These days I’m finding getting comfortable is difficult, in more ways than one. I’ve spent the better part of the last four years developing my product and now that it’s launched I find myself in a strange place.
First of all, this was meant to be something that I created for other moms and dads, but being pregnant myself now means that I, too, will be using StrollRunner. What better way to connect with my customers, right? But, it changes my story, and anyone who has worked on their brand, story and “why” so deeply knows that you live and breathe life into it, so changing that is… uncomfortable.
Second, I’ve had a lot of heart to hearts with myself around my role in this company lately. Four years of building something is what I’ve known. I live for checklists – I actually have more anxiety when I do not have 100 things to get checked off than when I have very little. So… now what? It all was to get to this point, this exact place of being able to flip the sign to open and watch my product going out to expectant runners (seriously, SO many puns in this business!). I dreamed of this day, visualized what it would feel like so vividly, and now that it’s here I find myself seeking the next big hurdle to tackle. Don’t get me wrong; I am super excited!!! I just need to feel productive and like I’m still working on and towards something to keep forward progress.
The work doesn’t end when you get here and start selling – a whole new set of challenges present themselves. Awareness, marketing, brand recognition, education, influencer connections, trade shows (wait, can we do those again?) – all the fun and hard stuff still awaits. Uncomfortable is me navigating this and having a new set of skills to learn – but I am whole-heartedly down and willing.
Third, and seriously the HARDEST, is this baby bump, y’all! It’s super real now that I’m cresting six months pregnant. What seemed like it wasn’t even happening is all of a sudden FULL ON. It’s really in the way, and not to be unnoticed. I’m literally having to find new ways to sit; balance things on it because they don’t fit anywhere else (ok, putting my plate or bowl in there to balance is not all that bad!); my notebook right now is propped on there so I can write (see photo). I had to go sit on my bed just to get comfortable because chairs are awkward – this thing doesn’t bend!! I cannot put socks on without turning my leg sideways – and I get out of breath just doing that! How did I forget all of this since the last time? Oh right, it’s been FOURTEEN YEARS!
Avery, my daughter, and I were packing StrollRunners last weekend together. One step is to fold some of the packing paper (EXACTLY how she has determined – she’s all about the presentation – you can thank her for that when you open your box!). She was doing it on the floor and when I offered to help she was quick to point out that this was a step that I could not do, because I would have to sit on the floor and I cannot bend over! Ugh – I swear I could just last week. When not pregnant, I’m proud of my yogi abilities to bend in half and grip my feet – it’s a great stretch for us runners… not even close to happening now. I did figure out that I could complete her expert folds just as well standing at a table, thank you very much.
Even running has become somewhat uncomfortable, and talk about that creating an identity crisis. It’s harder now, no matter what rationalizations I come up with (it’s hot, it’s humid, it’s windy, it’s sunny, it’s Monday…). It’s just plain tough with a bowling ball attached to the front of you. So I tell myself, and I read other preggo mom’s posts on Insta confirming the same feelings, that slower paces and fewer miles are still better than no miles.
So while my identity shifts, and I work towards being comfortable with the uncomfortable, I remind myself that all of these things I’m focused on right now are ultimately good. I find comfort knowing that you, too, can relate, and we are all in these situations together at times. This is why I value community so much; so many of us share experiences and thoughts openly and without filter. Big-ass bellies, soggy running shorts and a drive to be the best parents and healthy people we can be… for us.
Wishing you all much health and happiness!