Courage is Going Through A Miscarriage And Flipping That Experience Around To Help Others
| Daniela, 32, Wisconsin
I always wanted to run a marathon. A half marathon, actually.
It got real about a year and a half ago when an opportunity to do the RunDisney half marathon came. I was so thrilled I packed everything without even thinking. But it wasn’t my time: it got rained out.
I didn’t let it bother me too much, and instead, I chose to make the best of it and ended up having the best trip ever to Walt Disney World with some of my best friends.
A couple months later, a friend asked me to join her for the upcoming Disney Princess Half Marathon. My opportunity came again and I was absolutely delighted! But again, it wasn’t going to be that easy. Weeks before the race, my friend realized she wouldn’t be able to run with me and I had to decide if I was going to back up from the challenge, as I tended to do my entire life, or finally step up and run it by myself. It wasn’t the easiest choice but I decided it was something I needed to do for me. I had to prove to myself I could not just run a half marathon but endure things that seem scary but would ultimately help me accomplish my goals.
So I started training.
I had my mind on the goal and an awesome supportive husband who stood by me during the whole process. He cheered me on when I made progress, no matter how small it seemed, and he even bought me a treadmill when winter arrived and it was uncomfortable to run outside! From the very beginning to the night before the race, he stood by me and assured me I was doing great and that I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. He reminded me that it was really brave to even show up.
Finally, the day came. I remember almost every minute of it. The thrill, the energy, the shamelessly going to the bathroom about 17 times before the race, my husband’s face at the giant letter “F” for our new shared last name with a giant Pooh Bear stuffed animal. I remember the relief when I ran past the Sweeper Bus that would pick up runners who couldn’t finish within the 3-1/2 hour time allotted. And of course, I remember the pain. The incredible shooting pain through my leg that showed me I actually had accomplished something I had convinced myself I couldn’t do.
It was the most amazing feeling ever.
I felt so great and so overwhelmingly encouraged by what I had just accomplished that I decided I needed to do it more. I wanted to push myself harder, to run more, to do all the things I once said I couldn’t do. I felt braver than I had in the last 31 years and I was absolutely excited to keep “signing up” for all of the other things I had been talking about doing over the years.
Then the miscarriage came.
About two weeks after the half marathon we found out our perfectly healthy first pregnancy, the one we had learned of just over one month ago, the one that changed our lives, had slipped through our fingers like sand. I was no longer pregnant, and all the ideas of names, nurseries, hedgehog-patterned swaddle blankets and giant Pooh Bears had to be set aside for another patient day of peeing on a stick. Once again, it wasn’t my time.
No matter how much support I had, I felt as lonely as I had been while I was running the half marathon, knowing I had to push myself to keep moving forward.
Except this time I had learned a bit about myself. I realized life is only limited by the beliefs, rules, and restrictions I was creating for myself, and the experiences I’ve been through have become the beginning of a new path, one I wasn't intending but one I am choosing to see as my most important journey yet.
Everything I’ve gone through over the past few months became the true inspiration for me to start a blog and a lifestyle that encourages living healthy, foolish and outside my comfort zone.
I am now braver and stronger. I will be happier. I’ll regain my spirit because I’m not willing to lose everything. I’ll keep reminding myself it’s not about the cards you are dealt but about how you play them. I won’t forget to allow myself to be vulnerable. I have to use every experience I’ve had to learn how strong I actually am and how connected I am to the world around me.
Life is about discovering who you are and fearlessly being that person. And I definitely
learned that vulnerability occurs as you push through your own self-doubt and as you grow into a stronger version of yourself. So I will not only embrace but create a colorful story of what life can be when you throw away the excuses, live every day to the fullest vibrancy, and enter each moment with the energy that something amazing is about to happen.
Now I know I can go after anything I want. And trust me, I will.