Dimity and I first met Kelly Lewis, a Southern California mom of three, over Twitter but then we got to pal around with her in person at the recent BlogHer convention in San Diego. Kelly is on one of the two Hood to Coast teams of women bloggers sponsored by nuun, so think about her running through the night when you get up to pee at 2:33 a.m. on Friday night. And check her out on her blog.
I didn’t choose to be a runner. I think very few people actually choose to be runners.
We’re talking pre-dawn runs, ice baths, a constant aroma of Bengay, and blackened (and sometimes lost) toenails. A diet of energy bars, gels, and GUs. The oddest tan lines you’ve ever seen, thanks to the KT Tape I wear around my knees.
No, running chose me.
Looking back, I’ve run for different reasons, at different points in my life. I’ve run to mend a broken heart. To clear my head. To escape and to feel in control. After my father passed away, I ran to feel connected to him, to remember him, to be with him.
But most recently, I run because it’s cheaper than therapy. I run to survive. I run to combat postpartum depression.
I’ve never claimed to be super-mom. I’m the first to admit I’m far from perfect. But, once upon a time, I at least felt like I had life figured out. These days PPD has thrown a wrench in the well-oiled-machine I once called my life, sending me into an out-of-control, downward spiral. Leaving me trapped in a hole so deep, sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be able to climb back out.
Having babies is supposed to be a joyous occasion and...it was. It’s just the aftermath, I’m not so sure about. When I think about it, it’s actually kind of funny. I’m surrounded by the chaos of three young children every single day, and yet I’ve never felt so alone.
For the past few years I’ve watched life happen as an observer, instead of an active participant. Slowly but surely, I’ve managed to shut everyone out, and burn every bridge along the way. Activities I used to love and hobbies I used to look forward to now just seem like burdens.
Not to mention, I now find myself totally and completely unmotivated, out-of-touch, and overwhelmed. I dread getting out of bed in the morning. I am constantly feeling like life has given up on me, or maybe I’m the one who has given up on life.
I’ve been living life in a deep, dark tunnel, constantly trying to reach that itty-bitty light I see peeping through. The (prescription) drugs have helped a bit, taking the edge off, and making the light a wee bit more obtainable. But running has helped me more. Running is the one thing I look forward to each and every day. It’s helped me reach out and actually grab that pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel.
Without even noticing, I’ve managed to build a fortress around myself, an incredible thing that rivals the Great Wall of China. I can’t expect it to come down overnight, can I? But, with a little help from my friends and a whole lot of running, this fortress of mine has slowly started tumbling down.
That is why I run: because it has the ability to break down walls and build bridges.