by Sara Spock
Babies are a delight, a soul-touching bundle of squishy love and joy. They coo and giggle, they clutch your heart with those chubby little hands and squeeze until cellulite bursts out all over your thighs. Despite all the feel-good baby love, 9 months (let’s be honest, 10 months) of parasitic nurturing coupled with months of sedentary breast feeding can turn you into a blubbery mess. And I don’t mean mentally, although that happens, too. Babies make you fat!
To fight the fat, to reign in my jiggling arms, expanding thighs, and wobbly waist, I became a runner. Again. I told myself I’d run three times a week, at least a mile on each outing. My first few runs were more like walks with small bursts of lung-aching sprints; arms flailing, legs akimbo, pony tail smacking my ears. Even my iPod protested, falling out of my hand or pocket every few strides when I tried to find a better power song. But I managed to make it 5 miles a week for the first month. And with one bump of the shuffle button, the perfect warm-up song cascaded into my ears, through my chest and into my legs. I suddenly remembered how much I loved (hated) to run. Vanquishing personal goals, pushing further than the last run, thrilling 8 minute miles. I sculpted the perfect play list, peppered with thumping motivational tunes. As I pounded the pavement, more than just my play list became sculpted. My arms lost their jiggle, my waist its wiggle, and my thighs became my wheelhouse of muscle that propelled me into running 15 to 20k each week.
My running body is me at my best. Was me at my best. I went and had another baby. A gooey, schmooshy, loveable little ball of warmth and goodness that has once again turned me into my own gooey ball of schmooshiness. And as if reading my mind, but more likely seeing the expanse that has become my derrière, a friend invited me to participate in a running challenge for the month of September. 30 in 30. Thirty miles in 30 days.
It’s been over a year since my last serious run. I know what the humiliation of those first few weeks feels like. Who am I kidding? I know what new runner Sara looks like. Believe me, she isn’t pretty. But when I come out on the other side of this 30 day challenge, I should be one awkward sprint closer to my running body. Hotsy-totsy! Bubbaloo!
Sara Spock is a mom, wife, Penn State graduate, English tutor, and freelance writer. When she’s not tripping over her own feet or searching for power songs, Sara can be found over at The Hero Complex where she tries to save the world, one. blog. post. at. a. time.