When I first started this blog, I was finding myself. I was finding the space inside me that felt alive, aware, present, and comfortable. I was blooming. I was learning to love myself a little bit more and a little bit better.
Life provided me the most wonderful pause button when I discovered that I was pregnant. In the 41 weeks and 4 days I was pregnant, life stood still. I was no longer just me. I was the home to my growing baby. My body, my mind, my hormones – I wanted them to belong to him. I know for some women this thought process wouldn’t work, but it was the only way I knew how to be pregnant. Everything I did, every choice I made, I made for my baby.
After Chet joined us in the world, I wasn’t surprised when I felt off-balance. Physically off-balance. Mentally off-balance. Hormonally off-balance. While Chet was learning about the world, I was rediscovering my new world and my new self right along side him.
I often think back to the time after I had Cole. I felt lost. I wish I could go back and hug the 24-year-old me. I wish I could tell her to breathe. I wish she trusted that it would all be okay. I wish I could tell her she isn’t lost, she is discovering – everything she is learning will add a layer of happiness and appreciation to her life.
As Chet grows and I move beyond pregnancy and life with a newborn, I don’t feel lost this time but I do feel like I’m still discovering. Every time I find my yoga mat, my mala beads, my running shoes – Every time I kiss my boys good night and smile good morning – Every time we sit down at the dinner table – Every baseball game – Every baby milestone – and all the busy and messy details in between (including the ugly) –
I am showing up.
Today I had time for a quick 2 mile run. Since returning to running postbaby, I have run up and over the rudee inlet bridge several times. It always gets me on the return trip. I’ve never made it back up without taking a walk break. Today I choose that route again. No matter what, I wasn’t walking. I was getting back over on my second pass. I set off and found my comfortable pace. I didn’t care how fast I ran. I just wanted to run over the bridge twice without walking. A half mile in I glanced at my watch. 9:30. That was my comfortable pace? (Mental note: Thank Heidi for letting me push her daughter yesterday into the wind! Thank Rachael for making me maintain a 10 minute mile pace!). I soon found myself on the other side of the bridge approaching 1 mile.
Mile 1: 9:14
Back to the bridge I headed. I kept repeating: Every step is making you stronger. You are stronger. Less than two months ago, you were THRILLED to maintain at 10:22 pace on this exact same run. You just ran a 9:14 minute mile. You are stronger. Run faster mile 2. You are stronger.
Mile 2: 9:04
And the final stretch to the car – I held on. I wanted to stay strong.
Final .25: 8:45 pace
On March 16th, I ran this exact same run. I ran 2.1 miles in 21:45 (10:22 pace). Today I ran 2.25 miles in 20:30 (9:07 pace). That is a 1 minute 15 second difference in less than 2 months. Not only did I run up and over the bridge (a big deal to me right now), but I did it at a pace I never thought I would run today. Every step is making me stronger.
I am showing up.
In life and in running, I’m focusing on form. I’m holding my head up high. I’m filtering out the unneccessary. I’m choosing to surround myself with people who bring out the best in me. I’m getting rid of the should-haves and past regrets (even though I still wish I could hug the 24-year-old me). I’m immersing myself in the things that bring breath to my life.
Every day I am becoming me. It feels like a smile. Every day I know I am a me that I love. I love this journey. I love this life. As I continue to learn to let go off the details in life (thank you baby boy for this wonderful life lesson!), I’m learning how important it is for me to show up and live my life – the life that is in front of me. I have so many bridges to run over.