(Ages ago, I mentioned I'd be writing about different experiences I've had post-babe. So, here they go, one at a time. If you read this, stay tuned for more. I you're just looking for pics of the kids, sorry folks!)
6 weeks after having Tayler, I felt miserable. Inside and out. The exhaustion of everything felt so permanent, the stress of all the unknowns felt so permanent, and the state of my just-had-a-baby-haven't-exercised-in-ages felt so permanent.
Sure, I'd been walking, and overall, active for post-prego, but I was a far cry from feeling like me. The initial weight loss from the birth had come and gone, and while I was nursing and could count that those calories contributed, I knew that it had settled out and plateaued as well.
8 weeks was even tougher. At this point, I felt the expectation that life should move forward (which it was), but I was clinging to whatever part of it I could. Hard to describe that feeling of utter exhaustion. Where just looking at a dish in the sink seems like an overwhelming task.
Enter my rock. A.K.A. Mike. Who saw I needed to feel like me again. Timing worked out that his parents were in town and could watch the troops while we went on a bike ride.
I was super hesitant at first. At my best, I still can't hold his wheel, and the thought of wearing a whole bunch of spandex didn't do much for my inner image. But, I swallowed my grumpiness and went into the closet to change.
And, laying on the floor, he'd placed a pair of his trunks to wear. Because, current self wasn't going to get anywhere close to fitting the women sized cycling clothes that were sitting in the closet. I sighed a big sigh, and looked around. Staring at a closet full of clothes that minus the small section right in the front, seem to stare back at me. "Will I ever wear them again?" "How did I fit those to begin with?" "It feels so impossible to do it all over again." The voice resonated in my mind. Again, I swallowed my grumpiness, and slipped them on. Humph. Comfortable.
Made it to the garage where my champ already pumped up my bike, filled up some water, and was smiling like he always does when he's about to head off on the bike. Looking at him, I could only think, "why can't I smile like that?"
With a click of the pedals we were off.
It didn't take longer than hitting the first turn off of our street before I began to breathe the crisp spring air. Amazingly energizing. Incredibly lifting. The image of the first turn burns in my memory as a moment in time that stood still. Bright blue skies, white happy, puffy clouds, and my best friend at my side. Yes, right there with me. Not buzzing ahead, but with his white-teeth, smiling at me like we were taking on the world.
Off we went. A 45 minute loop that wound us through some curvy, beautiful tree lined roads, up 3 rolling hills, and past countless farm houses, cornfields, wooden windmills, and American flags. A scene fit for a postcard or a beautiful painting. So beautiful that when you see the image, you question if it really could be real.
Was it a tough ride? You bet. But, a coach sat beside me, or rode behind me, and talked me up the hills. Talked me through the tired, weary legs that were trying to move forward. Talked me through the tired, exhausted self that I'd become. I felt my legs begin to burn. That fire felt unbelievably energizing.
And with every pedal stroke, I felt myself move forward. One step at a time, I was moving somewhere. Doing something.
I'm a firm believer that the first step you take into something is the toughest. No matter the challenge. But once you make it, you realize you have nowhere to go but up.
As we rounded the corner from country back into suburb, a part of me was relieved. I was tired, and ready to rest. But, at the same time, I loved the new feeling of tired. Like I couldn't wait to have sore legs tomorrow.
And, it was the first step into becoming me. Again.