Thursday, April 19, 2012

Running for Cherubs and Angels


I am a big believer in dreaming big, setting goals and going after them.
I also believe in living a life that is inspiring to others, especially your own children.

I have small moments where I feel like I am achieving those two goals but many, many moments where I feel like I fall short. Such is life. Lately I have taken on a new goal, a mission, a purpose and a new determination to reach a goal I have had for a long time. You see, it is a goal that seems absolutely impossible in my own mind and for me to achieve it I need to face a lot of fears and misconceptions I have about myself. It is going to test me in ways that I am terrified of facing. I am scared of failing and therefore have many times put off even starting. 

My goal is I want to run a 10K marathon.

For many women running 10K is nothing. Easy even and a daily part of their routine. Running for me is not easy. I am not a runner and when it comes to running I am more of a couch sitter. I much prefer to walk and I do not have a good running style. I am not fast, I run slowly and when I run I feel like it is awkward, uncomfortable and not natural for me. In fact, I remember people laughing at me on many occasions when it came to running as a younger child.

So to help me achieve my goal I have been spending time running nearly every day. I have now finished the Couch to 5K running program and can slowly run 5K. I run on my treadmill at home as I am too embarrassed to run outside and my time for running the 5K is not fast at all but I can keep running until I hit the end. I am still amazed by it and have been thankful for the lovely support from other bloggers and readers as I have shared a little of my journey on twitter and facebook.

Now that I have achieved the first goal of being able to run 5K I am working on the big goal of making it to 10K. I knew it would be hard but I am finding it a lot harder than I thought. 10K is a really, really long way. So to help me get to the end I have come up with a plan to help motivate me and to help raise awareness at the same time. 

You see, I always wanted to have 10 kids and have finished having my children at the number 7. I have decided to let the 10K represent 10 cherubs. The first 7 for each of my kids and the last 3 for those mothers who have lost children and who have angels in heaven. The reason for this is that I really think that if I push myself I can run 7K. The last 3K I simply don't think I have it in me to make it myself. To make the distance I need to do it for someone else. I need that to motivate me to finish. 

Therefore, the first 7 will be for cherubs and the last 3 will be for angels.

So as I start to step up this journey I want to blog about it to help raise awareness for an organisation that helps mum's who have lost cherubs. I have a lot of friends and even some family who have lost sweet cherubs and it has been heartbreaking to watch. I do not know what it feels like to lose a baby. What I do know is that my heart will never be the same after hearing Kristie read out a blog post about losing her dear Avery. Her grief, her pain and her deep, deep sorrow was life changing for me. I have not stopped thinking about it since I heard it. 

Running for me is painful. Exercise and pain do not mix well for me. I am too weak. I stop when it starts to hurt and I give up. In thinking about this I keep coming back to the fact that it is nothing compared to what many women face when they lose a baby. You have no choice when it comes to facing pain when you lose a cherub. You have to face it, you have to immerse yourself in it and you have to live through it to move on. 

Every time I get on the treadmill, I feel weak and I don't feel strong enough to achieve my goal. I think of those women who have lost cherubs and I try to push myself through the pain. Most of the pain is in my own mind and not in my body. It is a battle of self belief that I can do it and make it to the end. I think about this small dream that I have and of all the lost dreams that mother's have who lose cherubs and then I start to run. I run and I cry.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I have started trying to achieve this goal and failed to make it past this stage. This is the longest I have ever tried for. I also have to say that I am really scared about putting this out there and not being able to do it. I am so not a runner and am really scared about failing.

But, I have decided it is better to try and to give it a go and to see where it takes me and to see if it is possible to make it to 10K. I am currently up to Week 4 of the Couch to 10K program and I am hoping I can make it to the end of the program.

One organisation that I know has been of great help to those who have lost cherubs is Heartfelt

{Heartfelt is a volunteer organisation of professional photographers from all over Australia dedicated to giving the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature and ill infants and children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of their local hospitals, as well as children with serious and terminal illnesses. Heartfelt is dedicated to providing this gift to families in a caring, compassionate manner. All services are provided free of charge.}

I personally know Fiona and Carissa who are heartfelt photographers and love that this is a free service to provide beautiful memories for families who are dealing with grief and loss. The many images I have seen of families and cherubs is inspiring and also heartbreaking. I am hoping that as I run and blog about my journey that I can raise more awareness for those sweet angels who did not need to spend much time here on Earth and for those families who are left behind.