Simon says, "Win-Win."
I fondly remember the 2010 race season where I vowed in the beginning of the year to get into “sick-nasty” shape. This entry is dedicated to all you folks out there trying to have a child but feeling despair. In 2009, I went to my doctor with the very crazy thought of becoming a mother. I was very fit and looked it. Along with my fitness was my amenorrhea. She suggested I eat a cookie, gain some weight, and come back to her in a couple months. What I heard was, “Hit it.” Despite thinking that you can’t get pregnant without seeing your period, I was still hopeful, and sure enough I got pregnant instantly. Really? It’s this easy? Everything went smoothly until it didn’t. Twelve weeks into carrying my bundle of joy, I learned on Christmas day in California that I had miscarried. I had my D and C while I was there and traveled back to NY with an empty womb.
A couple months later, I was doing pull-ups in my apartment. I could always do 10 without too much effort, and I was stuck at 6 for a few days. I sensed something was off, so I took a pregnancy test. Yup, pregnant again. Apparently, getting pregnant wasn’t so hard. And for me, it wasn’t. It was the other stuff that was difficult. This would turn into another failed pregnancy. How was my body failing me so greatly? Weren’t there other folks with less hospitable wombs having viable pregnancies? I wasn’t even sad as much as I was angry. And then the thought: forget the baby; get in the sickest shape of your life. And the training ensued. I won races, felt fast, and loved how fit I was. Forget the baby thing, just focus on the race.
After we got married, we decided to try again. This was so scary as the thought of going through another unfulfilled pregnancy was too much to bear. Couple months later we got pregnant and every time we went to the doctor, I braced myself for her to say, “Dead baby.” Until Simon was born, I would not let myself believe that it was real. Well, Simon is here, and I tell him everyday that we waited for him, and I thank him for choosing us.
Not only does he make our lives richer, he has also made me a better athlete. This season, I am doing less and racing much faster and stronger than I did in 2010. Among some other good performances, I won the Brooklyn Duathlon , placed first in my age group (40-44F) and was 8th overall at Duathlon Nationals, and just ran the Brooklyn Half 1:27:17 for 4th place in my AG. My previous best was 1:28:36 when I was a single-sport athlete. I was proud of that time, and agreed with my coach that I probably wouldn’t get back there as a multi-sport athlete. I would not be doing the adequate mileage to hit that time. Well, we were both wrong. My running these days consists of some transportation junk miles to and from school, a team run on Thursdays, and a long run on the weekend. That’s it. So what’s making me stronger? Certainly not nursing or sleeping very little. Or is it?
There are a few things that I draw on when I am on the course: 1. Too many sacrifices have been made by too many people, including me, to not give my best effort. 2. I gave birth to Simon. Pregnancy, giving birth, and raising a child are more difficult than any of this. 3. I think about the people I run with and how strong they are. And by association, that must mean I, too, am strong.
Everything gets stored in the memory bank, good and bad. Simon and racing are constant reminders of how necessary it is to hold onto the good and power through the bad/rough spots. And never give up.