Words of wisdom (?) whether running or breastfeeding by Lakeshore Medical Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic




I am a runner.  Have been since I was really little.  Some families go on picnics; go fishing...we went running. All the time.  I am not good.  I am not fast.  But it's something I enjoy and it doesn't require anything but a pair of shoes and one foot in front of the other. That’s important  because if it required anything else, I would suck at it.  At 70 inches tall, I’m supposed to be able to play basketball and volleyball and whatever other sport at which tall people are supposed to excel.  I don’t. I am a menace at organized sports. 


 I was a really good cheerleading coach for over a decade though. I think if you combine cheerleader with runner and breastfeeding advocate you get this blog. Which I “wrote” when I was running and listening to the “Glee” soundtrack.


You know how social media lets you get to be good friends with people across the world, who you would totally hang out with if you were anywhere close to each other?  Well, several of those friends just started running.  And the (admittedly unsolicited) advice I'm tweeting sure sounds like the things I say to breastfeeding mothers. Here’s the some of my exercise-inspired comparisons:


The activity has health benefits. Plus, you are modeling behavior, for whomever it needs to modeled.


The first couple of weeks are hard.  Doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. 


Celebrate the journey:  Every day, every step is something to embrace and celebrate. 


Set reasonable expectations: embrace the experience, day by day.  Set long term goals but don’t let those be the only milestones you congratulate yourself for achieving.


Your friends will have different experiences than you:  That’s fine.  You aren’t doing this for them.


Pain means something is wrong:  You can expect it to be hard, and maybe you might feel like quitting and may be sore, but pain is not cool.


Embarking on any new adventure that requires time and energy also requires support. Find somebody to share the experience with you so they can be cheerleader and can give you that push when you need it.  And then pay it forward.


You don’t need fancy equipment:  You need your body and a good attitude.  Admittedly, I do have lots of fancy equipment that I don’t need.  I’m fine with that.


Don’t make important decisions while going uphill into the wind:  When it’s easiest to stop, you know, when you’re tired and it’s hard and you can’t go one more minute into that headwind, wait until you turn the corner and catch your breath before deciding what you can and cannot accomplish.


Attitude is everything: If you think it’s going to suck, it will.  If you think that you are strong and confident in your body, it goes much better.


Find your mantra:  My favorite is “I am deceptively strong.”  The one that has (unfortunately?) stuck with me though is the advice given to me at the 9 mile mark of a 15 mile race I was doing with my dad.  As I was complaining that we were going too fast (I was, he wasn’t) he said “shut up and run.” My mother however, has a nicer approach: “I figure it’s been a good day if I just cover the ground.”


Jenny Thomas, MD, MPH, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM


twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/LMCBreastfeed



Just a note:  my dad is an amazing athlete.  And both my parents are marathoners multiple times over.  I love them dearly. And my dad knows that I sometimes need motivation like "shut up and run."  He gets me.  Of course, I was right. I dropped out of that race because we were going too fast ;)


Another note:  this is the first post where I get to say "MPH."

Pictures from my last marathon...