It took me a long time to figure out that exercise wasn’t a tool of abuse for my body. It wasn’t a “torture method” to be utilized when I overate, indulged in a bit too many sweets, my pants became tighter or life wasn’t panning out exactly as I’d hoped. I began running because it was my escape. My stress reliever and in many ways it still is. But I’ve also learned that exercise is something I can use for the rest of my life, a friend that will get me through this journey of life stronger and better prepared for whatever I face ahead. I run because I ENJOY it. There are so many wonderful ways to move your body that you should never settle for a type of exercise you don’t enjoy. You’re much less likely to stick with it if you force yourself to do it then if you truly find it enjoying, at least part of the time.
Pregnancy has taught me so much about myself, my body and my abilities. Instead of mentally feeling down because I missed a workout or I had a bad run, I am absolutely amazed that at over 6 months pregnant, with this miracle inside me, I even had the ability to run. Before, I’d think “run faster” or “run through the pain” or “pick it up!” Now I think “the biggest challenge is in just beginning. That first step out the door. The ability to just START”. I’ve learned that just getting out there is everything, whether it’s on the asphalt around the block or into the swimming pool or even on my yoga mat. It doesn’t matter how long I’m there for, how far or fast I go, how sore I feel afterward, the fact that I did something, got off my butt and moved is a huge accomplishment in and of itself. At 9 months pregnant on Friday I feel lucky and proud that I’ve kept up exercising throughout my pregnancy and hope it’ll make labor and motherhood just a bit easier.
Pregnancy, this incredible, remarkable journey, has taught me the greatest lesson of all:
Be thankful for every moment you have with your loved ones, for your ability to run, swim, hike, walk, even breathe. To be grateful for everything you’ve been blessed with even if it seems your life is so far off course or the going is almost unbearable there is someone out there who has it so much worse, and if you just remember to be thankful for what you DO have, to make the best of every situation, the pain you feel in those moments will one day be your greatest stepping stones rather than your boulders of obstacles.
I am no longer running. Not because it’s gotten uncomfortable or impossible but because I began having preterm labor symptoms at 33 weeks pregnant. In order to keep our baby boy baking a bit longer I hung up my Asics and took to long walks with Lily and Bry, swimming and light weights (rarely). Now I have to find my mojo to get back on the yoga mat…