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I love running. I love losing myself in the kilometers and letting my mind wander. I love the task of training for an event. And I seriously love the energy at the event I’ve been spending hours and hours, kilometer after kilometer preparing for.
There is nothing like the energy of run events. The nervous and excited energy before the race begins and the joy and pride energy as you cross the finish line. Even better? Watching woman after woman achieve their goals as they cross that line. There’s really nothing like it.
I was recently at the Shopper’s Drug Mart Run for Women with our Hot Mama’s Bootylicious Run Group in Calgary. There were 40+ Hot Mamas, plus a few Cool Daddies and even a Mini registered to tackle either the 5k or 10k route. I showed up to a sea of pink (hello Hot Mama “Run Like a Mother tanks”), nerves and excitement. These women had trained for 12 weeks for this day and they were ready!
It was a beautiful day, with incredible Mamas filled with excitement. I am so honored that I got to be a part of it. Sometimes I forget how far I’ve come in my own Hot Mama journey. Starting with one class a week where I had to threaten my friends to come, to standing in the middle of a bunch of women I don’t know who love Hot Mama and the community that their franchise owners have worked so hard to build. It’s humbling and staggering and it often takes my breath away.
Pre-event activities included photos at the MOTRIN® Recovery Zone (and thank goodness they were there, MOTRIN® would be needed after this race…more on that in a bit), photos of the beautiful and amazing Hot Mama team and speeches from women affected by mental illness. One Mama (not a Hot Mama, but she should be) spoke about her journey through postpartum depression. She spoke so powerfully and emotionally that it resonated with many of our Hot Mamas.
I am so proud that we ran the Shopper’s Drug Mart Run for Women because, at Hot Mama, we’re working hard to combat postpartum depression with our postpartum initiative. We offer free classes to women who are between 8-16 weeks postpartum. No hooks, no contracts. We just want Mamas to get out, get active and find the support and love they need during what could be a pretty dark time.
Then, it was time to hit the road. We lined up, bounced on the spot a little, then headed off. I ran the 10k and got to spend the first 5k with our Calgary West Sarcee owner, Tara. She’s amazing and sweet. Most times when I run a race with the Hot Mamas I stay with the group. I like chatting with everyone and learning about their journey. So, at 5k Tara and I hung back and ran with Hot Mamas as they caught up to us. We’d run a bit with each Mama and then send her on her merry (??) way.
There’s always a lot of love out on run courses. And, I was so stinkin’ proud of the turn-out at this Run for Women event! So many people running to raise awareness of women’s mental illness. It was phenomenal.
I learned a great deal on the course running with the Hot Mamas. I learned about their family, I learned about their experience, I learned what was on their playlist and I learned about how proud they were of themselves. That’s the part that I always love best.
I landed with one Hot Mama with about 1.5k to go and we walked and talked…and fell. Oh yeah. My poor partner rolled her ankle right off the path and landed on her elbow. So, we hung out on the side of the race route where woman after woman offered support, love, compassion and water. I know my run buddy was in pain, but I’m always amazed at how freakin’ wonderful women can be to one another. Medical help finally came, and although the ankle was fine, the elbow was not.
However, my run buddy decided she wanted to finish the race. So, our first aider fashioned a sling from her own jacket and bicketty-bam we were back in business. We finished the race to cheers from the Hot Mamas and yes, I do believe my partner had a few tears of pride and joy.
We then motored over to the MOTRIN® recovery van…because honestly, we were looking for ibuprofen for relief of our sore, achy bones and joints. The bright orange van beckoned us and we snapped a few photos there.
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Minus the injury, this was an incredible run. The Hot Mamas were as supportive as ever. We supported a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. I got to meet a bunch of Hot Mamas and learn all about them and their journey. And, I got to help someone and make her laugh when all she wanted to do was cry. So yeah…in my books, that’s a pretty incredible day.
I cannot thank my Hot Mama franchise owners enough for creating the communities of love, joy, support and friendship that they’ve created. When someone falls (literally), they’re there to pick her back up and cheer her as she achieves her goal. Not everyone can do what our franchise owners do. Not everyone can lead a group of women to success through fitness, humor and community. I’m proud of each and every owner who led their Bootylicious Run Group. And, I’m proud of each and every Hot Mama who crossed the finish line of the Run for Women race.
Congrats to all the runners out there! What’s next?!
Oh, and if you want to check out the Hot Mama Bootylicious Run group, connect with your local Hot Mama franchise and get yourself signed up! There are tons of races happening. I’m sure they’re training for something!
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