Monday, September 9, 2013

The Power of a Run

 As I explained in an earlier post, I can no longer have children.  I'm 32 years young and I've been diagnosed with early onset menopause.  I've had symptoms ever since having Lyla, but never fully understood what was going on until we tried to have a second child. 

I discovered out on a "ridge run" over this weekend, that there is more to this story than I was willing to admit.  Somewhere along one of the most scenic parts of the run, my heart started to race, my chest tightened, and my vision blurred.  And then, I started to cry. 

I was not sad.  I was not upset.  I was scared.  Not of the run, but of what was happening to my body that I had absolutely no control over.  A few moments before I started crying, I realized I was having another hot flash, but because I was already drenched in sweat and my body temperature was already high, my body was trying to figure out a way to regulate my body temperature in different ways.  Once I understood this, I couldn't stop the tears.

I'm 32.  I'm not ready to come to terms with my reproductive system failing before science says it's supposed to.  I'm not ready to fully accept that I'm not capable of creating and carrying another baby.  I'm not ready, but I have no choice.  And out there on the ridge, I came face to face with this realization as my reproductive problem now forced itself into one of my runs.

I use runs to escape, to heal, to think.  It never occurred to me that the side effects from the menopause would catch up with me on a run.  It never entered my mind that the two worlds would crash into one another while in the middle of my sanctuary. 

I spent a large part of the day yesterday talking to my husband and writing down how I was feeling to friends.  I became acutely aware that this was much bigger than just not being able to have another baby.  This was about accepting this transition in my life and letting go of any "control" I thought I had over the situation.  In a quiet moment with my daughter, I picked her up, hugged her and cried real tears as I fully understood for the first time what an absolute miracle she is.  I'm not sure any of this would have happened, if I had not broken down on my run. 

I woke up this morning, ready for my 45 minute run.  I felt lighter.  It felt easier than it has in weeks.  The therapy I receive out on some of these runs is immeasurable.  The gratitude I feel for those that have inspired me to attempt this marathon is beyond what I can put into words.  The power of a run can change everything.