I use affiliate links on some of my blog posts. This means that I could make a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Read my full disclosure here.
I ran a 10k today. My third 10k. It was the first time I have ever almost gone back to bed before I even got dressed for a race. I felt sick, tired, and tense. I paused while taping up my legs to question if I could do it and whether I even wanted to. I kept going just because. You see, in races past I’d always applauded and been in awe of people who started organizations and ran for causes. Little did I know I’d be running for a cause today, one near and dear to my heart.
Running for a Cause
While I was questioning, I saw my race day shirt. I had a shirt made for my little man. On the front is his name. And I really remembered why I was doing this.
When I signed up for the race last year I had originally done so as motivation to lose the postpartum weight. After Christian passed, this race became about him. And the morning as I doubted my desire to put myself through the physical, mental, and emotional stress to run 6.2 miles, I remember why I started. All of the sudden I pushed myself to get going and get out of the door. I had a cause to run for.
I still felt pessimistic and sick to my stomach. But about half through the car ride to the park, a song came on that I had sung to Christian just days before our final parting. And I relaxed and just knew that no matter what, everything was going to be ok.
Today was my seventh runDisney race and ninth race overall. I was more out of shape today than I’ve ever been for a race. But I did it, I finished. I’ve had other emotional races. Races where I ran injured and still managed to finish. But none have ever come close to the way I felt today.
All the Emotions
Yesterday I sat at the finish line while my mom ran her second 5k. I watched as serious and casual runners alike crossed the finish line. About forty minutes into the race, the first of several moms pushing their wheelchair bound children finished. I couldn’t hold back the tears as I watched these dedicated mothers and their special children accomplish the feat together.
I had thought I’d be running today not only toward the finish line, but toward my infant son. I had pictured seeing him in his daddy’s arms and getting to hold him when I was through. My expectations of this day were so different. And yet the reality is what it is. I run for the sake of Christian’s memory and to continue to fight for his legacy and my healing.
I went through many emotions this morning. Sadness and despair filled me as I realized there would be no sweet baby waiting for me. And yet a grim determination kept me moving ever forward. You see, the back of the shirt I had made said Walker-Warburg Warrior. Because that’s what Christian was. A warrior. He fought to born and he fought for 29 days to live and survive despite a lethal diagnosis (see Walker-Warburg Syndrome).
So while his fight is over, mine continues. He fought for 29 days until he couldn’t fight anymore. And now I will fight for him and be the warrior momma he needs and deserves. I will carry on running, pushing myself to new challenges. I will bring awareness to not only child loss but to Walker-Warburg Syndrome, too. I will fight for him and because of him. He will never cease to be my driving force.
And that’s what it is really all about. I am a warrior for my son and I keep fighting. I get up everyday, put on clothes, wear deodorant, and act like I care about myself. Then there’s feeding myself well, getting exercise, and taking care of the dogs. I didn’t let myself fall apart after he died. I wanted to. God knows I wanted to. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I keep setting goals for myself to meet each week to make small accomplishments. I go to therapy and work on getting healthier. Christian reminds me what my life is really all about. Grieving. Healing. Moving forward with strength and power. I now bear the mantle of Walker-Warburg Warrior, carrying on that legacy for my beautiful son.