“You birthed three babies!” Jason says, his arm brushing mine.
These are his go-to words when I’m nervous, scared, sad. Anything less than Strong.
I lean into his nudges and match his steps and raise my cheeks just a titch his way. But my thoughts are inside, my words are silent.
My own go-to response when I’m out of my comfort zone.
The day is golden, crisp. Leaves in the brightest shades of red and orange and yellow crunch beneath our sneakered feet as we make our way to the Start Line.
We pass people in ridiculously creative costumes. Fairies. Grapes. Dominoes. Binders. Refrigerators.
A Wonder Woman stretches, her arm resting on her partner’s shoulder. Super Man, of course. Her deeply red lips and blushed cheeks perfectly match her top, her tights, her Happy.
A tall man in a tutu adjusts his ear buds. A Mario finds his counterparts. A group of girls dressed as football players make their way to the center of the group. Their long ponytails glint in the sun, swirl in the breeze.
“You’ve got this.” He says, brushes his lips against mine, and readies to go.
Jason and I ran our first 5k this weekend. I was proud and excited and oh so very Ready, but mostly, Nervous.
I stood by his side adjusting my own ear buds, finding my own space.
And I think, that’s what drummed my heart and quieted my words and made my thoughts so, so very loud.
I spent my teens and much of my twenties finding my grounding, my push, my Self.
But these last ten years, when I married and birthed and mothered, I spent braiding mySelf to Jason.
Each baby, each decision, each step tightening our thread and our hold, but loosening what I thought, what I knew, I could do by myself.
But running this race? Was just for me.
When the unseen woman with the megaphone yelled our Go, I heard it over my music, above my nerves. Go, go, go.
And when everyone did, one step in front of the other, so did I.
I found my stride, my space, my breath, and I ran. Many people passed me, and I passed many more than I thought I would.
Jason finished, and was waiting at the end. “You did it!” He said, cheeks flushed, arms wrapped around my waist.
I smiled, fully, into his chest, and breathed in my Known again.
This is the weave that I’m learning, the fit that I’m finding.
On my own and by his side. For us and for me. Comfort zone and just outside of.
It’s a good place to be, and a good Known to let shine.
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