In the past few years, I've been pregnant twice. I carried one baby to 18 weeks and the next to full term. I was on bed rest for half of the second pregnancy. Needless to say, my running self and my emotional self have taken quite a hit in the past few years. As soon as I was able to begin running again, I did, but I was inconsistent and my diet is awful. I signed up for and re-ran the first race I ever ran (The Fool's Run, in Manasquan, NJ). It was almost exactly five years later. So much had happened in that five years, it was interesting to reflect on it during the race. I was happy to still have running as a part of my life, as haphazard as it had been lately.
I thought signing up for a half marathon would increase the consistency of my running. It helped a bit, but the race itself was cancelled due to the government shutdown. Instead of running my 5th half marathon, I didn't even run that day. I ran up to 12.5 for my training, so I still feel pretty accomplished so soon after having a baby. There is something missing in my life though. I feel like I have lost a part of myself. I am not the person that I was and I miss me. I feel overwhelmed and stressed, rather than taking things in stride; I feel ashamed of my body, rather than feeling its power; I feel listless, rather than passionate. In losing running, I have lost myself. In choosing not to care about my health, I have lost my healthy mind.
My first running journey started with something so simple, but it changed me. My cousin showed me her metals, plaques, and certificates from her races. We talked about it and I said, "I can do this." She said, "Yes, of course you can!" I signed up for and ran my first race within two weeks. I had only been running for 10 days.
My "Part Two" starts just as innocently. I was looking back on old pictures and I looked so healthy and happy. Simply, I do not appear or feel that way now. I text a friend that I see a decline from 2010 to now and that I was upset with my life. I MAY have text stronger words, but for the sake of the kids...haha. She text back "What makes you happy?" I begrudgingly said "nothing" as I was staring my run. "What will make you happy?" And then I thought...and ran...and thought...and I finished my run and felt better. That is what makes me happy.
THE CIRCLE OF HEALTH or THE CIRCLE OF HELL????
The way I look mirrors the way I feel, because when I run, I am happy, and when I am happy, I eat well. It is the Circle of Health. Lately, I have been in the complete opposite circle. The Circle of Hell? I have been feeling like hell, so I've been eating like hell, and I neglect my running, which makes me feel even more like hell. I'm done with it and grabbed some motivation from this realization. I am feeling ready to start back on the journey of instilling fitness, running, and health back in my everyday life. I'm ready to embrace it passionately again and put in the effort, knowing the pay off it reverberates in me. My brain needs its outlet. I need to get out of the Circle of Hell.
I haven't gotten the passion for running back yet and I know that it will be hard to jump into the Circle of Health. I know what it takes and I know the payoff.
-I need to surround myself with like-minded people.
-I need to put my shoes on even when I don't want to.
-I need to make this a priority.
-I need to make a good choice, when the bad choice is so much easier.
-I need to BELIEVE in the payoff...always. Because when the journey gets tough, but you believe in the payoff, you are more inclined to go the extra mile (no pun intended). The immediate gratification of a piece of cake seems silly next to piece of mind, doesn't it???