How Running Saved Me From Facing My Worst Nightmare

Do you remember one of my first posts on here?  It spoke of my reasons for starting my journey.  The biggest reason was the fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my speedy toddler.

By his first birthday he was well adjusted to walking (he started at 8.5 months) and had nearly mastered running.  I remember chasing him down our hallway (our very short hallway) and getting winded.  It scared me.  I had the realization that some day soon my son would be fast enough to get away from me.  What would I do if I couldn’t catch him?  What if he wriggled away and ran in front of a car because I couldn’t react quickly enough because I was too out of shape?  I needed to do something so that I could commit to being the best mom I could be.”

On this sunny Saturday I faced that fear head on and I am forever grateful that my maternal intuition led me to the life I’m living today.  Without it, that Saturday could’ve been the worst day of my life.

We were having such a fun day, we started our day together at the diner with a mommy son breakfast date.  Connor is growing so much and spending alone time with him has been such a joy.  

We chatted about his likes and how we were going to have so much fun at the park later.  It was the start to a perfect day.

We joined my friend and her daughter for a play date at the Cass Park playground and followed it up with a walk around the waterfront trail.  All was fine and I let Connor walk freely by our side,  he’s gotten much better at listening and slowing down when I ask.

I didn’t let him get too far ahead of us (maybe 15 feet) and was mindful of our surroundings.   The busy road was far off in the distance and the path we were on didn’t lead directly to it. 


But, just as he should have been turning to cross the bridge he decided to change course and cut into a sprint.  Before I knew it he was straight on his way to the busy road and my calls for him to stop were pointless–he wasn’t listening.

It happened so fast.  I didn’t have time to think–I dropped everything in tow and sprinted after him.  He thought it was hilarious as he looked over his shoulder to see mommy chasing him.  It was a game to him and he ran even faster without looking ahead.

I reached him just in time.  He was within a foot or two from the road as I grabbed his shoulder. 

My heart was in my throat. 

We had just dodged a bullet and I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  I know it might sound like I was being a careless mom, but he really wasn’t too far ahead and I never expected him to sprint off like that.  

I’ve never been a fan of the idea of putting your child on a leash, but on a day like that I wish I had!  I couldn’t help but think about how this fear is what really pushed me on my journey to become a runner. 

I have no doubt in my mind that if I hadn’t made a change 2 years ago the outcome of the day wouldn’t have been so lucky.

I know my body back then couldn’t have handled the sprint to catch him.  I wouldn’t have been fast enough–adrenaline can only go so far.  

Writing this post has my heart pounding!  It gives me such anxiety to think of what could have happened.  I’m actually nearly brought to tears thinking of what could have happened.  

I’m forever grateful that I changed my habits.  My son will forever keep me on my toes and I can only hope to keep training so that I can always keep up.  

Have you ever been in a situation like this?  Do you have speedy toddler on your hands?  What do you do to keep up with them?

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