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“Mama, you need to start running.”

(this is my kind of running)

The Tornado & I were out ambling around Austin recently when she stopped abruptly, turned, looked at me and stated:

Mama, you need to start running.

Needless to say, since this sentiment was shared in her not soft five year old voice, it garnered more than a few horrified looks.

Horrified and, if I interpreted them correctly, Oh Ive been there, Sister!! glances.

I wasnt shocked.

It’s as we always talk about here:  the little people in our lives have ears and those little ears hear everything.

It wasnt until my public shaming  The Tornado’s remark I even realized I’d been walking around the house saying (to the husband. to myself. definitely not to her) I needed to start back running and not running a step.

In that public moment I had no answer and merely laughed her comment away.

The next morning (shes nothing if not tenacious) it started again. 

Mama when are you going to run?

Again I brushed her off, went about my morning routine and fully planned to plop my misfit arse happily on the recumbent bike with a trashy magazine.

Id be lying if I didnt share I thought to myself:

she’s 5. she’s not the boss of me.

But she persevered.

She strode purposefully up to me and announced:

OK Mama.  You’re going to wear this thing (she gestured wildly around my tatas which I assumed correctly was her sign for sports bra) & set up your camera on (more gesturing.  took me a while but this one was tripod) and film us so you can remember.

Still I continued with my morning routine.

Mama really. When are we going to run?

I did other stuff.  I ate breakfast.  Folded laundry.

Really Mama for how many minutes are we going to run? (her five year old voice grew loud with irritation. not unlike her mama’s when she knows she’s being purposefully ignored)

I think it was Oprah who once said (and I paraphrase) your life whispers to you and when you don’t heed it whispers louder until you do.

I know in my heart (I’ll spare you the rambling why) I need to start running.

My little person is shouting it.

And my world is whispering.

Loudly and generously.

(her repeated use of the word WE, when I know she’s not a fan of the boring no-purpose run, touched me beyond compare)

And Ive decided to listen.

So I ask you.

What’s your life whispering  these days?  And will today be the day you choose to listen?


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53 Responses to ““Mama, you need to start running.””

  1. Katie says:

    I love this.
    My world is whispering FOCUS.
    I need a Tornado to shout it for me, too.

  2. Helen says:

    This is not what I wanted to read this morning as it is your post which is whispering to me, Miz.

    Run less and be present at home more.

  3. bodynsoil says:

    Love the little tornado shouting in your ear the same thing life is whispering to you. Yes it is true that the little ones do have ears that hear everything and are willing to repeat said things at the worst possible moments it seems.

    I would like to run more myself, I even promised myself a 5K this year as motivation to no avail. Running isn’t my thing, I can do it but find the activity long and tedious when there are so many things I could be doing for cardio I enjoy more.. Like sitting on my recumbent bike with a trashy magazine.. LOL

  4. Evie says:

    I have always like that quote as I’ve found it to be true for me as well.

    My life is shouting I need to slow down and pay attention.

    I almost had a car accident this weekend :(

  5. Tara says:

    You really ran?

  6. Sydney says:

    My life is shouting so many things at me, Carla.

    I am spiraling in a sense and need to remember it is ok to listen to one shout at a time :(

  7. Miz says:

    more after I wrangle my morning but YES sydney. it really is about just stepping back and prioritizing for me and choosing one shouting voice at a time upon which to focus. small steps to bigger changes. xo

  8. Hannah says:

    I love the pictures here.

  9. MrsFatass says:

    Ah. What a beautiful post. What is my world whispering? I know. But I’m still folding laundry. For just a little while longer.

  10. Runner Girl says:

    It’s time to remove the earplugs.

  11. Crabby McSlacker says:

    I’m still tone-deaf to the whispering, but am at least starting to pay a bit of attention when life starts SHOUTING.

    Congrats for figuring out priorities and getting back to them!

  12. Joanna Sutter says:

    My life is SCREAMING at me to dial in my diet. I have had selective hearing. ENOUGH! GAME ON!

    (Great message, thanks Carla and E!)

  13. Andrew says:

    I love this post. She is a wise one that little tornado!

  14. Lindsay says:

    Some days I feel as though I can’t hear anything and I know my life is saying something!

    I would like the rambling please :)

  15. Jody - Fit at 53 says:

    First, I love the pics! Second, I love Tornado & all you have taught her. Third, yes, they do listen, hear AND understand at very early ages!

    I loved this post Carla. I don’t know why so much but I just did.. the whole learning on both sides.

    The whispers - they have been at me along time.. I have listened to some, took action, backed off, listened some more, did not pay attention.. shouts too & at times I could not handle the shouts or whispers. I am trying, I really am to listen to them all!


  16. shauna says:

    she’s looking out for you that kid :) and that is still one of the alltime favourite most brilliant photos ever :)

  17. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    This post makes me smile. Thinking about that little voice in your life. (Coincidentally I have a post ready to go, probably Thursday, about my much older son who picked up on something. Funny how kids do that.) I’ve actually started some “running” intervals again. Not a lot, not every day. My goal is just to kick it up a notch. That’s been whispering in my head for a while now.

  18. Helen DoingA180 says:

    I’ve had selective hearing going on for a while now which is easier for me than you as I have no Tornado to yell at me. After a while though, even not listening doesn’t work and exhaustion sets in. Time to do what needs to be done.

  19. Healthy Mama says:

    It may sound silly, but my world is whispering save.


  20. addy says:

    I spent the entire afternoon yesterday finding things to do to avoid the whispers. Wasted many hours that way.

  21. Erica says:

    haha…wow! They are so smart…its just incredible. My heart wants to MOVE period. I know its only been a week…I just am terrible at sitting still…

  22. Mere says:

    This is really timely for me as recently I’ve not been able to shake the sense many of my interactions are trying to tell me something.

    And it is always the same thing, Miz.

    Today I listen.

    Love you!

  23. Dr. J says:

    Exactly when do kids get out of the house and go off to school in Austin?

  24. Stacie says:

    My world is shouting for me to discover my passion.

  25. messymimi says:

    Mine is whispering, “Get more done! You are so far behind!”

  26. Ryan @NoMoreBacon says:

    You have an audible conscience? That’s the best/most annoying gift that any of us could ever ask for. It’s one thing to completely push the THOUGHTS to the back of our brains, but to actually hear words on a daily basis… Wow.

    My whispers aren’t all that quiet. Something I know I need to make happen but keep avoiding. I’m listening more closely now.

    Thank you.

  27. Deb says:

    My life is shouting at me (in whispers) to FEAR NOT. And yet I fear, still.

  28. Kerri O says:

    LOVE this. It’s amazing sometimes where our little nudges come from. Lately my life has been whispering, no shouting, a few things. This time around I’m paying attention ;)

  29. Tazzie says:


    My life is screaming for me to just start.

  30. Shelley B says:

    I think it’s really sweet that she wanted to run with you. I’d say you’ve been a good role model for her, but it looks like the roles were reversed in this instance! That’s when you know they really ARE listening to everything.

  31. Yoga Lover says:

    LOL at the sports bra gesturing ;-)

  32. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    Awesome post! I’m getting conflicting messages from my inner Cammy, but I’m still listening and trusting it to sort itself out!

  33. DubyaWife says:

    What a great kid and bravo to you for recognizing her voice as your “second conscience.”

    DubyaKid and i have started running too. I’m hoping she gets addicted to it as I have and starts begging me to run.

  34. Lori says:

    Children can be as much role models for adults as vice versa.

    My little voice is saying to knock off the snacking, and I have been ignoring it a little bit.

  35. Foodie McBody says:

    Aw! I love that Tornado so much. I love the “how many minutes.” How about one minute? That’s a wonderful and beautiful place to start. Then two. Etc.

  36. Maya says:

    I need to put my family first.

  37. Kennedi Rose @ Face and Fitness says:

    What a great story.

    What’s my world whispering? Great question. Probably “wake up earlier,” “exercise more” and “keep your focus.”

  38. Faith says:

    Make yourself a priority.

  39. Drazil says:

    First of all - love the tutus. I bought my daughter a rainbow colored one this weekend.

    Second - my whisper? Is THIS blog post - because I need to start running too…so thank you.

  40. Heather says:

    So cute!!! I need to get back to my elliptical and yoga. I’ve been working hard on packing my breakfast and lunch for the past week and that’s been great, but I need to get moving!!!

  41. Myra says:

    My life was whispering that it was really time to get serious. “life has no remote, you have to get up and change it yourself”. I was hiding out under my body. For the last month I wake up every morning and ride 5 miles and Zumba 3 times a week. I’m changing.

  42. Quix says:

    Adorable! Heh, I had to pay someone to tell me that just because I’m an athlete doesn’t mean I can eat crappy and not gain weight. Working on that now…

  43. Yum Yucky says:

    Shhh! I just can’t make out whispers over the child-shrieks and demanding peoples up in here. [insert "feel sorry for me" here]

  44. charlotte says:

    Haha - am laughing at Yum Yucky’s comment. Shrieking is definitely the MO around here. But when I really listen I think the whispers are telling me to spend more time listening to the little shriekers… then perhaps they wouldn’t feel like they had to shriek.

  45. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting says:

    I could really use a visit from you and Tornado as my personal cheerleaders. Please let her know that her mother makes my day. xo

  46. Christina says:

    Your tornado should come to NY and run with us in the heat! I’ve started listening to those “yelling voices” and really gotten my a$$ in gear! I missed the gym for 2 months but I’m back! I did 24 hardcore workouts over a period of 30 days! We all need chearleaders though, yours is the tornado, mine is my hubs reminding me about vacation (aka shopping).

  47. Pippa * Jeanne says:


    Oh, WOW.

  48. FatFighterTV says:

    She’s amazing! Can you have her whisper loudly a few things to me please???

  49. Patty @A Day in My NYC says:

    She is the CUTEST running partner! :)


  1. Friday Five Favorites — Prior Fat Girl - 12. Aug, 2011

    [...] Mama, you need to start running: because life is whispering, when are you going to hear it? [...]


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