I thought I would reflect over all that has happened, and remind myself…and you, through my stream of consciousness, that no situation is final.
You may be injured right now and feel like you are never going to be a healthy runner again.
You may be grieving the loss of a loved one, waiting patiently for the days to pass to allow the “time” everyone promises will heal your wounds.
You may be on top of the world right now, everything is going so perfectly, and you know, things don’t last forever.
Our lives are constantly changing, and things can quickly shift in an instant.
This time a year ago, I had NO idea I was going to stop running and I don’t think I would have believed you if you told me that a year later I would have a two month old daughter…who by the way, looks like this:
Back to the serious writing…
Sure, this time a year ago I was going through some inner turmoil. I hadn’t really discussed what I was feeling deep down inside with anyone other than Steve, and had even downplayed it to him. I hadn’t wanted to admit it to myself. Admit that I had fallen out of love with running, potentially for good. That my body not functioning correctly with my amenorrhea had become an obsession that I couldn’t stop thinking about.
High mileage, low motivation, feelings of love for a beautiful little girl (my niece Charlotte), feelings of hatred towards my body, sleep deprivation, burnout, and being at the wrong place at the wrong time created a perfect storm of emotions, which made me capable of coming to a decision a lot sooner than I ever expected. But once the words came out, it felt so right.
Those words I uttered to my family as I fell to the floor of my parents house in England, devastated that my passion for running was no longer there.
But I wasn’t done.
My life was just beginning. In a whole new way, and I wouldn’t change that moment for the world.
Not only am I now back to running, excited for a future with a new chapter of my life, my postpartum running journey where I get to write my story as I want it, right from the beginning again, but I have been given the most wonderful, beautiful gift.
A baby daughter.
But there is more to this story, more to what happened.
Yes, I ended up with the one thing I wanted the most, but I am also very proud of the conversations happening around amenorrhea. Finally women are sharing their stories, helping other women to not feel so alone, and admitting they need to make a change too.
Having amenorrhea in the running world is no longer a taboo subject, something that would make you slink into the corner of a room, pretending that you are not the little 14 year old girl you feel like for not being a “real woman” who has a period.
Instead, women are coming out, strong, sharing their battles of overcoming amenorrhea, or maybe even just beginning their battle, but using the strength of others to fight their very best and recover from amenorrhea.
I decided I wanted to be brave, and I vowed to make discussions of amenorrhea be commonplace, not something you have to hide behind, embarrassed to admit, but something you are working on, you are trying to become a better place.
In the words of John Mayer, “I’m in repair, I’m not together, but I’m getting there.”
A year ago, although I had an incredible race on the horizon, something didn’t feel quite right. I felt it in my gut, in my heart. I wasn’t following the path I wanted to be on, I was just following what I should be on, following what was most comfortable, the life I knew.
Sometimes we feel trapped, like we have no control over where our lives are going, and we wonder why we are being tested in the way we are. We look to others lives, jealous of them taking for granted everything we want, just as I was taking for granted my life as a runner.
But that doesn’t mean you have to stay in a situation you don’t want to be in. We are the decision makers here, and only you can decide to change your path to something that does align with what your heart wants.
Sometimes it is scary, sometimes it involves taking a risk, sometimes you just don’t know where you will end up, but one thing is for sure, you will never know unless you try.
When I stopped running, I didn’t know how I would handle it. It seemed so…permanent, so final, when in fact it wasn’t:
I was CHOOSING to stop running, part of me thought I was insane for doing that, and others would think I was too, what a waste of talent they were saying in my mind.
It can be easy to see where we are in this moment, and feel like it is SUCH a huge decision, that the choices we make now can never be undone. And yes, life can change in an instant, but our path changes often, and even if we do make a life changing decision that doesn’t pan out quite how we expected or hope, it can lead to new, better journeys.
It comes down to taking each day at a time. Waking up each morning and allowing yourself to do the best that you can to follow your heart and be who you are.
I am embracing this new chapter of my life, fully aware that Bailey is growing so fast. I may be able to only squeeze in three runs a week, and my running fitness is not really improving, nor is my business, but I am cherishing these fleeting moments with Bailey.
Don’t waste precious moments you could be celebrating of your life now as you wish for something else. Either be brave and make that change, the one that gives you what your heart wants, or be in the now, soak in what is going on around you in THIS time, and trust, that in the future, your path will lead you in a new direction, where you can enjoy something completely different.
If only you let it.
Okay, random stream of consciousness there, probably doesn’t even make any sense, but you seem to like reading these, so here you go 🙂