Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And so I run....

Yep, I am starting a new exercise program of running (well okay...jogging) a few nights a week after Adam gets home from work.  Just me.  No kids, no hubby, no dogs no nobody but ME!

Any of you who have known me for a while know that I used to run every day when we lived in Florida.  I loved it and was so disappointed when we bought this house in TN and there was no place to run.  I mean no place unless I pack up the jogging stroller, the kid and two dogs and drive to a park.  Our street is a short and hilly dead end and the only way to get to a subdivision is to go on a very busy main street.  It was just too much to keep up with after working a long day and so I just sort of gave up and haven't found my way back.

And any of you who have known me for even longer know I actually used to hate to run. 
Why run when you can walk...and smell those roses they speak of, and see the sights.  I did so enjoy taking leisurely walks daily with the dogs, throwing the ball and meandering through the fields and woods near our house.
But after our first pregnancy loss I, well...I packed on a few pounds.  I couldn't exercise for 3-4 weeks because of surgery and then I figured I'd be getting pregnant again anyway so why bother.  But as the months went by I just got  plumper, not pregnant-er. 
I also grew angry and resentful.  Angry at the loss I'd had and never took time to grieve-hoping to just move on, angry at myself for failing every month when I didn't get pregnant, angry at my husband who so wanted a baby, resentful at the world...for all those getting pregnant around me, at those who never suffered a lost pregnancy and at those asking "so when are you going to get pregnant again?".  Raw emotions that kept growing and swelling, unlike my barren tummy.

I had no outlet for these emotions either and they started to really take over my life.  A month turned into many months...each one a reminder of my failures as a wife, as a woman.  Those were dark days for me and it was the first time in my life I understood the word "depression" and could see it creeping into my world. 

So during this time my husbands father asked his kids and their spouses to join him in a 10k for his birthday, to raise money for Autism and to have us all together at such an event.  I reluctantly agreed~ I said as long as I could walk it at my own pace I'd do it,.  But I was not "training" for this like all the rest of them, no sir-ee-bob. 
Well race day came and off I went at my slow and steady pace.  But when 80 year old men and pregnant women (oh yes...those darn pregos at it again...ruining my day...) were passing me up- leaving me in their dust- I decided I couldn't stand for this.  As I picked up my pace a tad and passed the hunky firefighters handing out water and cheering us on I got the first boost of self confidence I had felt in...well in years!  So I picked up the pace even a bit more and although very winded I was feeling this peace- as if the anger, resentment and darkness was seeping out and floating in the wind.   When the race was over I felt as if I had accomplished something.  Finally I hadn't failed.  And I actually felt good, if not a bit achy.

When we got home I decided to put an end to the old me and start to get control over my emotions and my anger...and start to run.  I started then (as I'll have to now) with small goals....make it to the light post over there and then walk...and then the next light post..and then the baseball field..and then the park entrance and so on until I was logging in three miles a day.   And my feelings of despair subsided, I felt great about myself and I even lost about 10 pounds.  All good things. 
And when our second pregnancy ended like the first...well I did hit those depths again, maybe even harder...definitely harder... and deeper... but I had a way to let it out and work though it.  I had time that I could devote to myself and healing my wounds and time to think of what was next for me, for us.  
While waiting for our baby's referral the jogging helped take my mind off the eagerness I felt and let me dream of my sweet baby.  And it helped prepare me for the physical toll that a new (clingy) baby in a foreign country would put me through.
I even ran after Simone came home...put her in the jogger and off we went.  Of course some days we slowed our pace and did stop to smell those roses.  And pull them up with delight- roots and all ...

So the time has come.  I need to run.
Oh I haven't slipped into that abyss no...far from it!  I am at a place in my life where I feel content and know I am very blessed.  
But since coming home with Sammy Wei I don't get much (any) time to just myself.  Yes I get to take a shower alone...but that really is about it.  I just want some time to capture my thoughts and sort through them, time to not have to get anybody juice or a snack or change the channel or clean up after, time to not have to watch and listen -be on my A game as I call it - time for just me.  No kids, no hubby, no dogs, no  nobody!

So why do I share this with you, my bloggy world pals?
Well for a couple of reasons.  One is in hopes it'll keep me honest.  If I know all you guys are wondering if I actually jogged during the week then I may be more likely to put on those sneakers and head out.

And because my fellow bloggy Mom from and I have been conversing lately about making healthier choices for ourselves and our families and trying to come up with ways to get into better shape by both diet and lifestyle.  I've been working on the food part, trying to incorporate more whole or organic foods and healthier choices into our meals but the lifestyle still needs some work done.   So what better way to truly make some changes then to start exercising again.  Running around chasing Sammy is a great workout, but it still doesn't give me that mental break from all things kiddie land.  

And so I run....


babycrockett2010 said...

This was a very touching post Jennifer. Of course I met you after you had little Simone but I understand your struggles and I think its great you are making time for yourself doing something you enjoy!!!

Lisa said...

Oh my friend....

What an incredibly, moving and powerful post. I read this last night and simply couldn't leave my comment just yet....too many distractions!! :)

I snuck back today to thank you for sharing this with us all and to celebrate with you this decision to run ~ to capturing a bit of that elusive "me time" which can be hard to manage at times!! And to making your own health a priority too!!

I too used to run long distance for recreation but following an injury, those days are over. I can still sprint around parks chasing the kiddos, etc. but for the day to day, speed walking and distance walking is my choice now! AND...I both need it and love it....and know it makes me a better person and Mama for taking that time! ( though often I have at least one munchkin and furry girl with me!)

I commend your goal setting and so often it IS about making those first small steps! I need to remember that too about so many things!!

I can't wait to follow along with your progress and am excited for you!!

Beautiful and expressive post....I think you should consider submitting to AF magazine!!!!

Terry said...

You go girl! I can relate to all those feelings of failure as I went through so many of them too. Those feelings can really take away so much of who you are and messes up things you try to accomplish. Walking really helped me!! Even after Mom passing away, the hospice nurses really encourage "me" time and walking to sort and deal with the grief. Its a wonderful outlet to clear your mind and recharge! I will support you any way I can, even if you need a sitter while you run :-)

Glad I stopped by today! The IT guys are working on the computer system today (blogs not blocked YEA!) so I can catch up on some blog reading!! Shhh, don't tell. :-)

Congrats on yoru first grader! So looked so confident and I LOVED the Sammy waiting shot-adorable!!!

Terry said...

To correct my typo mistake....SIMONE looked so confident!!

Rushing to type and no spell check....not a good combination :-)

Nicole said...

Good for you! I totally agree w/ you -us mommies NEED that alone time-that peace and quiet ..that ME time! :) I run as well-and i love it...most of the times-haha.
Anyhow-keep it up-wow-10lbs! that's Awesome!!! :)
nicole k.

michelle said...

Thank you for that beautiful post. I had many of those same feelings before we adopted Lexie. It's always a good feeling knowing that we're not alone in our struggles. I'm also trying to exercise more. I'm not much of a runner, but I used to walk 2-3 miles a day before Taiwan, but with a baby and 2 dogs, we always find "other" things that are more fun to do. I decided a few weeks ago to start walking again and not being able to button my jeans was a great incentive. I bring Lexie in her stroller and when I'm done with my walk, I set her free and I get even more exercise chasing her around. Here's to a healthy life!!