Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PS - Here's the Baby Picture

He's a Cards Fan, naturally.


Many of my best journeys have started with a run. Certainly the road to my First Triathlon Ever. I started my pregnancy with a run, also - 1am, shortly after I saw that little plus sign and new what was coming, I went for a run to clear my head. Four months into my pregnancy, I had to stop running - or, rather, I chose to stop running to give my poor back a break. It was one of the few times I've let my body's whining win an argument.

This morning, for the first time since December, I set out on my old running route - the same one I ran that early morning a little less than a year ago - and I ran most of it. It hurt. It was hot. I had to take some walking breaks. But I got through it. I've been running a few weeks now - interspersed liberally with walking breaks - but I haven't ventured from the blocks around my little neighborhood, staying close to home and in my comfort zone. When the alarm went off at 5:00 a.m., I knew it was time to break free.

My weight is still ridiculous. I haven't been this size for over eight years - not since the birth of my first son. Its tough to accept but it is what it is. I have a healthy baby and an abundant milk supply to show for it so, really, in the scheme of things, the size of my posterior (which is formidable to be sure) is not important. Still, its often the unimportant things that consume our attention and it bothers me. A lot. But, I can still run. It feels ungainly. Its harder than it was a year ago - by a longshot. But, I was out there this morning, putting one foot in front of the other.

I'm slightly appalled that I haven't seen any real progress on losing this baby weight. I've been working out - usually twice or more a day - for weeks. Its not budging. I'm a little stronger than I was but the road to my next race seems unthinkably long. I'm not sure what the lesson is this time.

Triathlon taught me to find a healthy balance of pride and humility - I began to understand just how much this body was capable of while being constantly reminded of my unavoidable humanness. Yes, I could climb those hills that looked impossible but, more often than I care to admit, I could also taste pavement when I was just tooling down the street. Yes, I could swim farther than I would have believed a year before, I could also find myself fighting panic on an open water swim just yards from the shore. Yes, I could run miles and trails that were a distant dream before, I could also choke on the dust of a mom pushing her baby in a stroller while, at the same time, I PRd for a 10k.

Pregnancy taught me to accept things beyond my control. I watched my fitness decline and my body grow. I tried to revel in the grandiose belly that always drew comment from strangers. I did revel in the stirrings of my growing baby and tried to be patient as his due date came and went and then became a distant memory. I rolled with the punches and accepted interventions I'd wanted to avoid and felt my last remnant of control slip away when labor became not only painful but dangerous. I finally learned the lesson and felt peace come over me when they wheeled me into the operating room. Finally, I got it. I wasn't in control but I had faith that the One that was had a plan. Not my will but Thine be done. And it turned out okay. Better than okay. So, though I'm sure I'll have some reviews and several pop quizzes, I feel that I've passed that course.

Now, what? What is it that I'm supposed to take away from this? Anything? I think maybe its perseverance. Its one thing to press on when you're getting faster, leaner, stronger. Its another to continue when you see no noticeable result. To continue simply for the sake of continuing. So, I'll keep going. And I'm going to keep writing - or start writing again and keep going. I need this. I need a record of where I've been and a goal post for where I'm going. I need to put one foot in front of the other and one word after another. Thanks for being patient with me. Thanks for your feedback even when I'd been away for months.

Now, please help to hold me accountable. I'm back. And I intend to stay.

N-n-n-now that that don't kill me will only make me stronger . . .