Friday, July 10, 2009

Selective Memory

The last time I gave birth to a human baby (as opposed to a non-human one, which is documented on my other blog) was a little more than nine years ago. I'd spent months preparing for the event. I read entire books on pregnancy and childbirth and obsessively researched the subject on the internet, googling terms I'd be embarrassed to say out loud in the presence of mixed company (let's face it: episiotomies and hemorrhoids aren't things you bring up over potato salad at the neighborhood barbecue). I ate, whether I was hungry or not and savored every single morsel I put in my mouth. I slept, sometimes for eleven or twelve hours at night and then lied down for a nap three hours later. My body became a constant source of frustration. Will my ankles ever stop swelling? Could my belly get any bigger? I stressed over numbers. How many weeks? How many diameters? And finally, when the big day arrived, I set aside all my pride for several hours while I went about the slow and grueling process of turning myself inside out. It wasn't pretty. I wailed in pain, gnashed my teeth, barked at strangers and cursed the day I ever thought birthing a baby was a grand idea. But when the carnage was over, I held in my arms something extraordinary. And just like that, in an instant of time, I forgot all the pain, misery and agony it took to get to that point. Life was good. I was a mother again.


The last time I ran a marathon was a little more than one year ago. I spent months preparing for the event. I read entire books on running marathons and obsessively researched the subject on the internet, googling terms I'd be embarrassed to say out loud in the presence of mixed company (let's face it: fartleks and crotch chafing aren't things you bring up over the cash register at WalMart). I ate, whether I was hungry or not and savored every single morsel I put in my mouth. I slept, sometimes for eleven or twelve hours at night and then lied down for a nap three hours later. My body became a constant source of frustration. Will I ever stop losing my toenails? Could my thighs get any bigger? I stressed over numbers. How many miles? How many repeats? And finally, when the big day finally arrived, I set aside all my pride for several hours while I went about the slow and grueling process of turning myself inside out. It wasn't pretty. I wailed in pain, gnashed my teeth, barked at strangers and cursed the day I ever thought running a marathon was a grand idea. But when the carnage was over, I wore around my neck something extraordinary. And just like that, in an instant of time, I forgot all the pain, misery and agony it took to get to that point. Life was good. I was a marathoner again.

Marathon #4 is on September's calendar. Let the carnage and bundle of joy begin.

15 comments:

Mel said...

Loved this post! Its nice knowing others are going through the grueling training schedule. Time to treat that body well;)

mindij said...

Genius! I totally want to do another one!

Jen said...

Oh what a great comparison! The memory of the pain and agony fades quickly but as soon as the long runs kick in... it starts to come back. You're in such great shape to start training. It's gonna be a good one for sure!

Lili said...

Love this!I got a little misty when I read it. When I'm training I feel like I have an identity. I need to find that again. Thanks for the post!

Laura said...

I like your blog and I loved this post. You're a great writer.

robison52 said...

I enjoyed your pregnant thoughts. September is so very close. Hang tough!!

zanne said...

great post.

Velma said...

Love the analogy!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Amen sister!! September will be here before you know it..

Sarai said...

What a great post! I've never ran a marathon and the fact that you are comparing it to child birth worries me. HA! Why do I still want to run one and have more babies? You will do great Angie!

Nitmos said...

Awesome.

I forget, though, which event involves the "mucuous plug."

B.o.B. said...

Nitmos sent me over. Awesome post indeed.

theloosemoose said...

Nitmos is right - you're awesome.

And you're tough, too. I gave birth to my last bundle of joy 18 years ago, and I'm STILL complaining about it.

One last thing, Tall Girl. How tall ARE you? I'm tall, too, and weirdly competitive about it. 'Cause if I'm gonna be all freakish and atypical, then I want to make damned sure I'm the FREAKIEST freak, know what I'm saying?

Tall Girl Running said...

Always good to hear from you, Moose!

I'm six feet even. There was a time I'd wear nothing but flat shoes in an attempt to disguise my height. When I figured out I wasn't fooling anybody, I broke out the heels and haven't looked back since.

theloosemoose said...

Do'ot!! You've got me by an inch. And I am less than graceful, having the hardest time walking in even my own bare feet. Hence, no heels.