I can run again! It took me eight and a half years after my second child was born to start getting back on the trail, and now, a year later, I have made it up to running 10 miles.
It took a lot of work to get to this point – to heal my body enough to do something that’s so healing for my mind.
And then there were my postpartum structural issues, including diastasis recti or abdominal separation.
It took lots of work with physical therapists – Body Connect Health & Wellness and ITR Physical Therapy – and lots of exercises at home and on my own plus yoga, self-massage, cupping and essential oils – for me to be able to safely run without pain or threat of injury.
It was exciting that I finally felt both strong enough to begin running last winter. I started with just a minute or two at a time with walking in between and then worked up to two miles and then three and then four. In the fall, I ran a Girls on the Run 5K with my 9-year-old, the one whose pregnancy and birth changed my body so much.
It was my first run and race in 10 years and it was such a joy to share it with my child!
This spring I felt called to go further. I know that since my ayurvedic dosha type is predominantly vata with some pitta (so vata-pitta), so strenuous exercise is not the ideal for me, as Apurva Ayurveda Healing reminded me in this video during a recent virtual day retreat with Beloved Yoga). However, now that I’ve worked up my endurance slowly, running at a manageable pace is not strenuous; it’s moving meditation.
I’m out in nature. I don’t listen to music or the radio. I don’t run with other people. I do wear a mask (and don’t love that party) but even with this layer of anonymity, these days seeing people on the trail is also a mental health boost, one of the few ways it feels almost safe to connect during the coronavirus pandemic.
It took a long while to get here, and I certainly need to take measures to ensure that I don’t get injured or overdo, but I hope to continue to have this one day a week be my long cardio session and my head clearing.
Read how I bought myself a running belt with water holders in this essay on Medium: “What if your kids suck at Mother’s Day?”
This is not a sponsored post.
Jessica Claire Haney is the founder, publisher and editor of Mindful Healthy Life and the author of its Guide to Holistic Family Living in Metro DC. A mother of two, Jessica founded the Arlington/Alexandria Chapter of Holistic Moms Network and volunteers on school wellness issues. Follow on Facebook at MindfulHealthyLife, on @