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‘I am the Resurrection and I am the Light’, or, I Had the Baby and Went for a Run

9 June 2013

Today I went for one of the most important runs of my life.

The day was nothing special: overcast, still, and cool for June. My running was poor: slow and careful, 35 minutes with a little break to catch my breath after 20. The route was an old one, to Finsbury Park, though the grass was newly littered with bottles and cans from last night’s Stone Roses concert.

Nothing was special, but everything was different. On 30th April 2013 I had a lovely baby girl and I have a feeling that running, like many things, will never be the same again.

For the last six weeks (well, for the last six months), I’ve thought about this run everyday. In labour, in hospital stuck inside for the fourth day, in the shower at home contemplating my strange deflated tummy, in bed awake at 3am, in exhaustion, in happiness and in stress. I have waited for this moment, placed so much importance on it, that when it came, when I decided it was time, I realised I was shaking. Lacing up my trainers, feeling their unfamiliar stiffness from months of neglect, I shook with nerves. What if it wasn’t how I remembered? What if I couldn’t do it? What if I didn’t enjoy it?

I don’t know why I worried. I mean, it’s me. It’s running. I left the house and within twenty steps it was just the same. It didn’t matter how many steps I took, or how fast I took them. Every step I took was one closer to feeling like myself again. My muscles were tired and my lungs were sore but I wasn’t pregnant! When I asked my body to do something, it responded. I could see my feet, move my hips and run up hills (slowly, but I could do it).

I have a long way to go until I’m fit again. Finding the time and energy to run will be hard, but I will find it. Running makes me happy. It’s part of who I am. It makes me me.

In 35 minutes I didn’t think about my daughter once. Should that make me feel guilty? I was just a body moving through space. My brain was free.

Being a parent is a massive responsibility and a huge privilege. Running is freedom. I hope the two will get along nicely together.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jascha permalink
    9 June 2013 9:14 pm

    I am all kinds of pleased by this blog. Very proud xx

  2. 10 June 2013 8:25 am

    This is thrilling!! xxx

  3. kat_rocket permalink
    11 June 2013 2:15 pm

    You have just described exactly how I felt before, during and after my first run after my second son was born. And I can guarantee you will be stronger than before because after having a baby you have no reason to be afraid of the pain of marathon training anymore! (totally stole that from Chaunte Lowe the US Olympic high jumper) xx

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