I’ve been waiting almost a year for this run. It was slow and clunky, and for the first half mile, I seriously felt a bit like an alien occupying someone else’s body. Things were loose and jiggly, but I didn’t care – the freedom trumped everything. You get so accustomed to existing with another human being inside of you that you forget what it feels like to run alone – to BE alone. You forget how your body used to feel when it was just, well, yours.
As beautiful a journey as pregnancy is, I needed THIS back. We can only be pregnant for so long before we start to crave the freedom of just lacing up our shoes, heading out the door and just GOING. Flying as fast as our body will take us, loosening the grip of hard day and just letting our feet pound out the day for us.
When I got home, my husband asked me how I felt and all I could say was, “Amazing. And like my uterus has it’s own heartbeat.”
Then, I found my journal and turned it to this entry, written at about 34 weeks. It was when I found myself having deep runner-envy at all my friends who were enjoying their miles and races. I wrote:
“I think I’m mourning. No one ever warned me about this. As much as there is love and excitement about being pregnant, there is also a very real sadness in watching my body transition from my own sacred temple to a shared vessel for two. I think I’m JUST starting to realize how much I truly appreciated my body – the one I had worked so hard to make healthy and strong before I got pregnant. And I think this unexpected grieving is less from the place of resisting change, and more from a deep reverence and personal pride of what that body was capable of. Endings and new beginnings are hard, but I think it’s the muddy transition that is the hardest and where we need to offer ourselves some gentle tears and grace. Yes, of course I’ll run again, and I know I’ll be fine. I’ll fall in love with a new version of me that will reveal its own beauty and lessons, but it’s still hard to say good-bye to an old and trusted friend. Right now, I miss her, and I think for my own sanity and release of guilt, I just need to be able to say that out loud and own it.”
That friend I speak of… she’s the old runner version of me. Today, albeit brief and nowhere near what I’m used to… we connected again. And it felt so damn good.
To new beginnings…