By Amy Stanton
“You have three kids?! When do you find time to train?”
These are some questions I get asked a lot when meeting people,especially triathletes, for the first time. If you have ever raced, in any
capacity, you know training takes time…sometimes a lot of time. And when it takes a lot of time, something else
creeps into the picture for me – Mom Guilt.
First and foremost, I love being a mom and a wife, but the role of chef,
maid, carpool junkie, laundry lady, and the like doesn’t always pull at my
heartstrings. Thankfully, being a triathlete and having tangible goals and
aspirations makes the less-than-fun hats that I wear much more enjoyable. I
love to train and compete, so intentionally making the time for it is
important. Thankfully and gratefully, I have an awesome husband that supports
my love for triathlons and he picks up the slack if I need a little extra alone
time every now and then.
So, as a mom to three boys – seven, five and three – and with a husband
that travels, training looks a little like this:
Early morning swims at the pool, getting in the water by
5:45am (I realize many triathletes are finished with their 2 mile swim, 50 mile
bike by this time, but for me, this is early) so I can be home by 6:45am to
make sure breakfast is made, lunches are packed and boys are getting on the
bus. Or if it is summertime, I race my older boys during adult swim and call it
a day after 300-400 yards.
Riding my spin bike while my youngest boy plays with
Legos, cars, and the occasional art session (which can get pretty messy). And
let’s be honest, some days Leapfrog, Curious George, or Sesame Street are a
nice form of entertainment. Sometimes I struggle to set the alarm and get up
before the sun and go hard before the little people are up and hungry, in which
case I just try to make sure to get a decent ride in before the bus brings the
kids home at 3:00.
Running on a treadmill for hours during the week because
it’s early in the morning, late at night, or someone is taking a nap. Running
with a jogging stroller while two big boys ride their bikes alongside me, all
the while cheering me on and encouraging me…or asking how much longer. I try
to carve some time out of a weekend to put in the longer distances and knowing
my three boys are loving “guy time” with their amazing dad.
I have found in the busyness of all the other responsibilities I have,
swimming, biking, and running are where I get to recharge and find my rhythm.
It’s where I get out the stresses of the day, work through the thoughts in my
head, and enjoy something I really love. And realizing this has caused the Mom
Guilt to slowly fade away. I feel like my people are happier when I am happier.
Amy’s kids are her biggest fans
Amy and her family after Augusta 70.3
My four boys are the loudest and most excited at my races. They don’t
complain when we get them out of bed at an ungodly hour on a weekend morning so
I can check my bike and get race ready. They excitedly watch for me at
transitions and turns and are always cheering loudly at the finish line. They
are my biggest fans. They have come to love the triathlon community. I have
introduced them to something really amazing, so there is no room for guilt in
And now that my boys are getting older, they want to race in their own
triathlon. They’ve already been competing in the front yard for the past couple
of years (the swim consisting of a run through the hose, naturally). I think
this year they will actually race in a local kids tri. Talk about a dream come
true for me.