On February 27, a few days before the trails, we took a pregnancy test. Not we, in the sense that we both took turns peeing on the stick like some weird frat-bonding thing, but Mitch sat there with me at 4:30 in the morning as I peed on a “blue test”
Let’s go back in time a bit.
I had been thinking about motherhood, very loosely, since January 2018. I was becomming more and more comfortable, reconciling the things I would be giving up, taking on, and changing. I think I slowly started nesting in my home and in my head, shedding what was no longer serving me (a practice I do pretty much every year, anyway…this year it just felt heightened ten-fold). Come May, I was shedding friendships that I felt were no longer serving my growth, causing a ripple-throughout my summer of an awkward- growth spurt.
I sort of have this complex, this need to be liked. When you shed people and situations from your life, things tend to get ugly. I had to reconcile a lot about things that I do wrong, things I just don’t accept in my life, and things I hope to see more of in the future. It was painful but felt like the most free I had been in years. I started being happier with my running. I started racing better. My work, I still have to work on a lot of my “imposter syndrome” in the workplace but hey, I am a 26 year old punk, give me a minute. I started getting on more planes, and got a little braver. I became more patient. And my anger complex, my heightened sense of justice complex, became something I started wanting to work on and not just excuse.
Come July, I got that “baby fever” people talk so much about. Quite honestly, I thought that idea was ridiculous. First of all, babies, they’re fine. I still think they’re fine. I think 7 years old is the best age- they can joke, but they also still love their blankie and cookies. Amazing. Never got the baby thing. But it started to hurt in my chest, the more time that went by without being a mother. I was willing to get pregnant before the Chicago Marathon, totally changing any chance I had of a PR, despite being in the best mental headspace I have ever been as an athlete.
That August and October, my races went incredibly well. I wasn’t in disgusting shape. None of my workouts indicated I was ready to break 18 or 3. All of my long runs were around 7:45 pace, nearly a minute slower than marathon pace. But I went into each race more at peace than I had ever been, because I felt free. I was so ready to “let go” in running that I finally could let go.
Now to now. I am pregnant. 12ish weeks, will be 13 weeks on Thursday. My running has slowed down. My pelvic floor is so fucked up, I had to take more time off from running than I have in years. 4 days, which is pretty pathetic, considering I should have been taking a week off after every marathon. But I have a complex. It’s called : I am 26 and an idiot.
I find myself fantitizing more and more about winning races. Coming back stronger than ever. Which is an incredible juxtoposition, as my mileage is significantally cut, my runs are slower, and most days, I am hiding behind Young Jeezy to disguse the fact that I feel really weak and kinda ashamed. I have entered pregnancy, but I have yet to let go.
This isn’t to say, let go of my health. Let go of trying. Let go of athletic goals. But let go of this death grip I have on appearing strong, fit, and untouchable all the time. Let go of this complex I have to always be the best, prove myself, or feel superior. I need to grow up and let go, and appreciate this stage of life I am in right now. Maybe then will I be able to appreciate what my body is doing, and feel more free doing it.
Letting go, especially during times of transition, really sucks. It sucked when I was changing my social circle. It sucked when I take steps to take my self worth out of my job. It sucked as I waited in the gap between “trying” to become a mother and not-trying. Transitions are hard, change is hard, it feels like a swirling dirvish of panic.
But whenever I let go, I am free to enjoy the ride.
Whenever I let go, the ride is wild, fun, and free.