Why running helps make me a better Mom

Today we’re hearing from one of our Apex Crew members, Pepper! Pepper is a wife, mom of 4 (3 kids + 1 puppy), coach and teacher living with her family in O’ahu, Hawaii. She finds joy in making her family happy and inspiring others to get out and move! In order to do these things well she takes her daily run/hike because “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”

Motherhood. Your heart will hurt the most but also feel like it will burst because there’s SO MUCH LOVE. I’ve experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It is so easy to lose yourself in the busyness and emotions of it all — being a full-time, working mom of three, plus a new puppy! The way I learned to find myself is by the daily run.

Running has been a space I can let go. No one is depending on me during that brief time. I let my body go and just run. Sometimes I push past comfortable and what I thought was possible. Sometimes there are happy tears because I push so hard and finish something I didn’t think I could do. Sometimes there are sad tears because something is bothering me in life, so I sprint with all my might, then stop and break down. It’s a release and it’s beautiful either way.

Running makes me a better wife, mom and teacher. It clears my mind – it’s quiet, you don’t hear all the noise. I feel like the cars and people are in fast forward when I’m looking down from the mountain but I’m on pause. I’m so removed from the daily flow. It helps me to realize what’s most important. That time belongs to me and God. I don’t have to run the farthest or fastest, I just have to do something and when I’m done, I miss my family.

The best part after a run is coming home to a dog that’s so excited she pees, kids rushing to hug me and yelling “mommy!” and my husband asking how it was. They missed me. It’s good to make your family miss you for a little bit. Whether I finished a race or just went for run or hike, I know they are proud to see a happy, energized, calm, confident and strong mommy. They may not know what all of those words mean but they see a superhero mommy full of love. I’m less snappy and more patient.

As they get older, I want to include them and teach them that every adventure you take will leave you with a story.  We have watched the sunrise and sunset on runs and hikes and enjoyed those moments together. I teach them to pause, find the animals in the clouds, look for whales in the ocean, count the ridges of the mountains. Be still. Take it in. We are creating memories together. What I want most in life is to be the best wife and mom I can be for my family and my daily run helps me do this.

To all you mamas or papas out there that are hesitant about running, just get out there for a moment.  Get out and start somewhere.  It doesn’t matter the speed or distance. You won’t regret it. It will bring out the best in you and the ones you love.



To keep up with Pepper and her family in beautiful Hawaii follow @thesaltypepper on Instagram (trust us, she takes the best photos).