Aug 21, 2012

Heidi: One Year Later

Kate's birthday is a huge milestone in my life as well as hers.  I am thrilled about all of the happy benchmarks Kate has hit in the last twelve months, but every month since her birth has marked my progress, too.  On this day I am reflecting on lessons learned, insights gained, and challenges conquered in the time since we found out Kate was on her way.

I'm sure that the difficult pregnancy will be gauge in my life for many years to come.  ("Is this harder than that?") I am still traumatized by it.  The other day I spent some time talking to a friend currently experiencing severe morning sickness.  I cried on and off for the rest of the day.  That was clearly an extreme response, and I am working on moving past last year's haunting memories.  But I am a stronger person for walking that road, even if I would never have chosen it.

That said, it's easy for me to see the great strides I have made in the last year.  Almost daily, I think to myself, "There is NO WAY I could have done that a year ago," even if that something is relatively basic, like vacuuming the family room or waking up before 8:00 a.m. or carrying two crying kids up the stairs.  I can take care of my family, serve in the church, throw a party, and help a friend--sometimes all in the same day.  I do NOT "have it all together," I am NOT Superwoman, and I still have more bad days than I would like. But I am feeling better and getting stronger, bit by bit, and day by day.  I am glad to be finding myself again.

In January, when I committed to improving my physical health, I set my sights on running a 10K this fall. Of course I hoped that a race date would help me get into shape, and it has.  My wedding ring finally fits again.  As of this morning, I'm two pounds away from losing my "Kate weight," which totaled 50 pounds.  I still hope to shed another 30 (my "Ty/Gav/Lex weight"). On Friday at the YMCA I completed a 10K training workout, which was a five-minute warm-up followed by a 17-minute run, a 1-minute walk,  a 17-minute run, a 1-minute walk,  a 17-minute run,  and a five-minute cool-down walk.  I traveled 5.1 miles in 62 minutes, and I was sure tired by the end!  But I'm thrilled that my body could do what I asked it to do that morning.

More than a physical training goal, committing to a 10K was a way to reclaim the true me: the Heidi  that feels most like herself when she is running.  It has been a long year and a tough battle (in January I couldn't run for three minutes straight), but I am finally finding that girl again.  The best part is that I am starting to feel like myself in places besides the gym or the treadmill.  My {super slow} mile time doesn't matter nearly as much as how I feel when I've accomplished something hard, or finished a task I didn't want to start.  I've learned that just showing up to attempt the difficult thing--in any part of my life--is lots more important than what I look like at the finish line.

I'm planning to run that 10K on October 6.  In fact, I registered for the race this morning. Just doing that much felt amazing.  I think the real Heidi is finally coming back...and I'm really glad to be here.
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