Today I was reminded that you don’t have to be in your best shape or even consider yourself “a runner” for running to love you. It’s like this unconditional love that sits and waits for you when you are ready. It’s never pushy. It’s ready to greet you and love you as soon as you embrace it. It can be hard to feel like a beginner. It can be discouraging to feel as though your body is failing you, when your mind and heart want it so badly to be moving at a faster rate. Sometimes moving through the self doubt and frustration is part of the process. In running and in life. It’s all part of the journey…
“We are going to be ok, we are going to be ok, we are going to be ok.”
Four months ago, I repeated these words while tapping the middle of my forehead to calm myself through intense moments of my child’s birth. I did not remember this scene until my doctor recalled it at my six week follow up appointment and it made me smile. I’m not sure where I came up with this mantra in the moment of desperation, but I am certain it came straight from my heart.
This morning’s run welcomed me with gratitude and left me with forgiveness. The crisp spring morning air chilled my nose and filled my lungs along the wildflower lined trails. I felt alert and alive as if someone had dumped cold water on my head. I felt as though the fog of the last four months is beginning to lift. I felt grateful just to start.
I’ve never hated running. In fact I have always felt indebt to the movement. It has given me so much over the years that I yearn to move in this motion to pay my respects. Running gives me a connection to myself and my surroundings that I haven’t felt through anything else.
Throughout today’s six miles, I thanked running (as if it were a human) for being a part of all of the chapters of my life. The celebrations, the sadness, the beginnings and endings. It’s a relationship I’ve leaned on so greatly over the years for both challenge and comfort. For many of us who have taken a break from it’s movement because of choice, an injury, pregnancy, postpartum healing, etc., the comeback is often slow and awkward. There are days you wonder if it will ever feel easy again.
Today I felt as though I had weights around my ankles and my biceps burned as they held a ninety degree swinging motion. Today the self doubt that lies deep inside each of us started to speak, so I gave her the stage. In the past I have squashed negative voices by replacing them with positive messages. I’ve proudly bullied self doubt with positivity. But today, I felt like my insecurities needed the floor, she needed to get something off her chest. I don’t know about you, but my self doubt is ornery and full of sass, so I let her speak. I let her release her frustrations and fears. I let her rise up and listened to her like a friend, being aware not to internalized the self criticism. Self doubt lives in my head, not in my heart. My head spoke and my heart listened. When she was done I set the words free. The poor thing has been bottled up with exhaustion, fear, and the crazy hormones of postpartum, she needed so badly to be set free.
Without judgement I hear my heart whisper, “Patience my dear.”
And just like that as my body continued to stride ahead, I feel lighter.
As I finished my run and got into my car, I sat for a moment in gratitude.
“We are going to be ok, we are going to be ok, we are going to be ok,” I repeated these words while tapping the middle of my forehead.
When your heart speaks, listen. This is where your conscious and intuition live. Listen to your heart. She’s always got your back and knows the truth.
Melissa McConville, Founder and Director of She.is.beautiful