Growing up, I hated running – with a passion! Running around as a child always ended in wheezing and the need for my emergency inhaler in order to breathe normal again. Allergy and exercise induced asthma. No fun for anyone, but I felt lucky to have medicine to help me breathe when I couldn’t and panicky when an attack would come on and my inhaler wasn’t by my side.
Fast forward to age 36 and the year 2012. Married to my best friend and 2 kids under our belt! Our daughter, age 7 and son, age 4. August 9th of 2012 was our 19 week ultrasound to find out the gender of our 3rd surprise pregnancy. A difficult pregnancy from the start. We went as a family to our 19 week gender ultrasound ecstatic to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Instead, we learned our baby no longer had a heartbeat. There are no words for the heartache and emptiness that followed. I delivered our son, Dason, born sleeping on August 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm.
I felt completely and utterly shattered. I felt like a failure. My body failed to keep him alive. A week later I was told by my midwife at my post birth follow up appointment (at the same place I learned of our baby’s passing) – that my blood pressure was still too high. She went on to say that because of this, I would most likely have high blood pressure issues for the rest of my life. And the best way to get over a loss is to have another baby. Those words still burn me deeply inside. They felt cold and heartless and without much compassion for the pain that had torn my heart completely in two.
Her words ate me alive —- but she doesn’t define what my future holds for me —- and I was now on a mission to prove her wrong. Her biting words lit a fire inside me that still burns with drive inside me to this very day.
At 6 weeks post birth, I was cleared for exercise and I immediately jumped in with both feet and joined a boot camp with my friends to begin strength training. I needed to take back control of my life. These same ladies began inviting me to the track afterwards to “run”. I thought they were absolutely crazy for wanting to do this, but the exercise was helping me battle my postpartum depression, so I relented and tagged along. Their fantastic company is the only thing that kept me going to that track. This is how running found me at age 36. Or jog/walking rather. Let’s be honest.
Running found me at one of the hardest times in my life and after about 6-8 weeks of jog/walking, I accidentally and unintentionally fell head over heals in love with running! Jogging and still being able to breathe was something I had never known before. It felt like some kind of super power that I had somehow and miraculously unleashed! It was pure adrenaline!!! How does the saying go??….Never say never!
Running became my time to cry, my time to pray and my time to be with my unborn son in spirit. And boy did I feel his spirit all around me along with God … each day carrying me through the flames to a brighter and healthier life, one step at a time. Running made me a better mom. It helped me to battle my depression, my anxiety and my stress. Running became everything I needed to get me through life and the very last thing in this world I ever expected to love. I ran for sanity, not vanity and in honor of our son. When I ran, my heart beat for him.
Today, I run for all of my loved ones who are heaven sent and for all those I love who remain here. My loved ones are the wings that continue giving flight to my life carrying me onward, upward and through it.
I run for sanity, not vanity. I run with purpose and intention. And I run for my mental health most of all. Running makes me feel alive and balanced and grateful for this life. I started running at 36, and at 45, I can honestly say that running is one of the very best things that has ever happened to me. My unborn son’s life and death awakened me and I share my story for anyone else it might help along the way. We weren’t meant to journey alone.
Tomorrow, Sunday, September 19, 2021, my husband and I will be running the Fall Equinox Half Marathon down Poudre Canyon wearing these shirts proudly. Thinking of and running with our loved ones in spirit for 13.1 beautiful miles. I’m nervous, excited and grateful to have another chance to conquer this run (or at least survive it) … because we still can. Our hearts will beat for them! Wish us luck!!! 💜🙏🏼💜🏃♀️