Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I think I can hear the choir now...

About a year ago, I finished a marathon and I am very, very proud of that accomplishment. I still feel that my head goes a bit higher when I tell people about it, when they see my photos and when I show my medal off. Sure, my time wasn’t fast but I finished didn’t I?

This year I feel like I’m finishing another marathon, of sorts. In a few days I will, if all goes well, give birth to a little girl and these last few weeks have been like the last stretch in the marathon. You know, you start off strong and confident (but a little queasy inside), until you find your pace. Slowly you feel that you can definitely do this, it’s actually easy and you’ve already covered so much mileage. You feel yourself smiling and think “hey, I look quite good!” Everyone cheers you on.

But somewhere in the last third you start flagging again: suddenly not only your legs hurt but everything seems to. The really comfortable pace you’d set is becoming too much so you slow down. You feel heavier and heavier. The miles are going by slower and slower. You don’t look quite so good anymore. People still cheer you on but it can almost become annoying: “you’re nearly there!” they say, and you know that you’re nowhere near there, really. And you keep going.

The last mile is the longest… everything really hurts by now, even breathing. You know you can’t stop because you can’t wait to get to the finish line and get this over and done with. Your pace is all over the place by now: sometimes you slow waaaaay down; sometimes you can even come up with a burst of speed. Just to get to the finish line. People still cheer you on and this time you KNOW you are nearly there, so these shouts are encouraging. But the tiredness has made you cranky and you can find them irritating at the same time. But the real determination to get there has to come from within. You’ve come this far – what’s a few more steps? All that pain and toll on your body will be worth it in the end.

Suddenly, you hear a choir, you turn a corner and there it is – the finish line! The last few meters go by in a blur, almost too quickly and before you know it, you are finished and you have your reward… now is a time to celebrate, to rest and, of course, to recover. You did it! Sure, you won’t be able to walk for a while but your life will never be the same again.

The difference is that when I finished the marathon I thought “Never again!” which is in fact the same thing I thought when I had my first baby. I was eventually convinced to get pregnant again but this time I can guarantee that I won’t do it again, two kids is enough… but a marathon? I think I’ll do it at least once more… one can never have too many medals!


Shazza911 said...

Great comparison!! People were reminding me about marathons when I told them I was scared for the surgery, and really, there are a lot of similarities!! And, both are truly huge accomplishments!! And then, only a few more weeks until you can start training again and pick that next marathon... (although, my favourite will always be Disney)

Lily said...

When your baby girl is older, your friends and family will go to see you run another marathon. We´ll encourage you from the sidelines while singing the best Disney Park song EVER:
In the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room
In the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room
All the birds sing words
And the flowers croon
At the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room

I know, it doesn´t have anything to do with a marathon, but it´s such a happy song!
Now, some unrequired encouragement:
I hope that your girl will someday be as lovely, smart and funny as you are.
Liliana E.

MKScrappers said...

Claudia I love the way you write.I always look forward to your new posts.
Good luck with the baby. I'll be thinking of you.
Can't wait until you're back in the UK and we can catch up.
Visualise the finish line, focus on the end.....just kidding!!!


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