Fitness Friday: The Comeback Kid / by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

Don’t call it a comeback...I been here for years!
— LL Cool J (Mama Said Knock You Out)

Except I I haven’t. I basically took an entire year off.

So you can call it a comeback. That’s what I’m calling it. I’m making a comeback! And by comeback, I mean I’m taking to the treadmill in triumph. I’m pounding the pavement with pleasure. I’m returning to racing with resilience. I’m getting back to the activity—running—which has been a source of health, joy, clarity, encountering God, and a part of my identity for 12 years. I mean really…how can Reverend Mother Runner not run if she is able? And why am I talking in third person?


I’m making a comeback! In my Interval Time app on my phone, I’ve dubbed my workouts Comeback Kid Part 1, Comeback Kid Part 2, etc, etc. These labels remind me that coming back is a process and that if I’ve comeback before and I can do it again. According to popular definition, a Comeback Kid is “a  person who repeatedly demonstrates the propensity to overcome downturns or periods of bad publicity, and rebound to victory or popularity.” In my twelve year running journey, I have made many comebacks. I started running in 2006 to lose weight for my friends wedding and ran for over a year until my coursework in Seminary became overwhelming. I started running again in 2009 during my final year in Seminary when it was clear that my physical and emotional health was suffering because of my intense focus on my studies. I continued running for a year and a half until the comfort of newlywed life was more appealing than hitting the pavement. I started running again In January of 2013 when Big Girl was 8 months old and it was clear that I was suffering from Postpartum Depression. I know some people dread running, but I love it; Among other things, running has a way of lifting me when I am low. I ran until I became pregnant with Baby Girl. As I’ve shared on other platforms, I ran my first 10K when I was unknowingly pregnant with her. I stopped running when hyperemesis gravidarum kicked in (again) and I was sick. I started running again in 2014 at four weeks postpartum and ran consistently until December 2018, a month after running the Philadelphia Marathon. It is clear that I am quite familiar with making a comeback.

I wore my Philadelphia Marathon Finisher shirt this week to remind myself of where I’ve been and where I’m going

I wore my Philadelphia Marathon Finisher shirt this week to remind myself of where I’ve been and where I’m going

And while I had fits and starts in 2018, this feels different. This is different. I miss running in a palpable way. My legs miss running. My heart misses running. My mind misses running. My sermon prep even misses running. And I’m not going to front as if returning to the treadmill and pavement has been easy. It has been downright hard, but I’m pacing myself, leaning into the discomfort, and extending myself grace—which I believe is the trifecta for making a comeback!

Have you fallen off the proverbial fitness wagon? Are you stuck in a rut? If so, join me in making a comeback! And I invite you to check in to the blog every now and then to read my comeback journey and share yours…because who doesn’t love a comeback story?