My friend shared an article with me the other night from Fox News. Just from the title of the article that was published in Self, I felt fired up, empathetic, and extremely emotional.
“CrossFit trainer receiving backlash for lifting more than 90 pounds while pregnant.”
The article reads, “Though Breeze has assured her followers that she’s been listening to her doctor’s advice as far as fitness is concerned, many have said they’re worried she’s jeopardizing the health of her pregnancy by maintaining such an active life in the gym.”
I have two kids, which means I have experienced the lengthy, physically and emotionally challenging moments of pregnancy…twice. And, I, too, have opted to continue my workout regimen throughout both pregnancies. There were many days that I was out for a run, and, though, I knew I was jogging much slower than before, I heard someone yell, “You are going way too fast for that baby.” Or, I was out for a run, and I was feeling exceptional and fast, and I would hear the exact same criticism. These comments would be heard, but easier to push aside as I continued my route outside. But, in both pregnancies, I found the most difficult place to be was at my gym.
Gyms, fitness centers, and clubs promote fitness, health, and exercise. Members were aware of the strenuous workouts I put myself through prior to pregnancy, so why did they assume I should stop completely when I was pregnant? I remember vividly calling my doctor multiple times in each pregnancy, and addressing it each time I saw him in person. I would relay the comments that were being made to me, even by management.
“Don’t run too hard.”
“Are you sure you’re supposed to be running?”
“Don’t hurt the baby. You need to be resting, not running.”
Such comments had me doubting myself; had me thinking that what I was doing was bad, or wrong. And my doctor, along with other doctors in the practice, continued to reassure me that I was being healthy, and my body was used to the fitness aspect, having known no different. And, to stop listening to other people. I would read articles about runners who were in the final trimester running marathons, and I would feel relieved because I was only running eight miles on a perfect day. Or, on a bad day barely eking out even a mile.
The same friend who texted me the link to this article has left an impression on me that will inspire me more than she will ever know. I worked out next to her during her entire second pregnancy. She ran, did the stair master, and even took insanity and spinning classes. And, I listened everyday to the backlash she received from other women, other trainers (who should be encouraging physical activity during pregnancy, not discouraging), and anyone else who felt like inserting their opinions. My friend listened to her body. She never overdid it. She was amazing.
And, though, she felt strong, fit, and healthy, she, also, couldn’t help but feel criticized, judged, and scrutinized on a daily basis. Just the way I did throughout my entire two pregnancies.
And, now, as I have been there before, as I understand my body, and only dream of having healthy babies, I will do all I can to get through my third pregnancy in the most sustainable, nourishing way possible. Because, trust me my friends, I would never want to hurt the baby that is inside my stomach. But, working out and running is all I know, and all my body knows. It is used to training, lifting heavy things, and getting my heart rate up here and there. It provides me an outlet, a way to release stress, and as long as my doctors continue to advise not to do any differently, I will run for as hard as I can, for as long into the pregnancy as I am able.. until my bladder gives up on me. And, if that is when I slow down, I will be lucky, healthy, and in a great place!