Two steps forward and one step back (or setback to be more precise). Such is my current dance of life. But today I took a stroll down perspective street when I put an old photo of myself weighing 100kgs beside a photo my husband took of my son and I after parkrun on Saturday just gone.
If I’m honest it’s a bit ironic that I’ve been feeling a bit of a fraud lately in terms of being active online in many healthy living and running groups. The cold hard truth I saw before today was that I had fallen off the wagon and smashed every vanilla slice (instead of personal best running record) on the way down. The runs I have completed have been shorter in distance and not necessarily faster. My health has gone backwards and my Running Mummy, Healthy Mummy and ‘Fat to finish line’ singlets started to get a bit clingy and consequently found their way to the back of my drawers.
I had lost so much weight but found a good stash of it again after losing my running and healthy eating consistency mojo. Just last week I spent the better part of last week in hospital in the neurology ward with clonus and spasticity of the muscles in both legs that specialists hoped to get to the bottom of. No real certainty came in terms of answers but rather immense frustration at the unknown that made me feel helpless.
I’m supposed to be in the middle of half marathon training for Run Melbourne. I laid in bed thinking I really don’t have time for this crap. I was discharged on Thursday. I could have sat on the couch feeling sorry for myself all the weekend that followed. The old me certainly would have but now I know better and I’m grateful for that.
So fresh from hospital, with balance, gait and co-ordination issues aplenty I decided to have a crack at parkrun. The weather was amazing down at Melbourne’s iconic Albert Park Lake and I was so super happy to be a participant your greater being may as well have turned the sunshine on just for me and my two boys (performing support crew duties). As it turned out I didn’t set any records on Saturday although I tried. BUT what I did was show my son about persevering in the face of adversity. As a parent I am conscious that those little eyes are always watching, and my son Teddy is ALWAYS proud when his Mummy runs.
Being “healthy” or a “runner” mean so many things to so many people and sometimes when you feel unwell physically, are injured or enduring pain mentally the very idea of health resonates a little less than other times.
Today I looked at my side by side photos. The first was taken at my 30th birthday I was a new Mum but that didn’t stop me drinking or even smoking. I ate all the cake and I was almost 100kgs. I was so inactive I could barely walk to the end of the street. The second photo I was sweaty, my hair was messy, and I had just completed parkrun fresh from a neurology ward. In my opinion that’s fierce.
My four-year-old was by my side and giving the thumbs up. And staring at those images was my metaphorical stroll down perspective street. I’m doing my best at life these days. What being healthy is REALLY all about is being the best versions of ourselves we can be. It’s not about fake tan, being a size 6 or even not taking medication. And if I ever try and use that as a hard-stick I will fail every single time. And of course, the truth is I’m still overweight. I’m struggling with training. I get totally stressed over nothing (it’s a genetic thing).
I’m not eating perfectly and I have plenty of flaws. Life’s not straight forward. There are twists and turns and sometimes you have to take two steps forward and one step back. But I’m showing up in life as one helluva better person and Mumma for having been introduced to the healthy living and running communities I am a part of and THAT is what is most important.