This post is from April 1, 2019, originally posted on my running blog, Serious Case of the Runs. But, I thought it quite appropriate as my first post here. And, WELCOME!
I ran up a hill last weekend and again yesterday. I ACTUALLY BROKE A SWEAT. I am positively victorious!! And would you be shocked to know that is the first time since October, 2018? Probably. After all, I have a Serious Case of the Runs, right?
*EDIT: Since posting this back in April I have been running most weekends pending PFM cooperation. Can we say 'running is magical?' Yes, yes it is.*
**Warning: this is a very open and honest post.**
Holy s***. I have been on a RIDE people. In fact just writing this I can’t help but cry. It is startling how much one can lose by creating life. In no way do I regret being a great creator of two gorgeous lives, so stop right there. But, I get to sometimes lament completely losing myself in the process. I get to have that. These days, I have come to terms with life as it is and no longer feel anger or body betrayal or self-pity, but I have my days just like any other human being. I will never be who I was again, and that could make me sad, but what I can now counter that thought with is that I look forward to learning more about who I am now, each day, and who I will become.
I have had very dark days. Very low lows, but I am grateful to come out of those times, and each time it is a little brighter and slightly less low.
It’s sort of amazing, but I meditate now. I actually can’t do a day without it. I love it so much, why did I wait so long to start?! I am in a better place with it. And, I enjoy the challenge of quieting the crazy. We could all use a little less crazy, no?
I have missed all of the things. Most of all I have missed running. I have missed identifying as a runner, talking about running, wearing my running clothes, the smell of a new pair of kicks. At first I felt pure rage and incredulity. I was just out for a run in the most beautiful place I have ever been (Kauai, Hawaii), when the bottom quite literally fell out. Pelvic organ prolapse. What. The. F***. Mother. Nature.
I am among the 50% of women that this sort of thing happens to. In fact, over the age of 37 the odds of experiencing POP skyrocket. Be nice to your pelvic floors, people!! (This includes men. Obviously, men won’t get it from below, it manifests slightly differently but equally as devastating feeling.) And, for the love of God, stop sucking in your belly. You are beautiful just as you are, all of you!
Please, if you or someone you know has experienced POP, first of all know you can do something about it! Not everyone will have the same outcomes, but it is absolutely worth trying. It is an insane amount of work but worth it. Second, *talk* about it! I felt so ashamed at first, like a failure, but then slowly people started to come out of the woodwork and shared their own experience and it is HUGE to know you aren’t alone in a struggle. Hence, this blog post. If anyone has questions, email me, I am happy to chat. Third, find a pelvic floor PT to help you. If you don’t like the first one find another one. A solid PFPT could just change your life. Not to be dramatic, but seriously. I am now working with my fifth(!!) PFPT and not because I didn’t like some but because I have been on a quest to learn *everything* and each one has taught me more and led me to the next, plummeting me further down a rabbit hole :)
It has been  very long months of getting myself on track and restoring my body to something slightly resembling a functioning human being. I was well on track last September. And then I wasn’t. Some days I am really tired of it all and I just want to toss in the towel, tear up every home exercise program I’ve been issued by various PTs, scream expletives to the universe, and just resign myself to being a motionless blob, rolling through life, sucking at everything. But, that’s just not me. So I get back on the horse and do all of the things.
An old friend of mine said recently, “I am so far down the rabbit hole I can’t see the light anymore. And I love it.” Me too, sister, me too.
When truly taking your health into your own hands you can’t help but fall down the rabbit hole. I don’t like stones left unturned. Because it isn’t just strength, it is core control, pelvic floor health/strength/mobility/connection, breathing, rib mobility, alignment of EVERYTHING, foot mobility, balance, shoulder mobility, upper body strength, pressure management, glute strength, hip flexor management... Then, maybe one day, a run will happen. I even signed up for a 12 week class to learn more about all the crap that comes with the postpartum body and am now a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist. I have virtually met (because do we really meet face-to-face anymore?) the most amazing group of people imaginable, with similar and varied experiences from similar and varied backgrounds, but all with the same goal in mind: to make ourselves better and stronger and to help others do the same. I have never been more inspired in my life.
I am now in a place where I am thankful for my journey. I love where I am now and my exact journey was the only way I would ever have gotten here. Besides, I always had the most success with the PTs who *really* got it, the ones who had walked that walk. I will share that I went from a three finger width diastasis recti (abdominal separation) to one finger width and full tension, and a grade 2 prolapse to now undetectable. Two PTs have been unable to find any evidence of it. Which is crazy because it was definitely there, but then I have worked my a rear off so that makes me feel pretty good. It is a never-ending road of self-care and maintenance, though, so I will just keep chugging along, doing what I need to do to stay on track. And, eventually I hope to help others going through this same sort of thing. Because, I get it.
I am a runner again, it looks a little different than it used to. I feel okay with that. In fact, it sort of excites me to focus on running short, fast, and light.
Are you a runner? Have you experienced pelvic pain or issues since giving birth that have changed the way you move and feel in your body? Maybe you despise running, but you are a walker, yogi, skater, lifter, gym rat, swimmer, cyclist, mom who picks up increasingly heavier children every day (!), whatever it might be! Comment below, email, or DM me on Instagram. Need to find a good practitioner or trainer in your area? Check out my resources tab! I will be updating this regularly as I come across stuff.
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Runner, lifter of children, PTA, CPT, PCES, pelvic health zealot