies, but at the same time it can feel so absurd when there’s no need for us to travel in that way anymore. Like most of us, you’ve been in the middle of a training session or race and thought “Why am I doing this?” And when we aren’t telling ourselves how hard running is, our friends and family are sure to do it for us. “You’re crazy.” “Why don’t you just go to the gym?” “Isn’t running bad for you?”
Now that we all agree how difficult running can be, let’s add a few things on top of all that. Suppose you have five children, all demanding your attention and draining your energy resources throughout the day before you get in a workout. Now add working fulltime on top of that. How about running in 85 °F weather? Let’s say you do this with a long skirt, long sleeve shirt, and a headwrap. And by the way, you’re running fast enough to qualify for an Olympic marathon spot.
This is exactly what running is like for Beatie Deutsch. Beatie grew up in New Jersey in an Orthodox Jewish family. Shortly after high school she went to study in Jerusalem. She fell in love with the city and never looked back. Now she lives there with her husband and five children, managing everyday motherhood with working toward her Olympic dream. Beatie left us with some wonderful advice on motherhood, training, and her secret to her success. Read on!
Beatie considers herself a new runner, with only four years under her belt and already competing on a global level. She really started to take off in the middle of raising her family, and at one point had four children in six years. Like so many of us, being a mother comes first. And although running is now her job, that wasn’t always the case. Balancing work with motherhood and selfcare took everything she had.
There are two pieces of advice Beatie gives to those with kids. “Your kids read off your energy,” says Beatie. She reminds us that kids are resilient, that we don’t need to worry quite as much as we do, and that if you are calm and relaxed, then your kids won’t be as likely to be anxious or stressed either.
Secondly, Beatie says that our kids only have one mom. “Those years go by so quickly, and you don’t get them back,” she says. Whatever stage of child raising you might be in, it’s a great reminder. Take time to watch your children play or fall asleep and take a mental picture. Those moments are precious and rare.
Feeling Comfortable as a Woman
So much of feeling empowered as a woman today has to do with how we look and what we wear. That isn’t a bad thing! “There’s not just one way for a woman to feel comfortable,” says Beatie, “Beauty is in diversity.”
Sometimes it may feel that showing off your body and getting rid of your insecurities about how you look in a bikini or a sports bra is the only way to feel empowered. If that is what makes you feel like a strong woman, then you go for it!
This is a simple reminder that empowerment comes from within, with making decisions that you feel confident in no matter who is looking. If that means wearing a tank top, leggings, a hijab, a skirt, a sports bra, or any other thing, then that is beautiful. There isn’t one way to feel beautiful, comfortable, or empowered.
You’re Capable of More Than You Know
Beatie’s faith has given her a lot of strength in her running. Your ability to get better day after day is much more mental than physical, and working on your self-beliefs can help you get further than you ever thought possible. “Don’t doubt yourself,” says Beatie, “The power of your mind is really incredible.”
Beatie’s last advice is to keep taking baby steps, and she means baby steps. When running 200 splits, she’ll often only see 0.2 second improvements week to week, but they are still improvements. Remember, running is a challenge, and each baby step forward should be celebrated. Keep moving forward and find joy in running.
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Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Tracksmith, Athletic Greens, and City Fit Girls for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.
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You already know one of the founders of City Fit Girls, Takia McClendon, who founded this business with Kiera Smalls. They built this group to make people feel welcome, inclusive and to feel like they all belong no matter what your fitness level is. They provide a strength club online, that has simple, efficient and effective workouts for just $10 a month and you can cancel at any time. They have online coaching who can tackle your specific fitness goals with you.
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Thank you to Beatie, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.