We are highlighting #motherrunner journeys over the next 2 weeks. In sharing these beautiful and challenging stories, we are reminded to move forward with compassion. Everyone’s experience with motherhood (and LIFE) is different… compassion for all mothers, mothers to be, mothers who have lost babies, and those trying to conceive. There is far more than meets the eye when it comes to judging another person. We hope reading the stories over the next two weeks moves your heart, inspires you to keep lacing up, motivates you to make time for yourself so you can be the best for others, and help another mother out whenever possible. We are stronger and better together.
I’m Becky Lavelle, I’m 42 years old, I’ve been married for almost 15 years and I have 2 children, a 6 yr old daughter Caitlin and a 3 year old son Evan. I was born in Minneapolis MN and grew up swimming competitively. I then attended LSU on a swimming scholarship and earned a BS in Kinesiology. I started racing triathlons during the summers in college and I turned Professional after I graduated in 1998. I then moved to California in 2000 after meeting my husband Brian at a triathlon training camp in Kona Hawaii. I raced triathlons professionally for 14 years, competing all over the world, was a member of the US National Team and in 2008 I was an alternate for the Beijing Olympic Games. I am now a stay-at-home mom, triathlon coach, race director, and avid runner.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us! Let’s get chat…
She.is.beautiful: When did you start running and what inspired you to start?
Becky: I did one season of HS track, mostly for the social aspect of it and I also did some running as cross-training when I swam at LSU. However I didn’t really start running seriously until after college when I became a Professional Triathlete. I definitely enjoyed swimming and biking much more than running for quite some time. It took my body awhile to morph from being a swimmer to being/feeling more of a runner… and with that change and improvement in my running ability came more confidence and more enjoyment with running.
SIB: If you ran before having kids, how has your relationship with running changed since becoming a mother?
Becky: Before kids I saw running as more of a ‘job’, something I had to do to make a living and compete at a high level. In a way I think I took the fitness (and the ‘high’) it gave me for granted. Since becoming a mom, I see it much more as a stress relief, a way to clear my mind and organize my thoughts, and a way to feel good (not only during a run, but after too!). It has become my #1 workout of choice. I feel like it’s the best full body workout you can get in the shortest amount of time, which is key for a busy mom. It’s also the only way my 3 year old will nap on most days, so the majority of my runs are with a jogging stroller!
SIB: What has been or is your biggest challenge with running since having children?
Becky: The biggest challenge has been not being able to go any time I want and not being able to run without pushing a jogging stroller. But I have learned to love and embrace the stroller… I get in a great workout AND my son gets his rest! It also probably makes me run more often than I otherwise would which is making me stronger and more fit.
SIB: What do you admire most about other moms?
Becky: I always admire how moms can juggle so many things and make it look easy, even if it doesn’t always ‘feel’ easy. It’s hard to be great at everything we do, but I feel like we all strive to do the best we can in every aspect of our life.
SIB: What is something you are proud of in your running and something you are proud of as a mom?
Becky: I am proud that I was able to make a living racing triathlons, something I loved to do and something that I hope will inspire my kids to pursue their dreams and work hard to achieve them. I’m also proud that I’m able to motivate myself to run as much as I do and that I can still push myself hard in training and racing.
As a mom, I am proud and blessed to be able to spend as much time as I do with my kids (even though some days are harder than others!). I’m also proud of the way I am helping raise them to be gracious and loving children. Sometimes I do question if I really know what I’m doing, or am I doing the right thing, especially with discipline. But I try to focus on making sure they know how much they are loved and cherished and how proud I am of them.
SIB:Fill in the sentence “I mom so hard I__________________”
Becky: I mom so hard I sometimes forget to make time for myself!
SIB: When you first started Jenny’s Light 5k and 10k, what was your goal in putting on the event?
Becky: My goal was to do something special to honor my twin sister Jenny and her love of running, while at the same time spreading awareness about perinatal mood disorders and raising money for the foundation my family and I started in her honor, jennyslight.org. It’s been a rewarding event and experience year after year. This will be the 9th annual run.
SIB: We are so grateful that you have taken such a devasting experience and turned it into something beautiful, drawing awareness and compassion towards post partum depression. How has this changed your own personal outlook on motherhood?
Becky: I lost my sister 3 years before I had my first child, so I was obviously very aware of postpartum mood disorders and hypersensitive to the fact that it could happen to me. Thankfully I was okay, but I did have many ups and downs throughout those first several months. It has made me much more receptive to the hardships of motherhood… it’s not all sunshine and roses, and that’s okay. It’s also okay to admit if you’re not feeling right and to ask for help. PPD is very common, but it is also treatable. Having gone through the loss of my sister has made me love and cherish my children more than I ever thought possible. They are such a blessing, and with my daughter I see Jenny living on in her in so many ways.
SIB: Postpartum Depression is a very real thing and we believe compassion and support is the best way to see through it. How would you like Jenny to be remembered/what did you love most about her?
Becky: I want Jenny to be remembered as the fun-loving, beautiful, talented and compassionate woman she was. Her laugh was contagious and her smile would light up a room. It’s hard to pick just one thing I loved most about her, but I loved the way she made everyone she met feel like they had known her for years. She also had an impeccable sense of style and always gave good advice. I miss her every day.
Jenny’s Light 5k and 10k takes place on Sunday May 14th, Mothers Day, in Vasona Park in Los Gatos. Learn more at: http://jennyslight.org . Join us and register at: https://racemine.com/jennys-light-in-partnership-with-supporting-mamas/events/2017/2017-jennys-light-510k-kids-fun-run#Event-Pricing