Friday, May 2, 2014

Flowers for Anna-non

In school, "Flowers for Algernon" was one of my favorite short stories. I have always been a sucker for using text and punctuation to relay information beyond words.

Having this second baby is a lot like living through that story, physically. I started out slow and fat, got really lean, really fast, ran a marathon at the peak of my training and coasted along for a while. But now I'm at the part where I'm watching everything start to fall apart. My body is pooching out in different places (totally healthy, I know). One by one my pants are getting put in a box... along with old race shirts in the Small and Medium range. My splits have gone from 10's to 12:30's to lucky-if-I-finish-a-5k-in-less-than-45-minutes.

And today I went for a walk. I never intended to break into a run- I dressed for, and prepared for, a walk. Sigh. Super-sigh. Luckily, I keep remembering that this isn't permanent. But it's just such a weird feeling to be getting slower, and bigger, and to be running shorter distances. The backwards feeling is undeniable.

I know "Flowers for Algernon" is more about mentally disabled people than the glib problems of being a slower runner. But each time I look at a positive split (for you non-runners, that's a bad thing) or see the walk-breaks getting more frequent, I can see what's coming up, and it's not easy for me to be ok with it.

Please don't read this as me not being insanely happy for everything else that's going on in my life right now- the world is doing amazing things for us- I really couldn't be asking for anything else. I've prayed and hoped and waited for this exact time of my life for SO LONG that it's weird that I'm even registering this as a disappointment.


Annie Crow said...

It is hard to knowingly give up our bodies. The first time round you have no idea what to expect and it's all just! so! exciting! (Or miserable, luck of the draw.) But to then go and do it again? And as an athlete, being so aware of and in our bodies? It's not easy. I had to constantly tell myself, this is not forever, it's not even all that long in the larger picture of my life.

... said...

Aww Annie.. there you go, making the pregnant lady cry. Thanks for this. And some times it's still! SO! Exciting!! (I love it!) You're awesome. Thanks!!

Ali K. said...

I love FFA. I teach it every year! (The short story...I read the novel in 8th grade but my school only provides the short story version.) I get what you're saying. Anytime we reach a peak and then start to see a decline, we know what's ahead and what's coming, and the anticipation is almost worse than the decline itself.

But while your running may be "declining", your little buddy is progressing! And that is wonderful news :o)