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Me and My Body Are On The Same Side

5 months ago I told myself I would run a 5k.

My body needed work.

Not only conditioning to be able to run 3.1 miles, but after having my 3rd baby, my pelvic floor was weak as fuck.

I understand I'm getting older. But no one in my life prepared me for what happens to your body as you age.

When I had my daughter at age 22, I didn't know anything else. I remember feeling like my crotch was falling out for months. There was a heaviness in my pelvic area. Pressure. But ultimately, this subsided and I returned to normal after about a year.

I had my second baby at 28. No Pitocin. No epidural. A beautiful experience. My body returned to normal within a year after having my baby boy.

At age 36, I had our surprise-pandemic baby. Preeclampsia discovered at 36 weeks meant that I needed to be induced. Because the previous natural labor and birth was such a great experience, I decided to go without an epidural again. I had no clue that induced labor is TOTALLY different. Although my baby and I were "fine" after I gave birth, I was traumatized by the pain. I also left that hospital with postpartum depression.

I also returned home with urinary incontinence. My doctor said it was normal and I needed to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles. I worked on it. A silent struggle that you can't really talk about in your casual day-to-day conversation.

I've always been active. So, when I tried to start running again after my body healed, I was discouraged by the fact that I constantly needed to make a bathroom run.

So, in December 2023 when I told my family I'd be running a 5k with my daughter (a major inspiration and motivation in my life) in 2024, I knew I had to get my mind and body right. I refused to accept that this was just the way it was.

I started training on the treadmill. Little by little.

Stopping to walk or to go empty my bladder, but not stopping entirely.

I remember when I ran my first half-mile. Or when I ran my first mile and texted my husband and daughter that I ran the mile without stopping or peeing myself. They both cheered me on.

Then running on the treadmill for a mile became 2 miles. Then 3.

I visited my chiropractor and he told me to get my feet on the pavement. He said if I wanted to run the 5k, I needed to give my body the real experience. So, I started running 2 miles outside almost every weekday morning.

Sometimes I needed to stop by a bathroom, but most of the time, I was fine.

On May 18, 2024, My daughter and I ran the Mountains to Main Street 5k in Greenville, SC.

We were up at 5:30AM on that Saturday morning for a 7AM start time for the race.

My goal - run the 5k without stopping (or peeing myself).

We ran.

It was an incredible experience.

It was hard. I had to push myself, mentally and physically.

I had run a 5k (unofficially) multiple times during my training. But I was alone and I went at my own pace just to make it to 3.1 miles.

On race day, I was so moved. by the energy of the people around me. I didn't even play music or a podcast in my ears. I was energized without it.

Toward 2.3 miles, I felt myself wanting to give up or slow down. My body felt strong, but I was winded and tired. I was also running this race really fast. Something about friendly competition. I don't like people passing me and I don't like slowing down for people. So, there were numerous times when I sped up and ran quickly around people.

I didn't know if I'd be able to make it to the finish line at this pace. But, I just followed the group of people up ahead of me. Plus my daughter right beside me kept mt head in the game.

As we were nearing the end of the race, a stranger on the street yelled out - "You're there now. You can see the finish line from here!"

I couldn't see the finish line. But shortly after, I heard music and a man talking over a microphone, and I saw the finish line up ahead.

I ran faster!

I ran as fast as I could.

My body was tingly.


But euphoric - all at the same time.

I crossed the finish line.

The 5k I had set out to run was done.

I did it.

I fucking did it!

I didn't stop and I didn't piss myself.

Well, maybe a little leak at the end. But nothing too crazy.

My body is absolutely amazing. This beautiful body brought three incredible children into this world. It's 39 years old. It is truly my temple through its many shapes and sizes.

I'm grateful to live in it.

Me and my body are on the same side.

Listen, you are powerful beyond comprehension.

You have access to a power that is deep within you. It's waiting to be drawn out.

It defies the odds. It goes against the grain.

You are capable.

Don't you let anyone tell you otherwise.

Just like my body and mind carried me through other challenging times - such as birthing children, deep depression, enduring injuries, standing and remaining present with my dad as he was dying (not peacefully), somatic release, and this 5k (just to name a few), I know I can trust it to continue to carry me.

This beautiful container is housing my soul. The essence of all that I am.

We can do absolutely anything.

God damn, we're amazing.

You're amazing.

Have you thanked your body lately?

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