I believe there is something in each of our children, a quality or a lesson, that is meant to bring us, as parents, back to a greater sense of wholeness within ourselves. For me with Rowen, this lesson is very clearly about my sense of physicality and a deeper connection to my own body. I was a very contemplative child, content to be still, creating or imagining, for hours. Reconnecting to my body has been an intentional practice of mine for several years now, which Rowen has greatly helped my progress on. He is extremely active, which keeps me on the move and chasing after him, and he is incredibly adept with his body for a two year old, which is incredibly inspiring for me.
When he was around 18 months I (finally!) made it back to our local gym. I had really enjoyed going before he was born, I had my little routine but didn’t really push myself. This time around, out of sheer mental exhaustion, I decided to take classes because I just wanted someone to tell me what to do. I wanted to be given a workout. This variety of classes pushed me beyond my comfort zone, which built better strength and endurance, but more importantly it became my center for processing, releasing, and purifying any emotions that may have been flowing at that given time. Utilizing my body moved beyond “physical fitness” or even “phisique” into an activity that cleansed and nourished my mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. This was really novel and I became more and more dependent on the physical release to recalibrate.
Right before Rowen turned two I was able to see my cousin, Anna - a mom of two - finish her fourth half marathon. Watching her cross the finish line was deeply impactful and I was completely inspired to begin training myself. Despite having hardly run since I was 11, I already had visions of my first half, then full marathon. And who knows, what about those extreme long distance 50 and 100 mile runs? Anything felt possible. I began to train shortly after then and it felt incredible to finish a four or five mile run. There was Life streaming through my body, I felt this deep connection to the infinite abundance of energy available from Source and it was almost like each step I gave was reciprocated with the capacity for another, and another, and another. I felt super charged.
Not two weeks into my training we found out we had another bambino on the way. I am pregnant again, hurrah! I was fully planning to continue running, and then the morning (i.e. all day) sickness kicked in. Beside feeling horrible, which made me not want to move let alone run, I couldn’t eat or drink enough to even support that kind of activity, and so it ceased. And so did that amazing feeling of boundless energy and interconnectedness.
I felt truly rugged during the long weeks of the first trimester, it was a miracle to actually make three meals a day for my family, let alone be able to chase Rowen. Luna, our dog, sure got the short end of the stick, an outing with her would just wreck me. So we coasted, and I laid on the ground in the back yard (a lot) while Rowen played. Just. tried. to. get. through. the. days.
Feeling so poorly was one thing, but what I really lost was my grounds for processing anything on an emotional, mental, or spiritual level. I felt completely severed from these regions of myself, and they were withering as a result. I felt hollow and gravely uninspired. They were long, dark days for me.
At 14 weeks, the dawn of the second trimester, I began to feel better. Like rising out of a fog, it was miraculous. My nervous system began to unwind and I felt relaxed, content, and empowered in my full capacity to care for Rowen again. My clarity to act and make choices felt reinvigorated as well. All those pieces that had felt so disconnected and distant began to reassemble and become accessible. The world had seemed so overwhelming for such a long time, but now a sense of grounding and capability was reemerging.
A couple weeks later I was on a four mile hike at 4 months pregnant, Rowen on my back, baby in my belly, and the simple use of my body and the strength I held felt like sheer bliss pulsing through my being. Getting back here, to a state of balance, left me feeling so grateful.
I am still consistently struck by how impaired I felt in my ability to think clearly, calm emotions, or ground spiritually when my physical body had been so derailed by nausea and fatigue. It’s clear to me now that little higher functioning or connection can occur when my physical base is flailing. I was feeling so low, disoriented, and very much not myself. In that I see how I have taken for granted my usual state of health, and even felt beyond my body - transcendent at times - as if those higher faculties could not be touched by disruptions on the physical plane. I was sorely mistaken! I see now how all of the systems are interdependent and I have a new reverence for the foundational necessity of physical prosperity for my heart, mind, and spirit to ultimately be nourished. My physical wellbeing provides a doorway for the deeper work I love digging into, and I’ve found new value and inspiration for nurturing that as I move forward. Pregnancy, such a journey full of rich lessons. And that half marathon (and beyond!) are simply on hold for now.