Just breathe

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Time – 20 minutes 53 seconds

Distance – 1.89 miles

I could hear myself breathing. One breath at a time.  In and out.  Steady. Rhythmic.

The Runkeeper app on my phone informed me how much I had run and how long I had run.

Close to 2 miles…

What was I running from?

Where was I running to?

This morning I woke up with my stomach in knots.  A normal occurrence on days we have cardiology visits for Evan.  And he’s been doing so well.  My little Michelin man – all rolls and all grin – has been thriving.  He has the occasional vomiting episode the doctor is concerned about but overall, he’s been pretty good.

I checked my phone – 4:59 AM.

Evan needed meds at 5AM and a feed at 5:30AM.

I decided to just stay up and do his 5:30 AM feed and let Craig sleep.

To pass time, I hopped on the internet to check on the daily happenings of my friends on Facebook.

I then saw that a fellow heart mom I had grown very close with was in dire need of prayers.  Her daughter had surgery last Friday and had been on life support.  The attempts to wean her from that support failed…and now the future of this little girl was slipping away.

I prayed.  Asked others to pray for Evan and for Ro.

I decided I needed to run.  Run away from it all.  Get my head clear.

I had a Body Back session last night. So trying to run less than 10 hours later is kind of ridiculous.

But something in me said, “Do it.”

So I did.

I opted for no music on my run.  I needed my mind to be clear.  I needed to hear my breathing.  I needed to pray.

I recalled something my Body Back instructor wrote in an email to me.  We’ve been discussing ways to tweak my diet and my work out regimen to I could truly optimize the 8 weeks and lose as much weight as I could.

I got stuck on something she wrote. After talking about calories and workout regimen she started another paragraph that started with: “So, here’s what it comes down to. Patience and self love.”

I remember reading it and it sticking on the forefront of my mind. I closed the computer and tried to ignore that statement.

As I remembered the statement, my feet quickened and my pace increased.

What was I running from?

Where was I running to?

I ran and I ran.  My head cloudy with thoughts of Evan.  Thoughts of Ro. And the nagging phrase Amber wrote to me:  “Patience and Self Love.”

I kept on running.  Focusing on my breathing.  Just trying to run as far as I could in hopes I could escape from some of the pain of my reality.

I started to feel my legs get sore.  A welcomed reminder that I my body was changing.  I focused on the uncomfortable sensation but kept on going.  I didn’t feel tired, yet.  I knew I had more in me.

I looked at the clock and it had been 48 minutes.  It was almost 7am and I needed to get home to get my family up and moving for the day.

So I stopped.  I knew home was about 10 minutes away – perfect for a cool down, walking pace.

Suddenly I didn’t have to focus on breathing.  Suddenly I didn’t feel the familiar ache of my muscles when I ran.

Suddenly I had to face everything.  And the tears started to fall….

And that’s when I ran – I ran right into the reality I was trying to avoid. {What was I running to?}

And that’s when I realized I was running from the fears that lurk in my mind everyday. {Where was I running from?}

“Patience and Self Love.”


I realized that I’m so eager and so determined to work out and see results and forgo the patience is because I’m so afraid of having “home” taken from me.  I know how quickly our routine as a family can be disrupted in an instance.  Evan could go from good to bad…and then we’d be back in the hospital.

Time, I feel, is never on our side.  We’re dictated by the next medication, the next feed, the next doctor visit, the next therapy session.  There is so little time for much else that I am desperate to see results instantly – weight loss, strength, endurance – in lightening speed when really what my body needs is time.  It’s not about the physical change…it’s about the emotional changes I am desperate to reach – to a time of peace and certainty. Patience…

Self love….

I’m depleted.  I’m emotionally drained.  I give myself everyday to care for my Evan.  I give myself everyday to give my Iz stability in this time of instability.  I give myself every day to my husband to be his confidant, his escape from the stresses of work and life.  I’ve lost some of who I love in all of this.  I’ve lost some of the joy of who I am in everything we’ve been through.  I’ve neglected me for so long that I’m not quite sure who I’m trying to be.  Is the me of now enough?  Sometimes I don’t know.  Sometimes I wish I was so much more for those I love so I could “fix” everything that is wrong in our lives.  The concept of “self love” is so foreign.  I’ve lived so much of my existence as being something for someone – a good daughter, best friend, dutiful wife, doting mother.  I sometimes feel I fall short of all these things.  It’s also hard to be comfortable in my own skin when so much around me says to be something else – “younger…thinner…prettier….”  I’m lost in a world of comparing my best self to the best of the world…and not sure if it’s me that can’t keep up or if it’s the world that’s asking me to be an unrealistic version of me.

I took in all of these realizations on the way home.  I cried – from exhaustion, from realization.

I started to pray.  Just a simple, “Dear God…help.”

And that’s when I realized…

I just need to breathe.  In and out.  Focus on my breathing.  Focus on the pain we’re experiencing.  Pain means we’re changing…and working towards something better.  Patience is already here…isn’t that why Evan is so stable now?  Isn’t this time a time for reflection, preparation – God pulling me closer to him – asking me to finally surrender it all and preparing us for what’s ahead?

Self love – depleted – I’m depleted in it.  But isn’t now the time I need to turn to something – Someone greater – to fulfill that need?  I’m trying to be the best for everyone and forgetting the most important part of me…a child of a God who loves me so…who wants to love me despite of how I feel for me.  His love is enough.

My body is changing and I realized it’s not about the weight.  It’s my mind that is desperate for change…

So today…I’m still struggling.  Still unsure.  But there’s so much I cannot control but there’s one thing I can.

And that’s just to breathe.






  1. I haven’t commented here before but I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now. My blog is private so I didn’t want you to think I was a weirdo (I will email you an invite if you desire). Back to the point. You are an amazing mom & wife. I have in no way shape or form the struggles you have with Evan but I know that the courage & devotion you have… I envy. Keep truckin along girl and do whatever it is you need to do to feel that it makes you a better mom. It has saved me in the 1st 2 1/2 yrs of my twins life. It only took about 2 yrs for me to realize I am indeed a better mom when I take care of myself & do things for ME. You deserve it! When it becomes just that (me time) & not guilt (I should be here or there) you will see results in your body & feel results in your soul.
    Cheers to a Wednesday night & pushin forward tomorrow… kuz you’re worth it! 🙂

  2. I’m praying for you

    • oops hit send too soon – anyways, just wanted you to know I’m praying for you and your little one!

  3. Kristen says:

    Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration…your strength…your faith…and so much more!