I used to hate running.
I’d start, run a couple feet, maybe a block, then stop.
It really bothered me. I’d put it off on how I could only do competitive sports. And I’d quit.
I hated that quitting part, but I was so good at telling myself I couldn’t do it so I believed it.
And then last fall when I was in the emergency room being diagnosed with anemia and exhaustion I made a goal. Well, a goal after two doctors and my nurse reminded me of how run down I was. (Read -> I thought I was Invincible)
Take care of me.
I’m not really good at it at all. Just not. I’ll put myself on the back burner ALL THE TIME. I’ll think to myself that I’ll get to taking care of me tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next week. And those days would NEVER COME.
But after I moved I made a commitment – to me.
Not to my work, my kids, my friends, but to me.
Get healthy again.
Sure it may seem like running was about outer health, but it wasn’t. It was about my mind. About proving to myself that I could do something that for my whole life I CONVINCED MYSELF I COULD NOT.
I just kind of needed to get to this place in my heart and mind that proved to me that I really was strong and could do something that I wasn’t sure if I liked. And it was hard. The first times running I could barely breathe. It was either breathing or my legs – but I just kept going. Day after day, my friends.
And with each step some of the baggage that I’ve carried with me forever – self worth doubts, shame, worry, anger, sadness, doubt, anger – began to fall. It’s almost as if with each foot hitting the ground I was releasing pain and gaining strength.
So today, today when I ran what I never thought I could run I realized the power in deciding to fight for oneself.
Are you doing that?
Are you fighting for you? Or are you putting you on the back shelf? Just like I did?
It might not be running. But find something. Find something that challenges you and pushes you and makes you stronger. I didn’t realize how tired my body had become and how I had started believing the lies I was telling myself about taking care of myself someday.
You know, when I had that IV shoved in my arm and doctors frantic around me in October I knew that I forgot me. And it still took me almost three months to start taking care of me. Without guilt. So I know that you might have guilt – guilt about all the things that you could do, should do, didn’t do, forgot to do, need to do – but all those things? THEY WILL BE THERE WHETHER OR NOT YOU TAKE CARE OF YOU.
So this is my challenge to you.
Figure out what you need to do.
For me it was running.
And here’s the greatest thing – the stronger I become the more determined I become and the more I know just how much I lost myself. And today as I was running past the spot where my asthma just months prior stopped me I remembered the journey and celebrated the pushing through. Because sometimes that is so hard. It’s scary to fight, scary to change and it feels so lonely. Those first steps, they are the hardest.
But you need to start.
Sweet mom, today is your day.
I’m cheering you on.
And if you happen to run, perhaps one day we’ll have a FindingJoy 5K and I might get the honor of running next to you.
ps. No GUILT. None. My kids are so proud of me when I return. Remember, when you take care of you it creates more for them. So guilt? Kick it to the curb.