Even under the best of circumstances, pregnancy and childbirth are the equivalent of a physiological revolution. Still, in my own experience, the emotional struggles pushed my limits with a force that could never be matched by the physical pain. Now that the emotional scars lay buried, largely invisible to the outside world, it is glaringly evident that the process took a toll on my body. The observation is greater than vanity alone. Months of bedrest and inactivity have robbed me of the strength that I, never particularly athletic, took largely for granted.
As I begin to carve out tiny spaces in time, a precious hour here, fifteen minutes there, I feel the burden of responsibility. In theory, there are a million things that I’d like to do. In practice, I submit easily to an absence of mental clarity and physical endurance. I remind myself that getting started is the hardest part. Surely, it will get easier.
It’s a discouraging place to be and yet I envision myself as a winner in my own fictional reality show. I love Cinderella stories.
I want to be in motion but a first and second attempt at running left me gasping and sore, disappointed. And then, just recently, I failed victoriously. I couldn’t force myself to run but I was propelled. I was back in my suburban neighborhood of more than 8 years, admiring the May roses and lovely front-yard gardens. I was smiling at all the markers of domesticity on display. I was walking. I was reminded that my legs have always been my favorite mode of transportation. A flaneur at heart; I am a wanderer in both mind and body.
I know that walking is not likely to help me to drop my extra pounds or to restore all of the strength that I’ve lost but I am enthusiastic about the rediscovery. It was so obvious as to be hidden and, I want to believe, the perfect first step.