Bad Ass, Going Solo: Single Parenthood, life lessons, Run Momma Run, Uncategorized

back to life. back to reality

Five years ago, I would have been ashamed to post this photo. While 4 miles is no easy task, the time it took me to complete them tonight was about twice what it used to take me to run four miles. Tonight I had to run, jog, and walk to get there. Also, due  to toddler difficulties, I had to do it on a treadmill. Again. After 10pm. Five years ago, I ran at least 5 miles 4 times a week and 10 or more on weekend days and biked the 22 mile greenbelt around Harrisburg at least once a week. But this isn’t a story about a runner who is trying to win a race or be the fastest or show people how good I am at running. This is a story about someone coming back to life. It took me three years to slowly fade away and it will take time to come back.

After I had my daughter, I got back to running, lost more than all the baby weight, and felt absolutely amazing about life. Then, for reasons that made sense at the time, I decided to move to Philadelphia. In many ways, things have gone well for me here. I bought my first house, I found a job I love and fall in love with more as it grows and changes, I connected to a church community and a parenting community, and I began building a village for my daughter. But some of the reasons for moving here turned out to be empty promises and were emotionally difficult to deal with. In the last two years, I have almost completely stopped running, my diet has been completely out of whack, and I have let depression win on more days than I’d like to admit. I turned down social invitations choosing to stay home and secluded instead. My body and my overall health has suffered as a result. Some friendships have suffered as well. I focused so much on who I used to be that I forgot to become her again-in a new improved state. And worse, I forgot to enjoy who I was at the present, double chins and all.

About a week ago, I realized that my daughter would be four in a month. Four. She is starting to recognize my behaviors and even imitates them sometimes. She recognizes when I am sad and she asks me about it. I want her to see the best me that I can be(hokey I know, but it’s true). I don’t want her to start imitating the me who sits in front of another episode of Scandal while eating a block of cheese and drinking a bottle of wine. She deserves to know the me I was 5 years ago when I found out I was pregnant the day after I ran a half-marathon in Nashville. The excited, giggly me who did not give a fuck what anyone thought of me. The me who did my thing, painted horrible paintings, but loved them, the me who laughed obnoxiously out loud multiple times a day, and the me who ran everyday because it was the one thing that made me feel my dad’s presence. I want her to see the me who at 35 found out I was pregnant and was going to become a solo parent and just said to myself, “OK Bek, let’s do this!”

On Mother’s Day I was still up at 11pm taking care of a messy kitchen and a sink full of dishes. I caught myself smiling. I realized just how wonderful things really were. I was standing there in MY kitchen, in MY house, washing dishes from my incredible daughter. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for everything in my life. When I was running that half-marathon 5 years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be standing in a kitchen I owned washing dishes from a kid I had. The excuses I have used to avoid life have only clouded my view of the wonderful life I have been gifted.

That’s all it took to make me decide to get back to it. I promised myself that I would run, jog, or walk at least 2 miles a day for two weeks. At the end of that two weeks, I will make a new promise. On Sunday morning, I will be running my first race since that one in Nashville in September 2012. It is a 5K and I am already a little scared. The thing is, I am also excited. Bella will be with me in the jogging stroller the whole time. And soon, she will be running beside me. And even if I am the last one across the finish line, I will still celebrate and be grateful that I am able to complete 3 miles and do so with my daughter right in front of me cheering me on.

I leave you with an excerpt from Jen Sincero(an incredible author who I highly recommend) that I have been focusing on this week.

“You can’t see the silver lining through victim goggles.”

“Have faith that you and the Universe have created everything for your growth and be grateful for it. No matter what. Get practiced at making gratitude your go-to. Notice the 8 trillion things around you at all times that you can be grateful for, and feel into the grateful expectation for all the things coming your way. The good, the bad, the ugly, The salsa stain you just got on your new white shirt, become a gratitude machine for all of it.”



I had my first positive pregnancy test on September 24th, 2012. I took my 11th test on the 27th: this is when I finally called my doctor and the father of my child. This is when I finally kind of believed this was happening. The doctor made me wait three more weeks until she would see me. Three weeks of worrying. Three weeks of conversations and arguments about what we were going to do. Three weeks of not being able to talk about it. Three weeks of pretending this wasn’t happening. Three weeks of praying my period would come and realizing this was just a big mistake. Three weeks of searching the internet for other causes of positive pregnancy tests. This couldn’t really be happening, so I figured there must be some other reason the tests were positive. Maybe I had some rare form of cancer that caused this to happen. There was just no way in my mind that I could be pregnant. Not now and not under these circumstances.

Those three weeks were torture. I could not think of anything else. I kept thinking this was some kind of test that the doctors gave mothers to see if they could handle the stress. I sat waiting in the reception room. I am sure it was only a few minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. Though he said he would be there, the father did not show up and I walked into that stark cold room alone. I was shaking as I filled out the forms and praying that this was not happening. The doctor confirmed I was pregnant, told me to take vitamins, and gave me a due date. The nurse gave me a huge bag full of samples, reading materials, and even more papers to fill out. I went out to my car, texted the father to let him know about the appointment, and sat in the parking lot and cried.

I had agreed with the father that I would give the baby up for adoption. I had agreed to this only 5 days after I told him about the baby. Somehow hearing the doctor confirm the fact that I was pregnant changed everything. Suddenly I felt an overwhelming sense of protection and connection to this child. I knew that I was supposed to have this baby and that there was no way I would ever give him up.  Suddenly, I didn’t care what my friends or family thought, I didn’t care what people at work would think about me, and I didn’t care how angry the father would be with me. This baby happened for a reason and he had a purpose. Everything else would eventually work itself out and everything would be ok.

It has now been 12 weeks since that day. In the last twelve weeks, I told my family, my friends, my job, and announced this pregnancy to the world. I switched doctors and am now going to a place where all the rooms are warm and welcoming and the staff are helpful and friendly. I have gone from hiding this pregnancy and being ashamed of it to celebrating it and talking about it. I have gone from wondering if there really is a baby inside me to feeling him move every day. I have gone from being angry at the father to hating him to realizing that anger and hatred only hurt me. Now, I am just thankful to him for giving me such an amazing gift. In the last twelve weeks, my belly has grown and my skin has started to glow. In the last twelve weeks, a future that first seemed bleak and depressing now seems exciting, new, and hopeful.

Now I wait again. This time I wait for my second and last ultrasound. In less than 48 hours, I will see my baby once again and find out if he is a he or a she. I will be able to decide on a name and start to have an even more personal connection with my child. The next day and a half is going to drag on forever, but it is happier and feels so much better than the first time I had to wait.