On Being a Role Model

Running a lot is my passion. It’s also my single greatest source of “mommy guilt.” I love my weekends in the mountains, testing my limits; exercising my heart and lungs and muscles and soul; and feasting on fresh air, views, and the expanse of nature.

Those weekends in the mountains also mean that I’m away from my twin 8-year-old daughters. They’re pretty good at letting me know how they feel about it too: “Are you running again, Mom?” or, upon seeing the weekly family calendar, “Mom, why can’t you be here when I wake up on the weekends?”

Now, I did stop working full-time outside the home so that I could spend more time with my girls, and I volunteer at their school—in their classroom, on the PTA board, on field trips, etc.—take them to swim lessons, join them on hikes with their Brownie troop (1.2 mi. in 55 minutes was brutal!), and just generally adore them.

I’ve also tried to include them whenever I can. They joined me at the Corral Pass Aid Station a few years ago to support runners at White River 50, and they helped my husband crew me at Black Canyon 100K. We also run(walk) 5Ks together, and they come with me to summer track sessions and do some of the drills.

But … I’ve wondered: Is it enough?

Yesterday, in one of the Mother’s Day messages from one of my girls, I think I found out.

For context, when Meg found out we were going to Arizona for me to run a 100K, she asked, “Why are you doing that when you couldn’t even run 50 miles?” First: OUCH! Second, it was a good question. I did DNF White River last year. I told her that it was because it was something I really wanted to do, and that I had learned a lot from that race that I thought would help me finished Black Canyon. And, I wondered if my message was heard … or understood.

In that Mother’s Day message, Abby listed adjectives she would use to describe me. One of them was, “Never gives up.”


YES! That’s a lesson I hope they both carry through their lives. While I’m certainly no Desi Linden, I love her statement: “Keep showing up.” Mine may be a little different, “Never give up,” but either way I think it’s about knowing what you want, making sure what you want feeds your passion and your heart and your soul, and then pursuing it—through the bumps and failures and challenges and successes. Because then you know who you are, and you know how strong you truly are.

I hope they never give up, keep showing up, and find their passion too.


By the way, I’m apparently also a cooker, a sleeper, and sneaky (so watch out!).


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