Tuesday, February 18, 2014

One Tough Breakup: I'll Miss You Exercise

When we decided to go "all in" with IVF I knew I would have to make a lot of sacrifices and undergo a lot of changes to reach my ultimate goal of getting pregnant.  While I was prepared, I won't pretend it wasn't slightly nerve racking.  While I knew I would be giving up the obvious alcohol (not that I was a huge drinker, but I did love a weekend glass or two of wine), I didn't really comprehend the physical impact of what I was about to do. 

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Long before I started my medications my doctor had warned me I was going to have to slow down at the gym.  I had already experienced trying to "teach from the floor" (which basically means do nothing but walk around the entire class) and it was nearly impossible for me.  Being a hard core cardio junky, it is very difficult for me not go full boar when working out; especially when I am teaching.  Granted, when I taught kickboxing I walked around the room, corrected form and gave visual cues, but for the most part I was still the most intense person in the room.  I felt it my duty to show the level intensity I desired from my clients.  If I was doing it all the while talking, then you can surely kick it up a notch, surely. 

Teaching cycle required that I mostly stayed on my bike, but I still had a really hard time scaling back because again, I felt somehow obligated to kick my own butt in an effort to kick theirs.  Knowing this about myself, I had to accept that the months leading up to my IVF procedure, I would have to take a leave of absence teaching at the gym. I was pretty devastated, but again, the mere thought of finally becoming pregnant, made it all that much easier to accept.  The time had finally come, after five years of having a fitness centered lifestyle, I had to quit...and cold turkey. 

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No more teaching multiple cycle classes a week and having my entire body soaked in sweat.  No more jumping, kicking, punching and squatting in a room packed with 40+ people.  No more long runs to clear my head.  No more weight lifting to work on my muscle strength.  No. More. Anything. Say WHAT?  You do realize that I work out at least 5 days a week right?! And now I am just supposed to sit around? You may as well ask me to stop breathing!

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At first I tried to find the positive and look forward to the seemingly endless time I would have after work.  But, after just a few days of no cardio or strength training and lots of shots and medications (which undoubtedly messed with my hormones too) I was miserable.  I felt rotten from the inside out and all I could do was slap myself out of it and remind myself that this wasn't because I had suddenly become lazy, it was because I was about to embark on doing everything in my power to have the opportunity to create human life! For goodness sake Em, GET IT TOGETHER!

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Despite feeling not like myself for the couple months before getting pregnant and during my first trimester, it has all been worth it.  Now that I am safely in my second trimester my doctor has given me the go ahead to power walk (not sure if you know I am now a competitive walker and you can find me pumping those arms and legs at maximum walking capacity through the hills of Laguna), practice yoga, do strength and flexibility training, ride bikes and get back to living the active lifestyle I have conditioned myself to love.  I can get my heart rate up to 140 and as long as I am not out of breath and drinking lots of water I am good to go.  It helps that I am also certified in prenatal fitness, so I can train myself as I would a pregnant client.  I am not only now filled with the sheer and utter joy of being a mother, but also the sweet release of those endorphins to which I am addicted. 

I have only ten short weeks to enjoy this green light to fitness and then it is back to little to no exercise.  While I am not exactly thrilled about having to cut back again, at the end of the day if my doctors told me to hang upside down from a tree in my underwear for three hours a day followed by drinking mayonnaise because it was good for the babies, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Have you ever had an injury or illness that has left you unable to participate in exercise?  How did you handle it?


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