Eight steps. From one end of the kitchen to the other, that's how far Julianne walked last night.
For the record, she doesn't turn nine months old until the 21st, so theoretically we could say she started walking at eight months old. Good grief. She's still this tiny baby, and yet she is so determined to keep up with her sister. She has adopted the motto of "Anything you can do, I can do sooner." First tooth. Crawling. Walking. Sleeping through the night. I'm not quick on the bragging rights because for one, walking early doesn't mean anything. And two, this competitive streak, this force of nature that compels her to move all the time is going to keep me on my toes for a very long time. Sydney is my cautious, hesitant one. Jules, not so much.
I mentioned to a friend of mine last night that Jules had taken her first steps, and she said, "Everyone in your family is so athletic. Even your girls."
Not sure if walking early is an indication of athleticism, but it's definitely an indication that we're not ones to sit around. Sydney has learned to keep up with us, and now Jules is learning too. Even though Jason is far more athletic than I am--he plays basketball twice a week, runs, coaches soccer, ran in Hood-to-Coast, is already planning on running the Eugene Marathon next spring--I'm not exactly un-athletic. Sure, I may joke about being uncoordinated, but the truth is I have running in my genes. I didn't enjoy running that much until about five years ago, then I became addicted to it. Runners' high? Loved it.
Both my parents have run marathons, and my brother was the Division III Track and Field Athlete of the Year for his outstanding performance in long distance running. After Sydney was born, my brother's gift to me was a new pair of running shoes. Nothing says Congratulations like "Here's a pair of shoes to run off that baby fat." Kidding aside, I honestly wanted running shoes more than a pack of onesies so his gift was certainly appreciated.
So, I ran in those shoes. Put lots of miles on them, and was ready to get another pair because running shoes need to be replaced after 350-550 miles. But before I replaced them, I got pregnant, and I stopped running. Then Julianne was born last December, but I was so not up for getting back in shape by running in the rain. I'm not that dedicated.
Summer arrived, and with it my new determination to exercise more often. Not only did I have the goal of getting back into my wedding dress for our 10-year anniversary, I knew I would just feel better if I was in shape. It helps me clear my head and get rid of mental stress. I vowed that I would get back to running. To help me out with my new goal I got a new pair of running shoes from PBN. They outfitted me with running shoes from Ryka; specifically, this pair of MC2 Run.
The shoes feel great on my feet. They aren't too heavy, and the soles are nicely cushioned. Even the laces are sturdy, which is good since Julianne loves to chew on them. As soon as I got them I immediately put insoles in them because I have ridiculously flat feet and so need special arch support. I'm sure my feet problems contributed to me getting tendonitis in both my knees when I started exercising after Sydney was born three years ago. This time around, I was smarter. Good shoes are the best place to start when beginning any exercise program, but it's super important to have the proper insoles if you have feet with issues. In fact, after these MC2s reach their mileage, I'm going to get a different pair of Ryka shoes specifically designed for flat feet (which I discovered using their ShoeFinder guide). Additionally, if you have tendon/joint problems, it's a good idea to wear knee straps like I do to help alleviate that pain in the patella. (I should once again mention my brother since he's the one who gave me the knee straps. It's nice to have a super athlete/physical therapist in the family!).
Okay, so after having the shoes for over a couple months, I admit I'm not in running shape yet. More like, walking while pushing 50 pounds of stroller around the neighborhood kind of shape. Even though the shoes are attractive and comfortable and fun to wear, they don't have that magical ability to instantly transform my legs into power-horses. I'm still in serious need of some muscle, except in my arms that are fabulously toned from picking up kiddos are the livelong day. Yeah, I could totally almost beat my sister in an arm-wrestling contest, I just know it.
However, I have done enough walking/wandering/hopping along to make a difference: I am proud to say that as of one week ago I am now back to my pre-pregnancy weight and can fit into almost everything in my wardrobe. Sure, it took me eight months (and more than a few nights of going to bed hungry), but I did it. (And if you say, as a certain parent of mine did, "Great! Now it's time to get pregnant again!" I will run screaming from the room.)
I feel confident that my feet are in good shape wearing good shoes, and now that there is a new walker in the house, I'd say these shoes came just in time.
Good news for you if you want some new shoes! Ryka is giving away 50 pairs of new shoes EVERY SINGLE DAY until October. You definitely should sign up for that.
Plus, Parent Bloggers Network is also hosting a contest today to give away more Ryka shoes. Check out the details here.