This weekend, I ran the America’s Finest City 5k and set a personal record. On four hours of sleep. On a course with The Hill That Never Ends. By myself.
In the wee hours of the morning of this year’s race, Suzianne simply would not sleep. Around 3:30 a.m., I was laying on the rug next to her crib plotting my Ninja escape from her nursery when my mind drifted and started processing the new and improved, Margie, The Momma, Aug. 2013 Edition.
What a difference a year makes.
In August 2012, Dave and I moved to from D.C. to San Diego to start a public relations firm. Suzianne was five months old. Krissi and Reese helped me finish packing up:
(Dave left on August 10 to drive West with his soulmate)
On August 11, Suzianne and I made our move across the country. On an airplane. No way I’m driving cross-country with an infant.
This picture sums up my life for the first few weeks of SoCal living; I could barely function:
Mom’s place flooded the night we arrived (water heater), so we were hotel-hopping for awhile. During this time, a dear friend in Nashville passed away, and one of my father figures in Knoxville was given weeks to live. But I was too fogged up by pregnancy hormones, financial strains and moving logistics to travel home to Tennessee. Writing that sentence is a nausea-inducing. WTF? Where were my priorities? Guest question. Honestly, I have no idea how to explain the way my brain processed things at that time.
The next week, Dave made me run the America’s Finest City 5k. I had not been on a run since the snails-pace finish of my first 5k the month before. I was overwhelmed and bitter and out of shape, but I did it (barely):
I was a straight up mess in August 2012.
But Margie, The Momma, Aug. 2013 Edition was here sleeping on her child’s floor the night before a race she was actively training for, and was not the least bit concerned about it. A few hours later, this version of me not only finished the race, it recorded my best time ever. Afterwards, this once complete-basket-case-when-it-came-to-motherhood returned home, fed her toddler, took a shower, and then drove that child to Sea World for a mother-daughter day.
I understand that this feat sounds completely normal; something any parent can handle. It is for most parents; but for a little more than a year after giving birth, I was not most parents.
The more I think about Sunday, the more impressed with me I get.
At the start of the race, Katy Perry was singing “Roar” to me and I was trying to figure out why I was so. flipping. ecstatic. about conquering this year’s AFC 5k. Around Mile 2, I realized my soul was claiming the race as a personal celebration of my new-found abilities as a more capable mom, successful business owner, and dedicated spouse.
A 1/2 mile later, I hit The Hill That Never Ends. But unlike last year, I did’t slow down to walk or get frustrated comparing my pace to that of other runners. I straight ran that beeyotch.
I don’t know how to adequately describe this change in me. It’s not only hormonal, it’s a shift in the very core of my being. Or maybe it is hormonal and this is what recovery from postpartum depression by the Grace of God feels like.
Seventeen months after Suzianne’s birth, I am finally at peace with–and motivated by– the changes a baby brings to your sleep patterns, air travel, marriage, career and to-do list. I’m choosing not to despair over how long it took me to get to this point. I’ll stay focused on being grateful. And always ensuring a AFC 5k rockin’, happy race shot:
Related Reading: How to Start Your Postpartum Exercise Routine
This just made me so happy! I am so glad to hear that your fog has lifted you. You are an incredible person, keep up the good work. Way to go on your time!
Thank you, Erin! It feels so much better, being on this side of fog. Where my mental state is not as fragile as a game of Jinga!
And high-five to Newman (even though he has a Tiny Dog for a soulmate) for giving you a swift kick in the pants on 5K numero uno. Sometimes that’s needed. What else are men good for?!?
Krissi and Reese look like they are hella cool peoples.
Thank you, MB!
Way to go!!! I’ve been there and only once you have come out the other side and can you truly see how far you have come. It’s not an easy road (and one I sometimes wish I could have not taken) but it has shaped me into the wife/mother/daughter/sister/friend I am today!
So true! I like to think that this experience has made it possible for me to help others going through the same thing.