Growing up, I hated to run. Despised it, actually. Mainly that’s because I never really knew how to run. I know… you’re questioning the logistics of actual running, but I promise, it’s a thing. At least if you want longevity over your body and the ability to run well for the long-term. It was later in my life that I learned the how of running from a dear friend and retired military. Needless to say she was an awesome teacher.
When I learned how to run, I learned that I didn’t actually hate running, but I LOVED it.
Running for me was the self-care I could always rely on. When things became hard, complicated, messy, or hairy, I ran. Running was a life-line, but I threw my life-line to the sidelines the day I found out I was pregnant. I know I could have kept on running throughout my pregnancy, but I chose not to out of all of the fears and anxieties any first time mama’s might feel. So I waited, what I thought to be a decent amount of time, after my little was born, before jumping back in full-throttle. I waited 9 long months. Our pediatrician gave me the green light to run with my little. Soon after I resumed fantasizing about running my first ever half marathon. I created a running schedule for myself that surrounded nap times and dog walks. I researched new running shoes and routes for running that were stroller-friendly. Then I got a running injury…
This injury completely altered my thinking. I no longer felt confident in flying my “I am mother, hear me roar” flag, which I had grown accustomed to over the past 18 months.
Suddenly, I was hit with the reality that I am not indestructible. I became grossly aware that my body, though rid of the baby weight, did not return to what it was prior to my pregnancy, and I certainly did not feel like this new mommy body could continue to move mountains. The worry and fear seeped in, strangling me with thoughts of trying to figure out how I was supposed to keep up with my crawling almost-10-month-old and here I am with a bum knee. My analytical brain turned on, and of course now I know where I went wrong with my [cough] “training,” but it didn’t console my extremely bruised ego and growing disappointment. My mommy flag was suddenly no longer flowing in the wind, but limp and pathetic seeming. I became so very aware that my new “mom-bod,” which I had previously and proudly owned, had decided to uncover a new layer of change that I had been very unaware of… touché mom-bod.
This injury further cracked open the previously stuffed down fears and anxieties, delicately woven into my self-esteem, value, and abilities.
Although I’ve dedicated time to process these deeper rooted issues, it hasn’t changed the fact that my mommy body remains changed and still different than it once was. And for this moment, and maybe a few more other singular, short moments, I will allow myself grace and time to contemplate this change, time to accept that birthing a little human, while miraculous, has forever changed me in more than just an emotional way.