As I stood at the top of Lake Mountain, I looked out over Utah Lake. The sun was just rising, and there was an orange glow that spread itself over all that surrounded me, causing everything in its path to be nothing but a silhouette
As utterly stunning as that view from the top was, being there at that moment made me feel wonderful. No, it made me feel like Wonder Woman.
In recent weeks, and even months, I’ve been feeling cooped up inside my own body. This tends to happen when you are recovering from injury and nearly eight months pregnant with your eighth child.
Trust me on this; we are a rare breed.
I’ve often found myself scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram news feeds only to find picture after picture of friends completing long runs in the mountains as well as fall races that I usually run. I’ve even had friends invite me on runs, and I have declined for fear of slowing them down. And typically pregnancy doesn’t slow me down too much, but this time around has been a bit different and I’ve felt myself sink into a bit of a funk.
On one particular Facebook scroll-through, I received a notification letting me know that the Saturday before Halloween, some local runners would be holding a group run up Israel Canyon on Lake Mountain. This is an 8.7-mile round-trip trek that covers 2,800 feet of elevation in the first half — a journey I have completed several times before, and even during this pregnancy.
The message on the event page read, “Dress up in a costume. All paces welcome.”
The part about all paces welcome was what drew me in. After all, I was feeling pretty slow, and didn’t want or need the pressure to go at anyone else’s pace. However, the part about dressing up was a little less intriguing.
Halloween is not my favorite holiday for many reasons, and I have never been one to dress up or play pretend. However, I didn’t want to be a drag as the only one not dressing up. So I thought of what I could be that wouldn’t make me stand out, but also wouldn’t make me feel silly while trying to complete a goal I had set for myself.
Just then, I thought about a Wonder Woman T-shirt that my 12-year-old daughter had. It was a strange thought to dress as Wonder Woman because I was feeling anything but. So I put the thought away, only to have it return seconds later.
The thought came to me that dressing as Wonder Woman, or even wearing a shirt that represented her, was not a statement of who I was, but who I wanted to be as I would make my way up that mountain. It would serve as my motivation.
And as I began my trek on that dark, Saturday morning, I did still have my doubts. But the cape flowing behind me and the picture on my shirt changed something in my mindset that is difficult to describe. Rather than doubting my ability, or thinking about all of the things holding me back, I felt power from within that propelled me forward, and slowly but surely, I made it to the top.
As silly as I felt dressing up, it was in doing so that helped me find what I was made of. I found my inner Wonder Woman that had been suppressed for so long. And as I stood on top of the world, I felt just that. And for a brief moment I felt that I deserved to wear the shirt that barely covered my giant pregnant belly — that by this time was feeling the kicks from the little guy inside me, congratulating me on a job well-done.
Arianne Brown is a mother of seven young children who loves hearing and sharing stories. For more of her writings, search “A Mother’s Write” on Facebook. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Twitter: A_Mothers_Write