New Year · parenthood · Running

Keep Pedaling

Last night I played Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” for my baby. She had been restless, but for a minute there, she stayed perfectly still, eyes wide open, like just maybe she was listening to the song.

I live for moments like that. That, as Kenny Chesney says, is the good stuff.

I’m approaching the time when new moms are typically cleared to resume running, and I’m wondering how that will go. I haven’t run since September, so I’m guessing it will be a challenge, physically. Mentally and logistically? I don’t even know. Moms who have gone through this, I would love suggestions!

Being a new parent doesn’t seem too far removed from being a new or returning-from-hiatus runner. It’s not easy; sometimes you want to just step off to the side and say “Okey doke, that’s enough for me! See ya!”

It’s a little rocky.

But here’s the key: keep pedaling. I know, I was talking about running and parenthood, not cycling, but bear with me. When we’re learning to ride a bike, we all have that moment(s) of panic where we think “I’m gonna fall I’m gonna fall I’m gonna fallllll!” It’s really, really scary.

But then the person teaching us calls out, “Keep pedaling!!!”

So we do. And it’s still scary there for a minute, but a tiny bit less so. And then a tiny bit less, until we think, hey, maybe I won’t fall after all.

The same is true with getting into / returning to running and (in my brief experience thus far) parenting. Keep pedaling. This doesn’t mean that it’s suddenly easy — there are still hills, real and metaphorical, to contend with. Doubt and fear still pop up.

But when we keep pedaling, we a) develop the magical thing called stamina, and b) figure out that hills don’t last forever.

We figure out that on top of the hill, sometimes even in the middle of the hill, there are some pretty awesome views. We figure out that the occasional face-plant or wipe-out isn’t the end of the world. And we figure out how to appreciate the good stuff.

Happy New Year!

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6 thoughts on “Keep Pedaling

  1. She is precious… yes, the first year is challenging.. Loss of sleep, our nerves get frayed but important for mom’s to take time to be refreshed in some manner. I wish I had support and encouragement in those years.. I loved rocking my babies and singing to them.. Being patient with the little human’s is a biggie…

  2. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl! We will be having a boy around February 8th (37 weeks) – March 1st (40 week due date).. and as i’m sure you know, body changes are a struggle emotionally! I look forward to reading about how you get back into your running routine while doing mama-duty. 😉 Happy New Year!

  3. Remember to be kind to yourself. Those first few months back in running shoes are a roller coaster. It may take up to 6 months pp or more to feel like yourself again and that’s okay. At least, that’s how long it took me.

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