Back when I decided to start this blog, I thought of it as a place to share my running adventures and my growth as a runner. As life happened, however, I realized that this was turning into more than just a ‘running’ blog. Running is so much more than a physical act – it is how I have reconnected my body, mind and spirit. It’s how I began to focus on transforming myself from the inside out, not the outside in as I’d done in years past. I spent many years neglecting one, some, or all parts of me and I finally got my self sync on. I think that many of you are on similar journeys trying to find that thing that will connect the parts of yourselves that fall out of balance whether it’s through running or some other fitness activity. We all seem to be searching for that peaceful balance and I hope every day that we all are able to find it.
But what do you do when the thing that brings you balance is temporarily not an option? Due to complications in my pregnancy (I’m 20 weeks along now), I’ve been put on “moderate bed rest” and absolutely no exercise – especially running. I think I’ve been in shock for the last two weeks since the conversation with my doctor that I’m only now able to process and write about it. I’ve been looking through the photos of my runs over the last year and driving through the places where I started my couch to 5k training, and it blows my mind how far I was able to come over time. I was able to transform a body and a mind that were absolutely ‘unfit’ to run into a whole ‘new’ person that was capable of running 8 miles and at one point was ready to run a half marathon. Now here I am – GROUNDED – and asking myself, “What now?”
Last week, I watched a sermon by Joel Osteen who, regardless of your faith, is an amazing and positive speaker who inspires people in big ways. He talked about “The God Who Closes Doors“. I don’t think that message could have been put in front of me at a better time. We often talk about doors opening in our lives and opportunities being realized and we credit God or a person or an event for that happening, but we seem to be less aware of and thankful for WHY sometimes doors close in our lives. In my case, there are very real reasons why running is not an option for me at this time. It could put the life of my unborn daughter Victoria at risk. It could put my own life at risk as well.
But why get me all the way here physically, spiritually and mentally only to shut me down now? I have to believe Pastor Osteen when he says to develop a bigger perspective. Instead of feeling let down, realize there’s something bigger or more out there than what we had. While I may not be able to run in the now, I’m able to take this time to appreciate what I accomplished, to prepare my mind for working hard once again to get back to where I was and EXCEED it, and to focus on other things that bring balance to my life, like my children.
Thinking about the situation in this way is me doing different for myself. Unlike in the past, I don’t intend on quitting or giving up on myself and going back to bad habits. This down time only motivates me to come back stronger and better than I was when I ran my last race when the time is right. It is teaching me to make time for myself and my family. It is making me realize that running is one of many ways for me to find balance and that because of what I accomplished through running this past year I’m able to take a necessary break from running without fear of going back to the me I “was”. Being “grounded” is turning out to be an interesting gift, and I hope that if you ever run into similar challenges that you will develop a bigger perspective, no matter what you believe. YOU are worth bigger and better things and you CAN achieve them, no matter what the “set back”.