You may have noticed that – ahem – Every48 took a little break for a bit of time this month. Baby Bear and his parents escaped for a few days to Hawaii, and it was lovely. Then we came back to Seattle, cold and rainy and thoroughly winterized. Sigh.
I’ve been thinking about comeback stories.
So…as the post-pregnancy comeback continues, I began thinking about comeback stories. They’re all over the sports world, and they’re legitimately inspiring, I think – even for the super-duper-superstars, like Peyton Manning coming back from neck surgery and being cut from his team to find another team and get back to the Super Bowl. (Everyone in Seattle missed that one because we were too busy cheering the Seahawks, who beat the P. Manning-led Broncos in Super Bowl 48, but it was a huge, huge story. Massive comeback for an athlete who could easily have hung it up right there and rested on his laurels.)
So, comebacks. Here’s what’s inspiring about them: they’re hard. They’re hard not just because it’s hard to improve as an athlete, but it’s also mentally hard, I think, to constantly compare yourself to how much better you used to be, before whatever happened to get you to a place where you had to make a comeback.
It’s a relatable thing right now as I dream of a comeback marathon and getting back to racing weight after pregnancy. This week I finally crossed the healthy weight threshold – a BMI of 25 – but that still leaves me with 18 pounds to lose to get to a good training weight for my height, age, and bone structure (5’4″, early forties, small). It’s hard not to compare myself to what it used to feel like in my body before pregnancy. I was running well, I felt light and strong, and now…not so much. I huff and puff. I’m slower. I have an oddly-shaped tummy with most of the excess weight just sort of hanging there, encased in loose skin decorated with stretch marks, and not seeming like it wants to go away anytime soon.
It took three months to lose the first ten post-delivery pounds. (That’s after the 13 that came off during delivery and post-delivery.) Three months for ten pounds. The first time around, when I was losing forty pounds on the way to almost qualifying for the Boston Marathon, losing ten pounds took one month.
I’m slower by a factor of three than I was six and a half years ago.
But I still strapped on my running shoes in Hawaii and huffed and puffed through a few workouts. I ran on the beach. I celebrated being alive and healthy, with a new baby son to inspire me to take care of myself. Getting back to where I used to be is going to take time. What I’m doing right now is making a positive step forward, as often as I can. That includes my Every48 workouts, as often as I can do them. It’s not perfect yet. I’m not yet back to 60 really intense minutes of exercise every other day of my life. But I’ll get there.
That’s why I love comeback stories. Because I’m in the process of becoming one of them, and it’s nice to know that even though it seems hard, it’s also possible. That’s what I’m thinking about this Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
More on this idea in future weeks. Best wishes for a great week and a great holiday.