After having a baby, nothing is the same – life is certainly enriched in so many wonderful ways. But for me, becoming a mother turned every facet of my life upside down – including my fitness routine. While pregnant with Lukas, watching the number on the scale increase was painful; however, I felt confident I’d bounce right back into my running routine and the baby weight would melt away. Now, nearly a year and a half later, I still haven’t “bounced back.”
I’m a life-long runner. I ran cross-country in middle school and high school. One of my first road race experiences was the Crim about 20 years ago. I’ve completed countless long-distance races, including two marathons. Running has and always will be a big part of my life. But in this period of transition, I’ve struggled with the fact that my relationship with running has changed. It’s not worse, it’s not better, it’s just different. And that’s okay! I can no longer go for a five-mile run every day. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – the intention and effort are still there.
These days, I run when I can. Some weeks, it’s a few times and others, it may be five or six times. The pace is slower, the distances shorter, and the mindset is different – but the passion remains. I love to run! It’s my escape from a busy life. It recharges and reenergizes me – now more than ever. Even a 20-minute run uplifts me in powerful ways. The hardest adjustment is wrapping my head around the fact that if I can only run a couple miles, that’s okay.
I think the Crim organization is incredibly powerful, because it reenergizes our community in the same way that running reenergizes me. The Crim has taught people that it’s not about the distance or the pace, it’s about the effort. Having a baby has taught me that same lesson: effort is everything. Exercise is a powerful thing – walking, running, yoga – whatever you do to stay active can enrich you in amazing ways.
I look forward to my new Crim experiences – the running eventswith Lukas. I hope he finds joy in pounding the pavement the way I have. Perhaps one day, I will return to running long distances like the ten-mile Crim race or another marathon. Until then, it’s baby steps on my postpartum running journey. Well, toddler steps now … but who’s counting?