Running Regrets and Blessings?

This month my latest post from Another Mother Runner went live. The post talked about my running regrets and was sparked by Daniel Pink’s newest book The Power of Regret.

In the book, Pink says, “If we only know what we truly regret, we know what we truly value. Regret—that maddening, perplexing, and undeniably real emotion—points the way to a life well lived.”

A life well lived. When I think about my running regrets, the one thing I will never regret is starting. For decades, I’ve been on a quest to become a healthier version of myself. Running is just one more version of that, but comes packed with over a decade of stories, laughter and memories that I can stay I still love showing up for. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But my why around becoming healthy continues to evolve.

For years, I wanted to be skinny. To be prettier so that the opportunities that are difficult for obese women to achieve would be easier. (That truly is a thing). There was also the revenge period where I longed to have my ex see what he missed. Then, it played an integral role in my quest for pregnancy. And, once finally pregnant, I feared it’d hurt baby Jake. Post pregnancy, it was battling with the changes that come with carrying a bowling ball in your belly for 9-months. A fear of diabetes and watching the finitude of my dad as he battled for his life intensified my why.

And now here I am today. Still trying to figure it all out. What I do know is my why today is much more inward than outward. Yes, I want the scale to trend downwards. That said, what I want more than anything is to keep up with my son’s whose zest for life has me exhausted by 7 pm daily. Basketball, baseball, fishing, swimming, kayaking, running, biking, nerf gun fights. He lives for adventure.

Here’s the thing – that was once me. I once biked from sunrise to sunset, cooled off at Pinehurst Pool between softball and biking home. My only respite was reading. Summer vacation meant endless movement, laughter and little sleep. He’s reminding me of that. To find joy in the simple things. To keep moving and going on adventures and experiencing life. And the truth is, that’s much easier when you’re healthy.

This post is a bit of a ramble, in part, because my health journey is anything but linear. But, I remain hopeful that while I have plenty of regrets to how I got here, at this size, I also have the power to change that. And that is frankly incredible. A blessing in disguise.

Speaking of blessings, I leave you with this. I recently discovered Kate Bowler. Bowler’s two main books talk about living with Stage 4 cancer and faith. As a divinity scholar, she has spent years researching the prosperity gospel – which in her words promises that God will reward you with health and wealth if you have the right kind of faith.

As someone whose journey with spirituality is on the same wavelength as her battle with what being healthy looks like, Bowler’s books immediately resonated with me. They are honest, funny and heartfelt. And lead me to doing a summer for 40ish Devotions from her latest book Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection.

The devotions are short and powerful. Stories about how our imperfections are in fact what makes us real. In a world where real seems harder and harder to find, I welcome that. If you’ve found yourself trapped in the rat race of leveling up and believing you can and must do better, I urge you to pause long enough to read Bowler’s memoirs and perhaps even a devotional or two. It’ll remind you, or at least it did for me, that you and I, are in fact enough.

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