Returning to the Road

In the winter of 2011, I was going through a difficult time in my life. That year, I decided to treat myself and travel from DC, where I’d recently moved, to Oregon, for Christmas.

I was lucky enough to go to graduate school in Oregon, and it had always felt like home more than any other place I’d lived. December of 2011 was no different, and when the plane landed, I was reminded of why I was drawn to the state. Temperate climate (much better than back in DC, where the temperatures were frigid!), un-ending greenery, the ever-present misty rain, and the smell of pine drew me in, and helped begin my healing process. Running the trails near my best friend’s house helped to rebuild my confidence in myself, while introducing me to my favorite running weather of all time: 55F and misty.

It was fitting, then, that after a months-long break during my pregnancy, I returned to the road today for a mile-long run. It’s a day I’ve literally dreamed about; thankfully my active pregnancy mind allowed me to experience athleticism in my sleep! That being said, I wasn’t sure how it would go, as I am, somewhat, pushing the limits of my body. At five weeks, five days postpartum, my OB would probably prefer I wait a little bit longer to “push myself,” as she stated. But when I woke up, today felt right, and I decide to see how it would feel to hit the pavement.

Without even needing to share, the dog knew today was the day. There was an energy about her as soon as I woke up. And when I pulled out my running shoes for the first time since last year? I thought her chocolate lab head would explode. I decided to “run lucky,” and pulled on my favorite outfit to accompany me. Leaving Thomas in the capable hands of our doula, Kiwi and I hit the road.

It wasn’t my fastest run certainly, but wow. It reminded me of the runs I did in December of 2011. The temperature was perfect, hovering in the mid 50s, and a light misty rain accompanied us for our mile. The dog spared me any bathroom stops, and I got to enjoy almost 12 minutes of bliss. This time, the perfect run accompanied a different kind of healing.

The birth of Thomas forty days ago was the best day of my life. I welcomed into the world a beautiful son, whom I hope to raise to understand passion, curiosity, and self-worth. Part of raising a child in this way requires setting a good example, and today I am proud of the memory I made which I hope to someday share with him.

(Cross-posted from Stetsonday.)

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