Why I Run

I get a lot of different responses when I talk about running. Some people think it’s really cool that running is something I do. Often times people get this look on their face like they want to say something rude, but are holding it in really, really well. Most of the time the response is “Oh, I hate running!” to which I always want to reply – “Me too!”

Truth is, I don’t feel that way about running. I actually love running a whole darn lot.

When I was sixteen I joined my high school’s cross country team because a friend wanted me to. The only thing I learned was that I was very bad at running. So bad that it would scar me for years and I wouldn’t even try it again until ten years later.

That time I was training for a 5K with some girls from work. I was at nearly my heaviest weight, but still trying. I never did manage to run a 5K without walking that time, but I still had some fun…I guess.

I feel like, with this story, the third time is the charm. I mentioned a little bit about it in my About Ash page, but I started running after I turned thirty. A couple of my friends and I started the Couch to 5K program and were keeping each other accountable through texts and Facebook. It was slow-going at first, but I remember the first time I was able to run five minutes without stopping. It was amazing. I was so impressed with myself and my body for doing something that I couldn’t even do when I was sixteen!

When the successes starting to pile up I got more excited about running. Being able to run 3.2 miles was a huge success for me and one that I would have proudly stopped at had I not had my friend Michelle pushing me to do more.

It’s not the distance that I love, though. I mostly run alone so I get to pick my distances. During the week I don’t run more than 2-3 miles simply because I’m pretty tired when I get off work. I know that’s a lousy excuse but I really love sleep.

When I’m out there, even if it’s a bad run, I’m still amazed at what my body can do and has already done. To me, running is not only physical, but also a mental sport. There are so many times I’m beating myself up, but also trying to beat myself, if that makes sense.

I love the feeling I get when I know I’ve pushed myself through the miles. I’ve been struggling with my runs lately, but I know that it will get better if I keep going.

I also know that I have to keep going. Honestly, running is good for my sanity! When I’m having a tough day at work and I just need to go– I run. Just me, music, and nature. Sometimes I’ll stop and just stand in nature. (Sometimes I take some really weird picture for Skirt Sports, too.)

The quietness and the peace I feel when running isn’t something I can really put into words. No matter if there are cars buzzing by or if I’m stopping to pet cats in my neighborhood. Not even if I’m struggling with the run and I just want to be home eating snacks…if I just take a deep breath and close my eyes everything goes away for just a moment.

Running keeps me balanced. It keeps me sane. It helps me know that I am capable of amazing things, but also that I’m not always perfect.

I run for me.

Why do you run?

Being a Skirt Sports Ambassador means I’m always on the lookout for secluded spots so strangers don’t see me taking pictures of myself. 😉

Selfish Girl

Hello friends!  Allow me to reintroduce myself.  I’m Cam and I am a Master!  For the last two years, grad school has been my life.  I’m a natural learner.  I love school so much that I’ve made it my career, and I’m really good at school!


I had no idea how hard grad school was going to be.  All other facets of my life have taken a hit.  My kids, my partner, my job, my home…they’ve all been branded by the demands of my choice to go to grad school.  There’s been a lot of guilt involved.  I’ve had to be incredibly selfish these last two years, and in my experience selfish is not a thing you want to be.

I feel like society has many expectations for women.  Women should be sexy yet demure.  Women should be confident yet humble.  Women should be independent yet the push for marriage and motherhood is so prevalent in the media that it has its own movie genre. Women should give of themselves, should be classy and kind and appropriate in all situations.  Women should kick ass and be strong and fight.  But don’t get hit in the face because a woman can’t be ugly.  And don’t get me started on what a woman’s body should look like.  I don’t know how to be all of these things at one time.  The perfectionist in me wants to, but the more I strive to be this woman, the more I realize it’s effing impossible.

As a rational woman, I know that I don’t have to believe in those expectations, but it’s so hard to escape such a deeply ingrained concept of what a woman is.  The struggle is real, yo!  It seems that while I work on one aspect of myself, other aspects suffer.  For example, while I was in grad school, I gained 64 pounds.  SIXTY FOUR POUNDS.

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Yep, grad school makes you fat.

I mean, I guess it could be the fast food two nights a week or the sour licorice straws that provided the sugar rush that got me through reading academic journal articles.  I guess it could be my choice of sleep over running and how I broke up with the gym.  In addition to neglecting my partner and my children and my laundry, I neglected my “self”.

And I’m pissed.

I’m pissed I have to lose weight to begin with. I’m pissed that I’m not one of those people in love with my fat self. I want to blame societal influence and expectations.  Why can’t being fat be a sign of wealth and prosperity again? Why can’t I just be heavy now?  Why can’t I just love my body the way it is and be happy and drink beer and eat fries?  Well, because it hurts. I don’t love my fat body because my body hurts.  My back, my feet, my gut, it all hurts and I suspect it’s not healthy.  I’m not in a position to take these risks with my health because I need to be a good example for my children.  I need to be alive for my children.

I’m pissed I have to leave my kids to spend more time on me.  I’ve already been doing that and I just got that time back!  Hold on kids, Mommy needs more time to herself.  But they’re watching me.  I want them to know that taking care of yourself is important.  I feel so much better when I exercise.  It’s necessary for my mental health.  So I bought a treadmill.  I can run while my kids play.  And they can run too.  Unintentional benefit!

I’m pissed I let myself get like this.  I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember.  This time two years ago, my body was strong.  I could run and jump and do head stands.  My clothes fit and I felt really, really good about the progress I had made.  And now I have to start all over again.


This is my “Omg, that’s what I look like now?” picture.

Mostly, I’m even pissed that I feel pissed about all of this.  I went to grad school and it was awesome. I’m now a more informed educator and parent with regards to education and how kids learn.  My children got to watch me graduate with my Masters in Math and Science Education.  They cheered and waved and they were proud of me.  I feared they would resent me for leaving them two nights a week for two years.  Instead, they celebrated.


Waiting for me to graduate. Apparently Sophie yelled, “That’s my mom!” when they called my name.

My hope is that they understand that taking care of yourself, following your dreams, and reaching your potential isn’t selfish.  It’s pride.  It’s self-love.  It’s necessary.

So I’m back at it.  I have races to run and I’m looking forward to feeling better.  I have friends to talk to and children to play with and a very neglected boyfriend to go on well-deserved dates with.  I have a school year to plan and blog posts to write.  And I’m going to selfishly enjoy all of it.

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I am…

Part of why I am a blogger, and a writer, in the first place is that having a forum to pour my emotions into, good or bad, helps me to process whatever I am going through or whatever I have going on. Regardless of how many people read, turning my feelings into words is cathartic.

And right now? I need some damn catharsis. Or something. I really need something. I need to vent and let it all hang out. 

Here at Scoot A Doot, we tend to keep the posts fairly light and positive. Sure, we talk about things like being busy moms trying to fit in exercise, or runs that we struggled through. But mostly, upbeat. And we’re generally a pretty perky bunch of chicks, so the positive nature of the posts is a natural extension of us.

This is not one of those posts. This post was hard to write, and will likely be hard to read. It’s raw and uncomfortable and uncensored and painful. And necessary, for me. So here goes…

I Am

I am… many things, to many people. I am a good listener. I am an amazing cook. I am a hard worker. I am funny. I am kind. I am generous.

I am… morbidly obese. I hate that phrase. It’s ugly and humiliating and harsh and accurate. I am literally so overweight that it’s killing me. Slowly, but still. The reality of my situation is that if I don’t change it, I will die younger than I should. I will rob my children of their mother, and my husband of his wife, far before I ever expected and far before I have a right to.

I am… sick. I have High Blood Pressure. My joints ache, all the time. My back hurts. I have trouble sleeping. I get winded walking up a flight of stairs. And when I work out or run? Everything hurts.

I am… tired. Truly exhausted. Physically and mentally, the act of carrying around this weight every day is so unbelievably tiring.

I am… angry. At myself. I know this serves no purpose, but I am so damn angry at myself for allowing this to happen. I am absolutely furious at myself for letting every ten-pound milestone that I swore I wouldn’t cross come and go.

I am… addicted. To food. I come from a long line of addicts. Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes. I’ve lost so many people far too early because they were ruled by their addictions. I have been fighting this addiction since I was ten years old.

I am… terrified. That I will join them. That I don’t have enough strength to conquer my own addiction. That I will fight my whole life, only to fail.

I am… sad. I am missing out on parts of my life that I will never get another shot at. I avoid air travel because I’m afraid I won’t be able to fit in the seat. I’ve flown once in the past twelve years, and had to ask for seat belt extenders. I was miserably uncomfortable and the thought of going through that is enough to make me never want to fly again.

I am… disappointed. In myself. I was supposed to be a better role model for my children. My son is now ten, and I see the beginnings of my battle in him every day. He is already struggling with weight. And food.

I am… ashamed. I feel weak. And small. I can’t look in the mirror without cringing.

I am… in pain. Physically, sometimes, but mentally, always. This hurts. On my best days, and believe me, I have great days, there is still some part of me, deep down, that is hurting.

I am… in a bad place right now. I have times when I feel like I have a handle on things. Lately, I don’t.

I am… struggling.

I am… lost.

I am…349 pounds. This is not my heaviest weight. I have weighed as much as 391 pounds. Typing that out is agony. Not erasing it is almost impossible. But putting that out there in the world doesn’t make it real. It’s already real.


I am… a good person. A good mother. A good wife. A good friend.

I am… trying. To get better. To feel better. To be better.

I am… strong. When I put my mind to it, I can do amazing things. I can do anything. I can do this.

I am… hopeful. I have seen people change their lives. I know that is it possible. I still have hope that I will be one of them.

I am… talking about it. Because no one wants to talk about what it’s like to be morbidly obese. Especially people that are morbidly obese. But not talking about it, making it a dirty, ugly, fat secret? That doesn’t help.

I am… determined. To keep trying. To keep going. Because the other option is letting myself be beaten by my own addiction. That is not an option.

I am…not done fighting. Ever. I may never win, but I will never quit.

I am… morbidly obese. But I don’t have to be.

I am… ready. For change. For hard work. For whatever it takes.

I am ready.