Writing and exercise are my outlets and have been for most of my life. Or at least writing has been and running became my other one when I discovered it my sophomore year of high school.
Before I was pregnant with Chase, I was pretty active. That all went downhill once I actually got knocked up. That trend continued for several years because I could invent every excuse in the book to not exercise. Before I got pregnant with Charlotte, I was in another active streak. It was one of the things I started doing because I thought maybe that was a reason it had taken me so long to get pregnant. It faltered a little after I got pregnant, but I tried to keep up working out when I could. In fact, I did a 10K three weeks before I lost her.
I never blamed myself for being too active. It could have been a contributing factor, but I will never know if it was or wasn’t so there is no point in wondering if it was. And honestly, it wasn’t like I was working out more than a couple of times a week. After she passed away, I had a renewed vigor for running. After asking why Charlotte had died, the second question I asked at my follow up appointment was whether or not I could run. Thankfully that appointment was only four weeks after I delivered her or I may have gone insane. I worked out almost every day of the week. I started running whenever I could and I used the elliptical when it was too cold to run outside. I did a crazy diet and lost 10 pounds and the weight continued to fall off because my outlet for the sadness was to get moving.
All of that came to a screeching halt 7 weeks later when I got my positive pregnancy test. I wasn’t about to chance anything. I had my first doctor’s appointment and wasn’t really encouraged to do much exercising. Four weeks later, I had my first high risk doctor’s appointment and was told “strolls are good.” It killed me that I had finally gotten my mojo back in the exercise department and then I had to stop, but I was willing to do that if it meant a better outcome.
So any and all progress turned into leisurely walks around the neighborhood. A (very active) friend of mine said, “I never believe doctors when they tell you not to exercise.” I agree with her wholeheartedly, but I was not willing to take the risk with the issues I have had with every pregnancy. That’s not to say that I didn’t curse every skinny chick I saw running the trails in the summer, but I stuck with it.
Not even a week after Ryder was born, I was walking the neighborhood again. The day of my six week postpartum appointment, I was on the elliptical. I have kept it up ever since. Today I ran 6 miles and it has never felt better. I am so proud of myself. I thought it would be so much harder to get back into running after putting my shoes on the shelf for almost 9 months, but it has been easy because I have wanted it so badly! I gave myself a pat on the back when I got home because I would not have imagined that 4 months postpartum I would be working out nearly every day and actually enjoying running.
See, that’s the thing, I’ve never loved running, but it has always helped me. It’s about time I started loving it back.