bringing a daughter in to this world made me reevaluate a lot of things in my life. the way i eat, shop, the things i wear, how i approach life in general. something about having a daughter made me want to be a better role model. one of the things that changed drastically after she was born was how i included fitness in my life.
i was an active child. doing ballet a few times a week kept me moving all the time. in college, i joined a sorority full of athletes and realized just how out of shape i was since my dancing had ended. i guess that's the curse of naturally slender people. we don't have to work at keeping our size, but i was definitely no longer 'fit' and probably a little on the unhealthy side.
as major sufferer from asthma, i leaned on that crutch for nearly every athletic endeavor. 'wanna go running?' no i have asthma. until charlotte was born i had never ran a mile in my life. i'd skip gym class in high school when i knew we were going to be doing a mile run. i avoided running like the plague. but we were living in southern california when i became a mother and i was bombarded daily with women pushing their strollers up and down the streets near our house and i thought to myself 'i wonder if i could be like them?'
i challenged myself to run a 5k in my town. i started by running 20 seconds at a time and then walking for a few minutes. it was awful. i was so incredibly worried about what other people on the road were thinking i nearly quit. but when i gave myself this challenge, i was also silently suffering deeply from postpartum depression.
not a day went by that summer when i didn't cry. usually on the back steps listening to one or both of my babies crying themselves to sleep. i was in an incredibly dark place. the idea of grabbing my keys and driving far far away passed through my mind on more than one occasion and i remember telling brad that i wasn't cut out for motherhood and i wanted to run away. my lifeline became running. my therapy, my little escape from the darkness.
now that i have my third little one, running is more important than ever. it's harder to get out of the house these days, but i know that if i don't i'll regret it and fall back in to that darkness. the day i noticed those feelings of PPD coming back to me i signed up for a race. this november i'll be heading to annapolis, maryland to run the half marathon and, for the first time, my kids and husband will get to watch me run.
while i'm racing to combat my own postpartum depression, i'm also racing to raise money for every mother counts. an amazing organization helping mothers right here in the US and around the world receive better maternal care. over 800 women die every day due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth (in developing countries, this is the second leading cause of death after HIV/AIDS). what's more, most of these deaths can easily be prevented by access to emergency care. every mother counts is on a mission to bring that care to women across the globe who need it. my goal is to raise $500 while training for this race and i hope you'll help me take a step towards safer pregnancy and childbirth for all women.