Saturday, October 26, 2019

My Biggest Fear as a #PregnantAthlete

I'm on a message board for pregnant women who are due in March 2020, and although a lot of the posts are lighthearted ("Show Me Your Bumps!" or "What's Your Biggest Craving?"), many of them are from women filled with fear about miscarriages, abusive boyfriends, pregnancy-related illnesses, and the pain of childbirth.

Bay swim @ Avalon circa 6 weeks
Sure, I've wondered if I'd miscarry or develop gestational diabetes or if I could/should bare the pain of a natural childbirth, but I am super fortunate that I have never feared for my safety or general well-being. I am also super fortunate that I have so much support from my baby-daddy and our families. So, I don't have many fears or worries about pregnancy or birth.

I was worried that I would have to stop doing all of the things that I love to do (swimming, running, hiking boulder fields [haha, you know who you are]), but I, again, have been super fortunate that I have not had to give these up. I know not all women are able to remain active during their pregnancies, either because they develop pregnancy-related conditions that keeps them bedridden, or they feel too ill and/or tired, or they don't have other supports/resources to know that physical activity can be healthy for mom and fetus.

Admittedly, I have slowed down. A lot. But I would rather slow down than be out of the game. For fun, I've made a list of some of the physical activities I've done since I've been pregnant:

Boulder field adventure
circa 7 weeks
  • Climbed 30-foot towers using only lobster claws
  • Led ziplining tours through the forest at Roundtop
  • Swam open water in two different lakes and a bay
  • Top-roped and bouldered at an indoor climbing gym
  • Ran a 10-mile trail race at Rocky Ridge
  • Rode waves at two different east-coast beaches
  • Kayaked down a creek and on a lake
  • Cabin-camped for four days, sleeping on a sofa
  • Backpacked and hammock-camped
  • Hiked a boulder field several miles downhill
  • Ran multiple 12-15 mile routes in humidity and/or rain
  • Swam at least 30 pool-miles total 
  • Raced a half-marathon and PR'd by two minutes

Soon, I hope to add "completed a marathon" to this list in addition to more pool miles, TRX strength-training classes, lots of yoga, and fall/winter hikes.

I also hope to continue to be active post-pregnancy. I know having a child is a huge, life-changing event and my life will never quite be the same again. But, again, I am so fortunate to know so many athlete parents who find and make time to keep living healthy, active, and competitive lifestyles. You inspire me!

Harrisburg Half Marathon
PR by 2 minutes
circa 12 weeks

Shameless Self-Promotion

In two weeks, at 21-week pregnant, I will participate in the Harrisburg Marathon. It'll be a much different kind of adventure than the one I anticipated when I signed up for the marathon. To keep me motivated, I'm doing this as a fundraiser. Find out more about my new journey and fundraiser and please consider contributing to help children & youths in central PA. 

1 comment:

Julia said...

You wear it well! You are smart to stay active when possible. It helps tremendously with child birth and beyond!!