Why I Run: Kelly Lewis


Kelly Lewis flying through a Disney race. (Is anyone else in awe of how her KT Tape and shoelaces coordinate with her wings and Team Sparkle skirt?)

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.

Kelly, and her pregnant belly, ready for a leg of 2010 The Relay.

Having babies is supposed to be a joyous occasion 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.

29 responses to “Why I Run: Kelly Lewis

  1. Your post really touched me too. I haven’t been one to experience PPD but still I could feel the raw emotion in your post and it made me want to reach out and hold your hand. I will be thinking of you think weekend. Keep running! I hope it brings your walls down brick by brick.

  2. I’m so glad you were willing to share and open up to an audience that may not be aware of the prevalence of PPD. Best wishes for your running and recovery.

    p.s. there is a whole crew of us out there willing to be supportive. Check out our blogs and Lauren’s #PPDChat on Twitter on Mondays.

  3. Loved this! So honest! Sometimes it’s easy to think that everyone elses lives are easier & running along smoothly (parden the pun). This is a nice reminder that we all face obstacles we have to muddle through. Happy running Kelly!

  4. I had my daughter back when PPD was still something you only heard about when things went terribly wrong. Thank you for saying it out loud. I run now for many of the reasons you stated – I just wish I would thought of turning to running back then to take me through some of those dark times.

    Keep taking care of yourself and run through those walls.

  5. I was never medically diagnosed with PDD but I felt it. Horribly, some days. Some days I still feel it. Thanks for talking about something that too few are willing to talk about.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. PPD is why I started running as well. I never would have made it through my children’s first years with out running. I’ve always said that I literally ran from the darkness into light. It wasn’t fast, but it worked.

  7. Kelly, that was beautifully written. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I know you will tear down that fortress!

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