What running taught me about living with fear

Have you ever started something in your life that is somewhat terrifying and a few weeks in you think to yourself what have I done?!

I am sure many of you who are on a fertility journey can identify with this feeling and thought.

To take what we call our “normal life” and throw it into the unknown can be downright scary and uncomfortable.

This fear in many cases holds us back from taking a step forward.

For me, this alarming moment came when I decided to sign up for a half marathon in the USA; for many of you reading this blog, it is your fertility challenges.

The struggle with my running always starts at the beginning – rolling out of bed, peeling my eyes open at 4 a.m. and lacing up is the worst part. On these mornings I run with two women who are FAST! I know every mole and muscle on their backs because that is what I see when we run – I only see their back as I am nowhere near as fast as they are.

We are in the trenches of training right now and it is not pretty! Waking up four days a week to hit the road before light even breaks. At this time you just grunt – no talking; mouthwash – not toothpaste; hair scraped back- not brushed. What I have discovered on these runs recently however is that there is an uncanny link between the fertility journey and running.

How many of you feel like you are lagging behind your friends who seem to just be speeding ahead of you? A few years ago they were the friends you laughed and had a drink with, travelled and partied with and now they have the partner, the house , the dog and a family – some with one, two or even more children and you sit there and think – what happened?

When this question comes, your actions will be determined by your decision.

A decision to act and seek help or a decision to let fear hold you back. Here in the office we talk with people every day and see fear hold them back from achieving their dream of having a family.

Scared to have that conversation with their partner when they know that something is not right after trying to get pregnant for a while. Scared to make that appointment with our IVF specialist and finding out what might be required.

But what my runs have taught me is reminiscent of that quote by Amby Burfoot that says:

“Running has taught me perhaps more than anything
else, that there’s no reason to fear starting lines…or other new beginnings.

Today, I want to encourage you that it is okay to be scared because what you are about to do is something very brave. When you make the life changing decision to start a family and to get fertility help you cross the start line…and you know what ?– you begin!

It is that first step that seems daunting, but once you start and you put one foot in front of the next and figure out the medical facts you can make a plan. And a plan that is backed up with action can turn your dream into a reality.

Join me for the next six weeks before my race as we encourage each other on our journeys. Let’s cross those start lines together. Let’s make new beginnings and set our goals.

And in case you need someone to squeeze your hand, my door is open, I am here and I want you to know – YOU GOT THIS!

– Rachel De Gale

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