Anne Lamott wrote in Operating Instructions about her body after her son was born: “When I lie on my side in bed, my stomach lies politely beside me, like a puppy.” For a year after my own son was born, in May 2005, I kept repeating my own addendum. An affirmation. “Someday,” I said, “my stomach will get up and join the rest of my body.”
Problem was, my stomach wasn’t going to get up and join me without my help.
According to Professor Judy Maloni of Case Western Reserve University, recovering from both childbirth and bed rest is more complicated than recovering from childbirth alone, and she suggests quite reasonably asking for help from a physical therapist to create a recovery program. That’s something I never thought of, and it wasn’t offered to me by my health care providers. I muddled through, astonished to find I needed both hands to help me do my first post-partum sit-up.
What followed was a year of many half-hearted attempts at dieting and exercising just because it’s good for me. Finally I realized I needed a challenge to get me going. And not just a feel-good challenge, but a scary one that would fill me with thoughts of pain and humiliation any time I even considered skipping my workout. Sort of like my own internal electric fence.
I found just what I needed in a team of new moms who were looking for a twelfth runner for the Hood To Coast relay — the largest running relay in North America at 197 miles of mountainous and otherwise rugged and/or urban terrain. As the slowest, and by far the largest, of the mamas on my team, I set a goal to lose weight and get faster by August 25th so I wouldn’t be as miserable as possible.
To keep me honest, I started blogging about my journey. To keep me from pushing myself only far enough to finish Hood To Coast (and then quickly disappearing into the steam coming off the trays of ribs at Country Buffet never to be seen again) I’m going to continue blogging my journey to fitness here at That’s Fit. Not only up to and following the scary relay race, but also through the even scarier holiday season and the inevitable nesting and decreasing exercise that comes with a wet Oregon winter.
Author by Larissa Brown