Posted by: workforcookies | April 21, 2009

Smokin’ the Sitter

images-13Like every new mom, I’m trying to lose the baby weight. Luckily for me, some other moms I know recently decided to get serious. They’ve signed up for a 5K Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, allowing me to glom onto their cause—in the hopes that the researchers will find a cure and I will lose some pounds.

The first practice run went surprisingly well, if you don’t count the time one mom disappeared into the woods with a fist full of tissue because she “couldn’t hold it,” then returned—unsucessful—after losing a battle with a sticker bush. We were all very slow, but everyone ran the whole way and nobody passed out. For an added challenge, some of us even took turns pushing a double stroller fully stocked with two adorable—albeit not-so-light—toddlers. A good time was had by all and I could feel the pounds melting away, or was that just baby slobber mixed with sweat dripping down my chest?

At our next practice run, there was no double stroller, instead a babysitter spurred me on. My mom friends and I arrived at 8:30 a.m., all of us already jolted by at least one cup of caffeine, picking Cheerios out of our hair, pockets and running bras. We were chatting about potty training and whether an IUD was truly the best form of birth control when…the sitter showed up. I hadn’t realized she was part of our ad hoc running club, and as she got out of her car I worried how she might change the dynamic of our group. Truly I love this sitter, and so do my kids. Who wouldn’t? She has a quick smile framed by a thick head of blond hair and she’s bounding with energy. On the flip side, she’s young, fit, and…did I mention bounding with energy?

It started very innocently. I was jogging alongside the sitter and my friend who’d had the tangle with the sticker bush the week before. As the three of us made small talk, the sitter pulled ahead, just a bit. I instinctively picked up my pace to match hers—more to keep the conversation going than anything else. Then, the sitter sped up a little more.

My friend with the sticker bush scars is new to running—and she’s also apparently more mature than I am—so she was quick to back away from any hint of competition. “Don’t let me slow you guys down, go ahead,” she shouted at our backs. I hollered out something about circling back after I ran out of steam, and the race against the sitter was on. (Though I’m not sure the sitter knew it, or even cared.) 

She might not have a problem leaving my friend who was still nursing her sticker bush wounds in the dust, but I wasn’t going to let her shame us ALL. I steeled myself and tried desperately to draw on my knowledge from the days (years and years and YEARS ago) when I competed in cross-country and track: I lengthened my stride, breathed in through my nose out my mouth, and ignored the side stitch threatening to form just below the fourth rib of my right side. MUST…NOT…SLOW…DOWN.  I was no longer running for Susan G. Komen, or the researchers, or even for my fat self—I was running for all Mommy-kind! We should not, could not, would not be beat by the babysitter. 

And we weren’t! 

“Wow you’re really fast!” the sitter said about two miles later, after we’d both caught our breath and were walking off the effects of our “jog.” I quickly changed the subject, a little embarrassed by my burning desire to win. (What was I trying to prove?  The Race for the Cure is a participation ONLY event—they don’t even tell you your time when you cross the finish line!) Also, I didn’t want to gloat—I’m not that immature.




  1. That was funny! Way to go, getting into your running shoes again!

  2. Just wait till the babysitter shows up at yoga class next weekend!

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