Even as a young child, I have always been self-motivated. I am constantly setting goals in order to step outside of my comfort zone. Lately, my health and fitness goals have been on the back burner. My family had a pretty crazy couple of months and I had to shift my priorities around a bit. I still exercised, but not in the way that I needed to in order to function at my full potential. Those of you that workout on a regular basis know what I am talking about. If I am being honest with myself, and all of you, I was making up a list of excuses that were not justified. Today, my children became my motivation to lace up my running shoes and get back at it. While I constantly strive to inspire them, today they inspired me.


This morning, I told my family that I was finally going to go on a run. A few minutes later, I changed my mind. I knew it was going to be terribly hot and I also knew that my body was in no shape to deal with the run or the heat. For a long while, I was averaging about 20 miles a week and I was now down to 0. My legs have some catching up to do! I have been doing a little bit of strength training and yoga, so at least I have not been too lazy. However, I knew that a good run was going to challenge me to the core and I was not sure I had it in me today. In fact, I have not had it in me for the last month or so now.


As I was sipping my coffee, I announced that I was going to skip my run. I felt like enjoying my coffee and reading a book. A lazy Sunday morning is something I do not get very often, especially lately. My daughter quickly reminded me that I had been making a lot of excuses about running. Yes, she called me out! She also let me know that “excuses get you nowhere in life”. I was glad to learn that she actually listens to the words that come out of my mouth. However, those words stung knowing that they were coming out of the mouth of a ten year-old. They stung even more knowing she was right!


After my conversation with my daughter, my son came up to my with a copy of a Zig Ziglar book and told me that I needed to get out there and run. We have adopted, per my son’s request, a no stinkin’ thinkin’ mindset in our home. He recently discovered Zig and loves listening to his motivational speeches on YouTube. I have to say, he was right! I had adopted a negative attitude and had convinced myself it was much easier to make excuses versus conquer my fears.


There was no way I could not head out on my morning run at that point. What kind of example would I be setting for my kids? We always tell them that winners never quit and quitters never win. How could I just throw in the towel after all the work my husband and I have done to teach our children to never give up? So, I laced up my running shoes and hit the pavement. It was ridiculously hot and humid in the Florida sun, but I did it!

I was drenched in sweat and my lungs were burning. I wanted to quit at mile 3 and then again at mile 4. Again, I knew that I could not stop. There was no way I could walk in the door and tell my kids, especially my son, that I had quit. I knew I had to finish those 5 miles, regardless of how tired I was. I felt like my kids were running along side of me, motivating me to finish each mile. Each time my feet hit the pavement, I thought of my kids. I was running for them.


Lately, my children have become my motivation to be the best version of myself. As my daughter is entering her tween years, I want to be the best example that I can for her. My son is starting to develop into a little man and has a lot to learn about life. My husband and I have worked hard over the years to install good values in our children. We have always been their cheerleaders for anything that want to accomplish. I have to say, it is quite refreshing to have the tables turned.

There are days in which I feel like I have failed at this parenting gig. Today was not one of those days. This morning I felt like I was the best parent on the planet. The truth is, we are all the best parents on the planet in the eyes of our children. However, just like all of you, I need a reminder every now and then. That reminder couldn’t have come at a better time.

By Diane Foss