(this is long, but just something I have on my mind and writing about it gives perspective, I think) So feel free to pass this one up if you like. After all I do not try to please the masses, if I can help it...
I have one thing outside of Justin and Laila that I love and look forward to...what you say? Well it is very interesting and you will likely say that I am crazy...as I get that a lot...but I do love it(much more so when it is going well than when I am struggling- but I am learning to appreciate that as well). As time passes and I get over the hurdles of the 'leanring of it'; I enjoy it more and more and while I started it to loose weight... and I have some, but always seem to let it slip back on...one day that part will also catch up- I hope.
When will I loose significant weight you might ask? Well when I don't eat impulsively without recognizing it? When I don't finish whatever Laila does not manage to eat? When I don't eat because I am not sure when I will get to again? When I have little more time for myself...and when will this exactly be? not sure, totally but somewhere between Laila growing up and not needing me to wipe her behind when she goes to the bathroom and does not want me to just sit and watch Dora or play baby with her. So for now...it is merely something that I love and I think keeps me from being a whale! It is that time for me that makes me a little nicer, that I have come to look forward to and really miss when i cannot make it fit.
so what is this that i speak of?
Running!!! Never thought I would do anything like that....you know...be one of those people!
But in 2008 I destroyed my knee on a snow skiing trip...yes many of you lived with me and will never forget as I whined and struggled with the loss of power that i went through....that you helped me through and helped me be momma! But it was when Dr. Boyd- ortho said to me. Stop going to therapy, just do what feels good and if it hurts don't do it. yes truly great advice. I left ticked off and just knew that the 'hardware' in my leg HAD to come out and after all the money we had invested I knew this MUST happen before December 31st that year. Soooo, for nearly one month I did nothing, I mean no PT no exericse, nothing. And then I decided I had to prove I was right and I needed a goal...Why? because goals are how I achieve things...otherwise...it is just something you talk about doing....which at times over the past 2 years...it has been...something I talked about and planned to do. Because for whatever reason I was struggling with something and just could not make it happen. But in September of that year I set out to run as far as I could and I set November at the annual Sweet Potato Festival 5K as my goal. Well....I did great for a while...great for a struggling...use to be in shape mom of one..and husband who was working daylight to dark...but I did it. about three weeks before this run my running schedule went to pot and I was hitting and missing lots. I had told my husband about this plan and he made me keep this honest. As the week came for the run..the temperture dropped and it was like 30-40 degrees which was strikingly different from what I was 'used to' and I began to talk to myself and say...Hey...you should not do this...you have not been running enough, you don't have anyone going with you ( I had talked to a few people and no one was fully in- except Jonathan, my husband's cousin- ex college football player...and yes in MUCH better shape than me...so I would be miles behind him in a 3 mile run! And that week...hubby says to me...you have been working on this. You should do it. You should not give in. Just go do it. So on Wednesday of that week....I got mother in law Debra to watch Laila and off I struck...no distance measured out...just running. I ran all the 'safe' areas around our house at the time and then circled back and ran as much as I could...walking a lot and when I had to in order to survive....I got back home and checked in on Laila and said...ok I am going to drive what I just did and see how close I even am....when I drove back to driveway...the odometer...seriously clicked to 3.1 miles...well....I guess it is meant to be....So I signed up and mailed in my entry form and I was RUNNING on saturday.
The morning of the race I was sure it was a BAD idea... I was all alone...and not sure what the heck I was even thinking or doing really but it was my goal. Prove the knee was bad and needed more surgery to stop this daily or almost daily pain that I had...which by the way...running was the only time it didn't hurt...which was ODD! But I woke, settled Laila at my mom's had on my recently purchased 'outfit' from Walmart and watch...also walmart...and to town I went. I got there early..it was COLD...checked in..got my stuff...took it to the car and then I set out walking. I took...oh 3 trips to the port-a-potty...as I was nervous of needing to pee and not able to hold it in on the mommy struggling bladder....and found Jonathan at Machele's booth(his wife) I stuck close to him...as I HATE being alone in new adventures... just me.. Anyway, we are at the starting line and I see all the women, men, children, elders, etc...come and they ALL looked ready. Far more ready than me...and the anxiety rose...Gosh I wanted to run....but to my car and home. But I had told people that I was doing this and the pride of it was at hand. I knew the area...but not the course so I knew I would be safe and could find my way home...then there is THAT guy....you know the dude that comes out in shorty shorts with paint on his body and he is SERIOUS...that person that makes you think...I don't even want to be him..so why am I here??? Yep...just before we start out...he strips off the shirt and gets ready to run! EXIT!!!!! But again ...I KNOW people and I will look like failure...pride....served me well. Saw some people I never thought would be runners and they talked about not being sure butj ust came out anyway, had not run in while,...etc etc...so I say...Hey they have been running and think that they are not 'ready' for various reasons...so I gather in the BACK of the pack and get music ready....CHECK; watch...CHECK; oh gosh....gotta pee again....but CHECK...not happening as I have not clue when this thing will actually begin. SO I just find a spot and I wait.... Then it is here...time to start...the sound begins...I start running. Run for good little while...'sort of' with Jonathan until I realize...if I don't back off I WILL die...I will not make it...and making it is my only goal. I knew I would WALK. I knew I would be LAST. I knew lots...but yet was a nubee and was sure I would REGRET this but that little person that lives inside my head...said...You can do this! You are an athlete at heart and competative at heart and your husband will RAG you forever! So I keep it up! I realized later that I ran the first mile!!! Are you kidding me? I ran a mile without stopping? But at the time, I had no idea so pride kept me going. Slow people I had passed...passed me...and I was alone much of the race...quite sure I was at the end and by the time I reached the BIG 'are you kidding me hill' and I admit WALKED half way up it...I was sure this was bad idea..I was talking to myself just to keep going. I would run a while, then walk a while. There was nothing but doing it left and I was not sure how much farther I had to go..so I just pressed on....probably about the 2-2.5 mile mark....I met ' THE SHORTY SHORTS GUY' and I was struggling...visually struggling...and he says to me...( I was even walking when I met him) he says...chop chop....Seriously dude? I WILL run and catch you and take you out!!! I was ticked...but I did start back running and I was annoyed at him the entire rest of the time. This cycled with my thinking....dear lord...DO I HAVE TO TURN around up here somewhere and go BACK????? Cause remember I was so new that I had no idea just how far 3 miles was. I was sure that it was something I could do ONE time...and that was the previous Wednesday night. I was hot and sweating and it was cold and this dude was turning around. While I didn't meet others...I was not sure what this meant...but I would walk and then run as much as I could trying to get to the end. I was also trying very hard to SAVE just enough to run across the finish line...PRIDE...remember! It was after I made the turn at the library for those of you that know Vardaman...and I could see it....WOOOOHOOOO the finish line!!! Have I survived this? By golly I think I have...So I dug deep... oh yea forget to mention I failed to set the watch that I had previously checked! I ran across the finish line...Jonathan, who was almost done sweating when I crossed, but I did it...I crossed the finish line without medical attention! And in 34 minutes!!! Are you kidding me? I was pleased...because this time was soooo much better than I had ever done...again new...and better than I ever imagined...which meant I pushed myself WAAAY too hard but I was so green it wasn't funny!
So that was the first race that I ever ran. And while I have not ran just loads of them. I am enjoying them more and more and looking forward to doing more than just stuff very local to home, etc. I did thoroughly enjoy running the Race for Hope- Brain Tumor awareness in Brewer community outside of Tupelo. I had never ran for a REASON before and I much enjoyed it. I cried that day as I watched a few survivors overcome odds MUCH bigger than my...I am too tired, etc of excuses. One of my friend's dads was at the finish line...and again I WAS struggling BAD....but it was his wife that I was running for....and he was cheering and that made me push and crossing the line that day...well it was a different feeling of accomplishment! Not a self accomplishment but just something different. I am tenatively planning to run the St. Jude 5k in December of this year. I love that charity and think that it will be a great one....and I LOVE to run in the cold actually. I think it is because this was when I began running and I just do better in the cold!
So, why post this...well, lots of reasons...it is a big part of what makes me me, not that running defines me...because it doesn't. But rather that taking some time out of my hectic daily momma routine and wife duties and nurse pracitioner long days...running is just for me. It helps me clear my head, it helps me have energy to do all those things I love more than life! It helps me not be so snappy with Laila- cause I do love her every minute...but you know! It just makes me nicer...'so said hubby one day when I had not been in a while' and that was a day that I began owning that this is something really good for me. So if I have not lost tons of weight...it isn't a total wash. I am better shape than I was before I got pregnant with Laila...even though abuot the same size. I am healthier and happier for sure!
The biggest reason for writing this...is just to take credit for where I have been. I do see running to be something that I continue in the future. I do hope that one day Laila will notice the value that I place on physical fitness and that this is important for yourself and your self esteem as well as your health and I would love to think that one day she will join me for a run and that will be just something else that we can do together and have fun!
And if she struggles half as much as I did when she starts...it will be very funny for her to be able to read about how I got started and the shear idiot I was for my first 5K....but hey..you have to start somewhere...and after crossing the finish line that day...I knew I wanted to do it again. WHile I have been through more than a few lapses in the past 2 years iwth my running. I am committed now more than ever to keep the feet moving on the pavement. I look forward to accomplishing new goals...I have always been commited in my head but there have been some streches where the weight of all those daily responsibilities have worn me into a couch potato who is only a runner in her HEAD! This is funny to say but truth lies in it. I do stray at times and take a break but always...I am planning when I will begin again!
Just like all the other things in my life. I take it one day at a time. But I sure am enjoying the sweating it out. Does not make sense when you are just starting for sure...but it is rewarding to get out there and at the end of the run...you have started your day with ONE thing checked off and done! Now, telling myself that at 4:15 AM!!!! Well that is more difficult to acheive....but once I am up and into the first mile...BOY I sure am glad that I came!
For now...just enjoying that I can run 3.1 miles without stopping or thinking I might die....
I read something this week that struck me as I was working on this post...
"Freedom really isn't about release from responsibilities;
it's about the status of your heart in the midst of it"
For me this made sense in a different way than the writer of it...but yet in similar way I think. For me...this made sense...because my morning runs are a quick 'freedom' from my responsibilities. No work, no phone calls at 4:45 AM, Laila is tucked into bed and if she wakes...she will go crawl in with her daddy who is also sleeping, not taking away from time I could spend fully devoted to Justin, and for just a little while. I am JUST Jennifer again. I am certainly NOT saying that I want to or would change my life. I love it just the way it is!!!! But in the everyday wear and tear....I just need a minute. I did NOT get it when my momma said that. but I DO now! A minute is ALL any mom, real mom, really wants, needs, or can possibly stand. For example, If Justin comes in and takes Laila out to feed the ducks or something to give me a break...while I am often elbow deep in some task and greatly appreciate the gesture...and often times welcome it, or get irritated because he doesn't do it...In the quiet of my house...I realize...I don't want to be alone. I want him to need me, I want her to need me...and I miss them both like crazy ...when I get a minute to myself and realize....I don't want alone time...not really! So for now...running in the early morning hours with my fellow wives and mothers or future mothers...that is the me time I would like. I do not like to take myself out of the normal hustle and bustle...cause I just might miss something!