Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Interview by The Running Knitter

The Running Knitter sent along these five questions for me to complete as a fun little blog interview. Eileen posted her interview and I left her a comment letting her know I wanted to join in on the fun. She emailed me the questions so here are my answers. If you’d like to be interviewed, be sure to follow the directions at the end!

1. How did you come up with the idea to write your book "We are Girls Who Love To Run"?

I've known since I was a kid that I wanted to write books (the Young Author competition was the highlight of every year for me in elementary school!), so it was just a matter of time before I made it happen for real.

There wasn't much time to think about writing when I was teaching and getting my Master's (and marathon training!), so it had to wait until life settled a bit. When I finished school and then stepped away from teaching to have my own children, I had more time for brainstorming and word play. I also have a husband who has his own passion for writing, so he supported me as I ran after this dream (no pun intended).

I wrote several rough drafts of other stories about running, but none of them worked out to be just right for a first book. When I thought back to the inspiration Girls on the Run brought to my students who ran (and to me, second hand), I knew my first book needed to be a gift for girls who embrace running. Running didn't find me until I was 23, so We Are Girls Who Love to Run is my uplifting nudge for girls of all ages to see how welcoming the world of running is . . . as well as how the power of running spills into all areas of life. Hopefully it will encourage girls to give it a try earlier in life - and maybe even get their moms, aunts, sisters, cousins, neighbors interested in it, too. I believe it is important to pass the torch to others!

Shameless plug: If you are interested in getting a copy of my book, you can find it at Amazon.com, at specialty running stores in the Puget Sound region, at Dragonfly Secrets in the St. Louis area, or by mail order through Balanced Steps, LLC. Place your mail order by this Friday, March 6th and Balanced Steps will knock $5 off the price of the book in celebration of International Women's Day on Sunday, March 8th! Be sure to read my reviews of other great running and uplifting books here.

2. What advice would you have for other moms who are trying to balance family, work, and exercise?

Balance is a tricky thing. I try to take things one day at a time, because what works for me one day often doesn't work the next! There are countless variables in motherhood, as there are in the work world. And there are days when priorities flip.

Ideally I'd like to exercise 5-6 days/week. Realistically I currently get in an average workouts 3-4 days/week (not counting walks to the park with the kids or yard work). Truthfully there have even been a few stretches along the way where a week (or two) goes by without a single workout. Working out first thing in the morning enables me to get my workouts in - if I haven't done it by 7:30AM on weekdays or 10AM on weekends, it likely isn't happening. I also do a childcare swap once a week with a friend - sometimes I use the time to run, other times I write, and sometimes I nap!

I am a better mother and a better writer, and essentially a better person, when I get in my runs and my balance ball workouts. Throw in a yoga class or a class at the YMCA and I am in my element! Even my kids will tell you that life is best when I get in my exercise. But I also know that there are times when it is okay to take a break (like when the kids are sick and I'm not getting any sleep . . . or I'm sick . . . or we have visitors staying at our home). These breaks make my return to running even sweeter. I try not to beat myself up about missed workouts and to celebrate the days when I get in my groove and GO. That's my yellow-hatted nature, I suppose.

3. What do you enjoy most about running?
I love that it is time just for me. I can use the time to think about something specific or to just let my mind go while I focus on my breath and posture or nothing at all. The increased energy level after a run is a definite plus for chasing around 2 young children the rest of my day. Running also keeps my optimism flowing. I could keep going with this list, but I'll stop now while I'm ahead . . . and you are still reading!

4. What is your favorite holiday and why?

I have to go with Christmas for this one. I could sit by a Christmas tree all day long, soaking in the twinkle of the lights and the sparkle of the ornaments. The glow warms my soul and makes me feel more twinkly, too. I also like planning special gifts for the people I love. Sadly, this is my husband's least favorite holiday . . . but we're working on that!

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Can I pick more than one?? As someone who spent a semester abroad in college, I think spending time in a foreign country is something everyone should consider doing. I'd go back to Italy in a heartbeat, but also have interest in visiting other European countries (Germany, Ireland, and Norway top that list). I think my husband and I may head to Australia for 2 weeks next year to celebrate our 10th Anniversary, as that is a place neither of us has explored and we're already on the West Coast. The REI Adventures seem awfully appealing, especially after a long winter!

To play along:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Michelle O'Neil said...

I just ordered your book and I look forward to sharing it with our Girls on the Run group here in Cleveland.

: )

The Running Knitter said...

Loved your answers. I went to Australia in 2006 and loved it. Was only there for 2 weeks though and it was definitely not enough time to really explore everything. :)