A little over three years ago I was preparing to run my first half marathon, 13.1 miles through Disneyland and the surrounding area. I had put in months of training which wasn’t by any means easy. I had only started my running career 7 months prior while losing baby weight, never running even 1 mile in my life before that. I always envied runners. In fact, my whole life I had these dreams where I was at the beach, in a field, or on a mountain, running freely, without pain or difficulty, only to wake up sad because I could never do that.
After running my first 5k fun run, I immediately went home to sign up for the Tinkerbell Half marathon. My husband thought I was nuts. Adorable, but nuts. Entering the running world as a novice was overwhelming, but I was determined. I started with a simple app called Couch to 5k. When I completed that, I got about half way through the Couch to 10k program when I was able to run for 1-2 hours with no problem. This self sabotaging girl turned running noob was slowly turning into the girl others were asking running advice from. It was truly a transformation I never thought possible.
The day before my big run I had a plethora of emotions: excitement, curiosity, pride, fear, anxiety, etc. I spent my day attending my first Disney running expo, buying things I didn’t really need but thought I would during the race, and carb loading. That night I laid out my gear, snapped a #FlatLauren pic, and hardly slept a wink but instead laid in bed feeling one overwhelming feeling: gratitude.
You see, I knew I wasn’t running the race the next day alone. I was running carrying all the texts and phone calls I got in the days leading up from loved ones encouraging me and telling me how I’ve inspired them. I was running with all of the support of my family, who watched my kids, allowed me to train properly and listened to me talk about running 24.7! I was running with the love and admiration from my 3 boys. Knowing that all of this would be with me for those 13.1 miles gave me an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and peace. I finished the race, and gained a new level of belief in myself and my people.
Today I prepared for bilateral SI Joint Fusion surgery. Aside from a tonsillectomy and cesarean, this will be my first big surgery. If you would have told my SIJD novice self 17 months ago that I would be having this surgery, she would have laughed at you and told you you’re crazy. I was bound and determined to try anything and everything to avoid surgery at all cost. I tried remedy, after physical therapy, after pill, after remedy. Even though nothing provided permanent relief, I became more knowledge and again, turned into a not-so-novice that others were asking advice from. Still though, surgery?! I could never do that.
You can go back and read old posts to see how/why I changed my mind on surgery, but the important thing is I did change my mind. I started to train so to speak, by beginning to ask questions in my beloved support groups, researching different surgical methods, gathering my medical history, researching my insurance policy, and so much more. Again, this training was not easy, but I made it through.
Today, as I prepare to run my next marathon, so to speak, I am again partaking in silly rituals. I laid my clothes out with my surgical registration and soap bottle to snap a pic. I attended my post op appointments and went to Walmart to stock up on things I may or may not need. I carb loaded on some Jimmy John’s since I won’t be eating until at least 3pm tomorrow. And again I’m laying in bed feeling a lot, but most overwhelmingly, grateful.
The gifts, prayers, financial support, texts, calls, comments, and friends that contemplate flying to Montana to surprise me after surgery 🦄, have completely reduced me to a puddle 😭. I know that I am once again, not running alone. Tomorrow is just the starting line in my marathon to recovery. The next few weeks, and even months, will have ups and downs (runners think of mile 1 vs. mile 5 vs. mile ten 10). Just like the night before Tink, I know I will be fueled by the love and support of YOU ALL to make it through that finish line.
All my love 💜,