Mommy, I Don’t Quit
It’s been almost five years now since I jumped on the fitness train. Six weeks postpartum from a very emotional pregnancy and delivery, I took to walking daily with my newborn daughter in tow. After dropping off my son at daycare, I would take my baby girl to the park and walk the path at Highland Road Park for hours. Not only did it help with the anxiety I was experiencing, but I was dropping weight rapidly, feeding my need to get out and walk. Walking eventually turned into running, and thus, after never being a runner before in my life, I became a runner.
I ran my first race in November 2014 and my first half in January 2015. But it wasn’t until March 2015 that I would really discover that my running had become more of a spiritual awakening of sorts versus physical fitness oriented.
Through running, I was able to feel connected to my two angel babies, and this particular race in March, brought it all to fruition. This particular race was for families, much like my own, who had lost a baby. We had recently lost two, including my daughter’s twin who sits in her room in a precious little butterfly urn lamp. That year was the inaugural race, a quarter marathon for the 1 in 4 families who had suffered such a tragic loss as that of a child they should have been welcoming into the world rather than saying goodbye. The race was cathartic for me. For once in my life, I was able to express my grief without being told I needed to move forward.
Today was the fourth year we have run this race as a family, but my head just wasn’t emotionally there. I love remembering my babies, but at the same time, I’m ready to move forward. My running has now become more physical than emotional, though at times, I still need a good emotional run. I didn’t want to grieve. I didn’t want to run. I wanted to do what I was there to do and get out.
Am I done grieving? Not likely. You never stop grieving the child you lost. But somehow, my grief is different and so my runs are different. The question now is, do I return for the five-year anniversary of this particular quarter marathon or am I just done?
Whatever decision I eventually make, I definitely won’t stop running. Watching my daughter run her tiny little almost five-year-old booty off today made my mommy heart smile BIG! Not only did she practically run the entire quarter marathon, but after falling, she brushed herself off, skinned knee and all, looked back at me and said, “I don’t quit, mommy!” And off she continued on her own running journey.
If it took me losing two babies to get the family I have now, then every ounce of grief and anxiety I experienced was well worth it. For once, I feel like I’m making a difference. I’m doing something right. As parents, we don’t realize just how much of an influence our actions are on our children, but they are watching us. They are watching us with such fierce intensity in an effort to learn who they are meant to be as little human beings.
My daughter loves to run because she sees me run. She believes she is strong because she sees me as strong. I may have started running as a way to connect to my angel babies, but I think I will continue running as a way to continue to show my daughter that being a strong girl is an amazing feeling.
Way to go!
I love the way the whole family got involved.