About eight months ago I ran the Boston Marathon while 13 weeks pregnant. I didn't plan it that way, and running it felt tougher than, say, if I weren't a whole trimester into pregnancy, but it was still a great day.
Today I have a baby who's been on the outside for 13 weeks.
That makes a huge difference.
Owen is three months new today, which seems impossible. The day he was born feels both like yesterday and like a hundred years ago. Watching him grow is wild, and he's grown so much. I love to make him smile as much as I love to watch him smile. His babbling vocabulary (vobabbulary?) increases every day. He's gotten excellent at nursing and still burps like a champ. He saved his first major diaper blowout for his first Christmas Eve (just got his second five minutes ago), and his first Christmas was merry and bright, as I'd hoped.
As I am very much a product of my parents, it should come as no surprise that they're as obsessed with him as I am. I am so thankful he'll get to grow up with the kind of love and relationship with his grandma and grandpa that I had with my own.
I've had the week off of work, so it's very much like a miniature maternity leave all over again. It's amazing how quickly I revert to shower-less days and living like a caveman.
I'm still struggling with a general lack of spark and motivation when it comes to running, despite a desperate need to find it again. People like to tell me that it doesn't matter. That having a baby is what matters right now. Or that I'll get running back, but it'll never be the same.
Truthfully, these are hopeless things to hear. Having this baby matters very much, but just because running matters to me, too, doesn't mean I love him any less or that he matters less. In fact, having a baby seems as important a time as any to feel strong physically and mentally.
I've stopped listening to those who tell me running will return, but that it'll never be the same. What does that mean, exactly? If it means I'll find new ways to fit it into my life, or that I'll be stronger, or that I'll find new ways to challenge myself with running, sure. Then it won't be the same. But if it's to mean that I simply won't be the runner I used to be, that somehow I'll be physically incapable, I just don't believe that or need to hear it.
I'll be exactly the runner I want to be. And I'll figure that out as soon as I get off my lazy, unmotivated ass.
For now I'll continue to be me. A mom to a 3-month-old. A wife. A dog lady. A professional. A Netflix fiend. I'm neurotic, I love to clean my house, I use far too many wipes to clean the liquid shit off my baby's butt, I'm lazy, I eat too many Sour Patch Kids, I love the smell of my dog, I'm a germophobe to the max, unless it comes from my baby, I'm overly sensitive, and I am a runner.
I will be a runner again. But first I must snuggle my teddy bear.