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My daughter and I running down a sand dune

The other night I took my daughter for a bike ride (she rode, I walked). Toward the end of the ride she wanted to go fast. So I started jogging alongside of her. Now this took her by surprise because I’ve spent most of her life saying running is not an option for me.

After spending four months on bed rest with my first, I’ve just never been quite the same. Though I’ve never enjoyed running, I swam on the varsity swim team in high school and was in very good shape.

I gained some weight after marriage and found myself a bit heavier after each kid. But the weight wasn’t really the problem. The problem was I didn’t feel strong. Because I wasn’t. Bed rest left me with a weak core. I easily hurt my back and ran out of breath. I went to physical therapy for my back and things improved but I still felt weak. I was on bed rest for five weeks with my second. After giving birth to my son, I experienced some lingering health problems that kept me from exercising for a good six months.

But about four months ago, I got brave. This introvert asked a relative stranger (another pastor’s wife from church) if she wanted to start walking with me. She said yes. And we’ve been walking together three times a week ever since. Not only have I gained a wonderful friend but I’ve started to feel my body getting strong again.

And the other night when I started jogging? My daughter yelled out, “Good job jogging mama! You’re so good at this. You should be in a race.” And I blinked back tears.

Because this mama has done a good job. And it’s lovely knowing my kiddo is proud of me. But more than that, I stood in awe of my gracious, compassionate, encouraging daughter who is always the first to cheer someone on.

Good job my sweet girl. Mama is so proud of you.

What’s something you’re proud of yourself or your kiddo for?