All my life I have been running.
And six years ago, running as a sport became my passion and way of dealing with life. Slowly, but surely, running replaced food as my addiction. I would run myself ragged by just running and obsessing over mileage, my daily caloric intake, and my body. This became a way to distract myself from deciding what I wanted to do with my life, not being happy in a relationship, etc. Everyone around me would comment on how happy I always was. Essentially, I was always high on endorphins. You’d be happy too if you were always running and drugging yourself with the happy hormones.
At 24 weeks pregnant, I was having really horrible pains in my pelvic girdle from running 5-10 miles a week.
I was told by midwife that if I kept running during pregnancy, I would be incontinent by age 50 and my bladder would never be the same again. I cried and asked her why are some women able to run up until the very end. I mean, we have all heard the story of that woman who ran the Chicago Marathon at 9 months pregnant and gave birth right after. My midwife told me some women have really strong cores and their cores are able to support the uterus without having it bounce constantly on the pelvic girdle. I never really worked on my core, and now I was living to regret it.
Of course, I was upset and hurt for days. I was told I could walk briskly, do the elliptical, bike, swim. All of those things sounded so lame to me at the time. Why can’t that be me running until 9 months pregnant! Why can’t my pelvic region comply with the rest of my body that feels no fatigue? Why is God taking away the one thing that helps me deal with things?
Then I realized that there are issues that I had never really sorted through and running just helped me cope and feel OK about them. But I never really searched my self and my soul and understood myself when I was so busy focusing on the run.
For the last 6 weeks, I have had several A-HA moments. Moments where I empathize more, open up more, and love more unconditionally. Essentially, I have slowed down the thought processes in my head that say “RUN” to everything that scares me. I realized some of what I do is fear-based – everything from eating healthy to avoiding important discussions – out of fear that maybe I will get hurt or I will fail.
But through meditation, guided imagery, yoga, and yes… even brisk walking, I have learned to feel that fear, experience it, sort through it, and move through it. Fear and negative feelings make us human and having them is OK. But for the first time, it has become important to me to understand why those feelings are then when they are.
What I thought would be torture (pregnancy without running) has turned into one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. I will be a better person, mother, spouse, and friend because of this experience.