Dear Hormonally-Challenged One Who Freaks Out A Lot Eats Lots of Chocolate Covered Pretzels and Is Really Scared,
Let me save you some trouble.
He'll be born October 2nd--a week early, and you'll be induced, because he's so big and healthy and your doctor is afraid he might be 6 feet tall and drive you home if you wait much longer. His name will be Jackson, and from the second you lay your eyes upon him he'll be the most important thing in the world to you. He'll change your world more than anyone could verbalize to you. He'll be 9 pounds, 4 ounces, and yes, it will hurt like hell, but you'll do it. He'll be the most painful thing you'll ever experience, but the second you see him you'll forget all that pretty much forever and be stricken with baby-sighting pain amnesia. I hear it's quite common, actually.
Right now, you're afraid of many, many things, and most of which are out of your control. You like to be in control of everything, so this has been a crash-course in a little class called "Your Body Is Hella Smarter Than You Are." You won't get on the scale at all--you stopped at the beginning of this month--because it was messing with your head. In fact, your doctor has a big note on your chart that says to the nurse, "DO NOT TELL WEIGHT" because you are such a headcase.
Let me save you some more trouble.
The 55, yes, that is, the I CAN'T DRIVE 55 POUNDS that you will gain will all come off pretty quickly. Like in the first 4-5 months. Your Mom and your friends who have been here before are trying to knock that into your two mile thick skull, but you're not listening. You won't listen to me, either, but at least I tried. And a few more pounds will fall off when you're training for Steelhead. Ten months to the date of Jackson's arrival, you'll be leaner and fitter than you ever have been. But you still won't believe me. You think you're a beached whale and you're all angry about how slow you are. This is also quite stupid, but at least you sort of know how dumb you're being.
You worry. You worry that you'll never run or swim or ride the paces you did before. You fear being slow forever and ever, and you think it's the end of the world.
Let me save you some more trouble.
You won't run, ride, or swim those paces again. Because you'll be faster. And stronger.
You fear that it's selfish to admit that you don't want to give up a part of your life--the independent part, where you get to do whatever you want to do at any time with any one. But the crazy thing is, you really won't. What you will want to do will adapt to fit this new chapter of your life, but you'll find that you can still do the things you want to do--like run, swim, see your friends, make s'mores, go for a hike, play Rock Band, read a book, have a party, travel, race, and teach.
You'll wonder how you ever made it thirty years without him.
You'll be amazed at how much you love his Daddy.
One year from today, you'll be staring a half ironman in the face. And you'll be calmly ready to go, because you know now that this race is different. This race will be justifying all the hours you spent away from him--all the times you got up early so you would get your workouts in before he was up, so you could be the one to see him smile at you with his sleepy eyes. So you could be the one who gets to feed him his oatmeal. You will remember all the boring, lonely 3 hour rides and hour and a half runs you did by yourself, because you had to squeeze it in from home at an unpredictable time, and this time, you want to make it worth something.
This race needs to justify every second away.
You long for runs with your best running buddy followed by 2 hours of coffee and conversation, but you know that she has moved to the other side of the country and has a new baby of her own and those days are on hold. And this bums you out for a moment, but you know that those times will come again. For now, it was all about efficiency, and making it count. So you could be there when it really mattered. So you could be his mother.
And I know it's hard to imagine now, but you'll be ready. Your definition of success will shift a bit, and as a result, you will succeed even more.
And you'll feel like the luckiest girl on the face of the earth, because you've been blessed with the opportunity to pretty much do it all, with a lot of love and a lot of help.
So put up with the cankles. Try not to freak about the scale. Listen to your Sis, because she knows what she's talking about. Everything will fall into place, and there will be changes but you'll roll with it. And your training and your life will ebb and flow along, and there will be times of solitude and gratitude and sleeplessness and more love than you can ever imagine.