“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.”
I started running (again.) This is my third time doing the Couch to 5K program and the first time since being pregnant and having a baby almost nine months ago. I was inspired to start running again by my friend Eileen who was inspired by this post (don’t let the word “maggots” deter you).
Perhaps I should back up a little. I am not athletic. I am not outdoorsy. In fact, I am quite “indoorsy”. I would choose being at home or sitting in a coffee shop over most physical activities. Don’t tell my parents, but when I was a kid, I would pretend that I’d twisted my ankle to get out of gym class. (Hi Mom and Dad!)
So when I tried running a couple of years ago, I was surprised by what my body was capable of. It was invigorating and empowering and dare I say it…fun!
I’m full of excuses.
And that’s just it: I’ve made excuses for years. (Don’t we all?) I decide I’m not capable of something and then I just don’t do it. The result is that I miss out on a lot of cool stuff.
A few weeks ago, I was in my yoga class (I returned to yoga recently, too!) and the teacher was demonstrating our next pose. As soon as I saw it, I shut down. Nope. I’m not doing that. I don’t do upside-down poses. That pose is for other people, not for me. (True story – I’ve avoided certain yoga poses my whole life.) But then I thought about other things I’ve done that were MUCH harder that I had never done before … like … ummm…having a baby, for instance. I decided that if I could have a freaking baby, I could do this. A minute later, I was upside down with my feet on the wall doing the pose I told myself I couldn’t do.
What else do I deny myself? What else am I missing out on?
Back to running.
Yesterday, I started Week 4 of Couch to 5K. I looked at the new week’s running schedule and my first reaction was, “Impossible!” The schedule called for a run of 4 minutes, 6 minutes, and 4 minutes, with some walking in between. Remember, I’m not athletic and I’m still recovering from having a baby, PPD, and general lethargy. (Excuses, excuses.)
This time I caught my negative thoughts and did something about it. I tied up my shoes, put Sadie in the stroller, and got started. When I hit my first run, I decided to challenge myself to see something new every time I passed a house. I’ve passed these houses a million times before, but by the time four minutes had gone by, I had seen so many new things. I saw tiny prayer flags, a white cat in a window, a friendly lady in a cute hat, a beautiful garden tucked behind some trees. Everywhere I looked, I found something I had overlooked before.
Before I knew it, I had finished running. I was amazed. A few months ago, at the height of my postpartum depression, there’s no way you would have found me running, let alone enjoying it. I had lost the ability (or desire) to see beauty in the everyday moments. And here I was, five months later, finding it again…with the help of my running stroller and my yoga mat.
So why am I telling you all of this?
I guess I’m trying to process so much of what I’ve experienced recently and figure out how else I’ve been limiting myself. I am evolving in all of my roles and they are all connected even when they are messy and imperfect.
I’ve decided I want to share more of myself here in my cozy internet home. For some reason, I’ve had the limiting belief that I couldn’t share certain things here. It’s time to change that. I want to share my stories of joy AND heartache. I want to post photos of my clients and iPhone photos of my baby. I want to talk about motherhood and what it’s like to be a SAHM/WAHM (stay-at-home/work-at-home-mom). I want to post photos of my family with abandon and publish imperfect blog posts that ramble and don’t always have a clear conclusion (like this one.)
My life and my business are intertwined. I am a mom and a wife. I am a photographer and a writer. I am a runner (ha!) and a yogi. I am a Slice of Life excavator, a beauty seeker, and a couch potato. I watch “Friends” to escape and Pema Chodron to connect. I am all of these things and more and don’t want to be limited by the story I’m telling myself about who I should or shouldn’t be.
Instead, I want to look around and enjoy the view as I forge a new path. From where I stand, the view is quite spectacular.
I’ll end by asking you this: What are you denying yourself? What do you want to try that you’ve never tried before?