Running with a Stroller

When you show up authentic, you create the space for others to do the same. Walk in your truth.

It’s hard. It’s tiring. It works muscles that don’t normally work. It’s annoying at times (i.e. weaving in and out of people). It begs you to just get to the end of your run. It leaves you more tired and wiped out than usual.

I haven’t run with the stroller in two or even three months. I can’t even remember the last time. Yesterday I decided to take Max with me in the stroller. I haven’t had a great run in over a week and the last run had been six days earlier on our ski resort vacation and it was so blasted cold my run was cut short and very slow.

As I took off yesterday I was filled with hope and excitement. I thought about running a few days but couldn’t make it happen between being so tired, a very weird work schedule and freezing temperatures.

The run was tough. I never found my grove. It was work. Not the gratifying kind of work. The “I can’t wait until this is over” work. I definitely didn’t ever have the runner’s high. I had burning legs and sore muscles in my arms. I love finishing a run and feeling that exhilaration of being done and a million endorphins screaming through your body leaving you happy and pleased. It definitely did not have that ending yesterday.

The roads I run have very slight inclines. I feel them a bit when I’m on my own, but man I forgot the difference pushing a stroller with a two year old in it makes. I got home and crashed. I couldn’t do anything the rest of the night. My legs killed, my body was exhausted and my energy was nil. And then I realised this is a little how my life has felt lately.

Running takes work, effort and planning. It’s not great every time but most days I receive so much out of it. The last six months to a year have felt like running with a stroller. Hard. Tiring. Work. Survival. The inclines of life seemed more difficult. The recovery took longer or never happened. I just couldn’t catch up with the change, the past and present grief that came with so much change, the stress, and a battle with headaches I can’t seem to win. Last week I had to make a change. Ironically, an hour after that speaking engagement I spoke of earlier if you have been reading along, I took my little self to the doctor and asked for help. Which pretty much looked like me crying in my doctor’s office mumbling something about stress, depression and change. We decided to start me on some serotonin (aka anti depressants). The doctor and I both agree I’m in a vicious cycle of stress, grief, lack of sleep and headaches. I really have tried to embrace the grief process but really feel like I’m in a different step with all the different changes/loss. I value processing and wholeheartedly think one should be okay with the grief process no matter what it looks like. But there came a point where I wasn’t processing any longer. I was just surviving through my days and relationships. My body just couldn’t catch up with the stress it was under. Something had to change so I could process life healthily and enjoy it without an uphill incline pushing a stroller.

Let me be clear I do not want advice or comments about the spirituality of taking or not taking anti depressants. I value people’s wisdom and embrace the voices in my life, but this is not an invitation to discuss me or the rightness or wrongness of the issue. This is simply me inviting you in to hear this part of my story. I share it for a couple reasons. One because it’s me. It’s where I am in this moment. It doesn’t define me it’s just a part of the larger story. Two because sometimes hearing another person’s story gives us courage to embrace our own story. I hope that my story can help others not fear or be embarrassed by their story.

I didn’t hesitate with this decision and my only fear was being numb. While I need to have a bit of me settled I love the part of me that feels deeply. I will tell you that while watching one of my favourite All Blacks/Highlanders get kicked off the field Saturday night my heart broke. I watched him walk into the locker room with his head down, and I almost cried as I sat with 18,000 people in the stadium watching it. That’s when I knew myself is still alive and well and in fact this medicine is helping the me I know that’s in there rise to the surface again.

Running with a stroller is hard work. Seasons of life are hard, but too many back to back left me missing things I love most: the adventure and joy of life. I’m so very thankful for the perfect storm that brewed and hit to bring me to this place

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