I’ve long held the belief that running a marathon is similar to giving birth. And soon enough, I’ll be able to test that theory.
The nerd in me is thrilled.
(You know, in addition to being thrilled about finally meeting my son.)
So far, I can only speak for marathons, but my hypothesis is that the following apply to both scenarios:
- You prepare for months ahead of time, but when it comes down to race/birth day, it’s all just a crapshoot, dependent on the amount and quality of sleep you got, the weather, your previous meal, the encouraging signs, etc.
- You push your body to its limits, make it go through a certain amount of pain and agony, and come out with a prize on the other end.
- There may be blood, chafing, or other bruises.
- You can’t walk normally for the next few days and yet, when you decide to do it again, you conveniently forget that part.
When I went through my Marathon Maniac phase, I remember finishing the Chicago Marathon, collapsing, and thinking, How the hell am I going to do this again in 3 weeks?
But I did. (And then I did it again.) Because the body is an amazing machine. And somehow, in three weeks, the pain was nothing compared with the adrenaline of crossing the finish line and achieving my goals.
I don’t know what birth is going to be like. Or rather, I don’t know what it’ll be like for me.
I very much doubt that I’ll be willing to do it all over again in just three weeks – never mind the fact that that’s not even possible. But I imagine that, given some time, I’ll forget the pain and only remember the wonder of bringing a little human into the world.
I mean, it’s got to work that way, otherwise there wouldn’t be any younger siblings, right?