I’d like to attribute it to pregnancy hormones; they’re easiest to blame in most situations these days, but I am not quite sure they deserve all the credit. This morning, I found myself watching a short clip on the Boston Marathon. Perhaps it was the inspirational music, the throngs of people all moving in the same direction, or just the joyful expression on the runners faces but suddenly my eyes were full of hot tears and my nose was running. What’s this? Was I really crying over a marathon highlight video?
Those of you who are already moms and those of you who join me in the pregnant category, maybe you can relate? As I enter the final month of this nine-month, life-creation-adventure, my body is reaching some unspoken limit. I’ll refrain from complaining, because if you’re a mom you know exactly what this final stage feels like, and fellow preggos: either you’re right there with me or you’re well on your way.
Actually, I don’t even feel the need to complain. It is pretty freaking amazing that I get to have this experience at all! Am I right?
But back to the crying and hormones… why was I so emotional? Perhaps it’s because this body transformation is a little daunting. Yes, it is incredibly cool that underneath the layers of skin, and in that round ball of a belly, a baby is living, but your body image, this stranger in the mirror, the protrusion from your center…how to deal?
About halfway through my pregnancy I was told by my midwife that I had a low cervix. Her facial expression was telling, though she didn’t want me to be too concerned. During this period, my husband and I bought a house and moved.
On moving day I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvis and casually mentioned it to my friend, not realizing that my mother-in-law could overhear. As an OB/GYN nurse, she had some serious concerns. She wanted me to get off my feet immediately. Then she told me that given my cervix length, I should be closely monitored, and on partial bed rest. She knew I had already experienced a miscarriage six months prior, and she didn’t want me to take any risks.
Of course, this amplified in me. I didn’t want to lose this precious baby either! So, over the next few months I slowed down my activity.
Truthfully, I’ve never been an exercise fiend. I have one glory moment when I finished 13.1 miles in two hours and nineteen minutes. A feat that transpired only because my older sister desired to do the Savannah, Rock N Roll half-marathon, for her 35th birthday. Still, something about that moment stuck with me. It ranks high in my life’s most exhilarating moments. Moving in the same direction as 20,000 individuals, all intent on the same goal, as local community members stood by cheering us on, was truly inspirational.
So, as these last few weeks of pregnancy are drawing to a close (only 24 more days to go!), I’ve been contemplating what I want to do for myself both mentally and physically. The memory of crossing the finish line, receiving my medal, and the high I experienced that week, revisited me.
I know a lot of women struggle with losing their baby weight gain and for others’ it seems to disappear in a matter of weeks. For me, it’s not about my weight or size. I just want to feel healthy, strong and beautiful in my skin. I’ve also been a little bit nervous that I might lose my own identity with the new mom identity I will be gaining once this little girl is born.
So I devised a plan. I created a Facebook group called Looking Good in 2014. Next, I invited a ton of friends to join me in my mission. I’ve found that when I invite others to join me in my goals, the accountability to myself increases tremendously. If you’re looking for your own motivation, I highly suggest you recruit some friends. Their positivity and encouragement is essential when your butt feels too tired to get moving.
Looking Good in 2014 is my goal to complete a full marathon in one year’s time from the birth of my daughter. For me, 26.2 miles is crazy far, but I feel like it’s something I can accomplish once in my life. I’ve invited my friends to join me in this quest, suggesting that if they don’t want to do the full marathon, that they do the half marathon, because that in and of itself is totally exhilarating. So far we haven’t chosen a specific marathon yet, but the plan is to rent a house together and make it a weekend celebration.
Can you tell that I am excited? I am so excited! To insure that I reach this goal I’ve already signed up to do a half marathon, the Oak Barrel Half in Franklin, TN. This race is taking place April 2014 and I will be running with my sister and brother.
I’ve also made my Looking Good in 2014 an open forum. I want people to feel like they can invite anyone towards this fitness goal and join me in the celebration of living. I want to be a positive role model to my daughter from the moment she arrives.
Consider this blog encouragement to all you other smart moms as you think about your own life goals. What are you doing to actively increase your own happiness and thereby increasing the happiness of those around you? I know how easy it is to get caught up in the daily routine. We get busy helping our own family succeed (and that is an amazing sacrifice) but it is important to remember our own needs as well. Isn’t there a saying about that?
When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. (My Tennessee redneck coming through).
Check out these top 15 reasons to run, from a motivational pin found on Pinterest. And tell me your goals for the coming year? Do you want to join me in my quest to complete a marathon?