I used to be a dancer. An athlete. A runner. Now I’m a mom. My body is bruised up, it aches, my hips lock up, and bladder feels like it will fall out every time I workout. Now don’t get me confused when I am writing this post. I do love the skin I’m in. When I actually have the time to get dressed up I often feel beautiful. Yes, I don’t have my skinny Rebel Girl dance team hot college bod. I’m not that person anymore, and I am okay with that. I do love my body, but hate it at the same time.
I want to be able to RUN, but my post pregnancy hips won’t allow me. I want to hit the gym and do sit ups, but gaining and loosing 50lbs in under 15 months took one hell of a toll on my ab muscles. Will I ever get them back? It depresses me that my body physically can’t do what it used to do. I used to run 5ks in under 30 minutes, cheer for hours during a UNLV basketball game, or perform a difficult hip hop competition routine. Now my mom bod barely allows me to run a mile.
With my mom bod, I am strong in other ways I guess. Now I can lift a total of 50lbs of children in my arms carrying my kids from car to the store then back to the car all while having a heavy diaper bag slung over my shoulder. I can also push their 50lb cute butts in a 15lb double stroller but my body doesn’t allow me to run as fast as I used to or as long as I could. When I finally start to run, my hip will lock up to the point where I can’t even take one step or I will collapse. I have pushed myself to the limit during one of my tragic-hip-lock-ups and fallen over, using my running stroller to brace me from hitting the black pavement that once used to be my get away. I may sound crazy but if you’re an athlete of any sport you get it because as a competitor-we push ourselves to the max. This black pavement that used to be my friend, my cathartic outlet, has now turned into my enemy.
I feel so offended that my body, at the moment, can’t be pushed the way my athletic mind wants to. I am still suffering the battles of birthing a 9.5 oz child almost a year later. Every time I put on workout clothes (which is often) I ask myself: will I ever get my endurance and ability back? I can no longer kick my leg past my head or even do the splits- things might fall out. I know, I know I’m being hard on myself. And maybe I can get my pre-baby hot Rebel Girl, I can do anything body, back but I need help or a support system. I try to stretch, run, or dance but beat myself up when I can’t do something and then sadly give up.
I remember one time I was at the gym attempting to do my first few sit ups post pregnancy. It was an utter joke. I couldn’t even lift my shoulders off the dirty gym floor. I instantly felt defeated. I could sense the gazing eyes of all the fit people at the gym staring and laughing at me-I had to fight back tears. After collecting my thoughts and looking around-no one was really looking at me, they were all into their own workouts, it was just me judging myself- my harshest critic.
As I write this blog on my iPhone, I am pedaling on a stationary bike holding back tears of failure because as much as I want to put down my phone and pedal like the speed of lightening, my hips won’t allow me, my knees ache, and even though I just went to the bathroom I feel like I have to pee again. After every workout instead of feeling high as a kite or happy that I broke a sweat- I feel defeated like I lost a championship. I am almost a year post pregnancy and I still don’t feel “normal” again. This is something that as an onlooker probably seems strange-for me I luckily lose my pregnancy weight rather quickly. People may see me as ‘skinny’ but what they don’t see is my lack of ability and inner confidence.
Will I ever dance again? Will I ever run a 5k again? Is that all over for me now that I’m a mom? It’s something I am okay with giving up because being a mom is everything. But my athletic dancer mindset hasn’t changed and doesn’t want to let go.