Monday, May 28, 2018

Baby Steps

After 6 weeks being off with a knee injury, I am back to running. I'm not back to my pre-injury status as I am taking every precaution and gradually progressing the difficulty of my workouts as my knee strengthens. Last thing I want to do is too much too soon and hurt myself again. 6 weeks off sucked. Not being able to run while my family was away on vacation in Maui also sucked, as I love running in tropical climates and I love exploring on foot. But I'm back and the entirety of a Vancouver summer is ahead of us. I plan on running through it all.

If you missed my blog post written in the depths of this injury-caused despair, read it here.

If I may speak candidly for a moment, I will tell you that I was not entirely kind to myself through those 6 weeks. I find that when I'm active, I am more likely to take care of myself more. This is most noticeable when it comes to nutrition and hydration. I am more aware of my need to drink water when I am sweating it out and when I return from a workout thirsty. I also tend to crave nutritious foods when I'm active. But if I am really honest, I also know that when I am active, I feel more empowered and confident in my body, and somehow that leads to being kinder to myself in the choices I make. On the flipside, when I'm not active, I'm not feeding my body with positivity or endorphins. I am not feeling empowered or confident. And often that missing positive feeling becomes a feeling of blah, laziness, and resentment which then leads to poor food choices, and poor attitude choices. I stop craving healthy whole food and opt for quick and easy meals. And I start picking on myself and seeing faults in my body that I accepted or embraced once before.

Not being active and making poor choices takes me down a rabbit hole of negativity. I was feeling really upset about what I was seeing in the mirror and photographs. I haven't felt this way in a while as for years, I was excited to see an athletic body looking back at me in my reflection. Post-baby I was OK, but then through this injury-time, I started to worry I'd never get my pre-baby body back (I don't care if it changes shape, I just want to be a healthy, athletic weight again). And then when I'd stop to realize that this body image garbage was getting to me, I'd feel bad for letting it get to me. That negativity is what spiraled into years of poor health in my past. That is not me anymore. I will not go down that rabbit hole. None of that serves me well. It only serves to fuel further negativity. And so I pledge to change that attitude one step at a time.

Now that I'm running again, albeit slowly, I am active again and feeling positive endorphins flow into my body and mind. Now that I'm active again in a way that's familiar and empowering, my confidence has increased. The woman I see in the mirror is one I accept and love today. Sure, she may have some work to do, but she's the same woman with the same strength, badassness, and courage to do extraordinary things. I pledge to myself that even if I should get injured again, I won't let lack of activity make me think anything less of the woman I am, of who I see in the mirror, nor will I let it impact the kindness I treat myself with.

As I am full time taking care of my baby daughter and I am witnessing her reaching milestone after milestone, the analogy of baby steps seems very appropriate for how I will move forward with my own journey of progress:

  • I cannot expect to return to my pre-baby fitness in a blink of an eye. I need to take baby steps and get there in appropriate timing.
  • As I recover from my knee injury and start to run again, I have to go gradually into it with run/walk intervals to start, slowly increasing my run time until I can eliminate walk breaks, and only when appropriate can I increase distance and speed. I have to take baby steps and learn to do this sport again. Luckily I am not a true beginner, and my body will re-learn, thrive, and achieve in my sport once again.
  • I need to make more positive choices but I can't expect to change everything overnight. Here's to making small but meaningful steps in the right direction. I've started with drinking more water, slowing down when I eat, always having lots of fresh produce handy, and meal-planning with intentionality.
  • I need to see myself as others see me, as an athlete, an inspiring woman who changed her life, an awesome mom, and a beautiful friend. I pledge to stop seeing the negative when I look in the mirror or at photos of me. My body has done amazing things and I cannot express hate to something that has served me so well or that created my daughter.
  • I will practice kindness to myself. So even though my focus is on my daughter and providing for her needs, I also have to insert things into my day that are for me and only me - my workouts, my meal planning, breaks for creative pursuits, self-care, and making myself look and feel pretty rather than being stuck in my "mommy-uniform" all the time.
So there you have it. I'm back to running, although slow and gradual. And I'm back in attitude, mind, and spirit.

No comments:

Post a Comment