Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Adrift

Lately I've been feeling adrift. Not *just* lately, but for the past few months. It has to do with the big changes I've experienced - the combination of losing my training home and getting pregnant. Dealing with both of these at the same time has been brutally hard. Don't get me wrong, I want this child more than you could ever know. I'm not complaining about not being able to work out hard now that I'm pregnant, that's not it. I completely understand that this is not the time to push or go after new goals, that my body is doing plenty of work and just staying active and strong and healthy is my goal now.

But it is a big adjustment. I spent the last 2+ years pushing harder, constantly chasing goals, being proud of the improvements I made and the new skills I learned. Discovering my competitive side and abilities I didn't know I had. Building connections with others. I didn't have to motivate myself to go to the gym because it was just what I did. I was excited to go. I wanted to be there, and I couldn't imagine not going. I didn't cheat on my diet and sneak sugar because I was focused on my goals and I simply wasn't tempted. Now I feel weaker every day. Weak physically as I see my capacity and coordination diminish. Weak mentally as yet again I opt out of going to work out or I grab something sugary. I see all the resolve and discipline I was so proud of just melt away.

I'm not saying I'm miserable and struggling to get through the day. I'm fine. I just feel like I have lost a part of myself. I hope I can get some part of it back eventually. Maybe I'll just become someone completely different as a mom and not even know that person I once was. But I don't want to lose who I was. I have seen amazing women hold on to that competitive edge, that drive, after having kids. Greg sent me this video clip of Valerie Mackenzie Voboril, who came in third at the CrossFit Games last year and who is now six months pregnant. Watching the clip, I felt so jealous of her, not because she's so good but because she has been able to keep doing CrossFit, surrounded by her training buddies and people who care about her. She still has their respect. She still gets to be a part of things. She has a vision of a not-too-distant future where she is still an athlete.

Many people have said to me, you should feel lucky you got out of a stressful situation just as you got pregnant, this is serendipitous. But I don't feel that way at all. I went from one stressful situation to another. My old situation had its ups and downs, and my new situation has its ups and downs. And change is always stressful. I am trying to make the best of things, but I won't just say "yes, it's all fixed now, I'm so much happier" even though that's what everyone wants me to say. I am still grieving, regretting, waiting for the hurt and guilt and loneliness to go away. I have tried to start over somewhere else, but I can't *really* start over, because I'm not me, I'm just pregnant me, less capable and less motivated and less present.

I hope at some point, the joy and expectation of my pregnancy will overshadow the emptiness. It doesn't seem real yet, it feels like I'm a bit bloated but just faking it. Everyone has advice - it'll get better in the second trimester when you're not so sick, it'll get better when you share the news and don't have to keep it secret, it'll get better when you hear the heartbeat or see the ultrasound, it'll get better when you feel it move. The last one hasn't happened yet, but the others all have, and the emptiness is still there.

Everyone experiences things differently, in their own way and time. Please don't comment on this post and tell me when or how it will get better, or give me advice. This was a hard post to write and I'm not digging for sympathy or help, just trying to get some stuff out. And maybe try to show you why I've been writing a lot of superficial posts since December, why I've been hiding my voice a bit. Things will work out somehow, and my problems are really so small, I can keep them in perspective. Thanks for reading. I'll find something more cheerful to post tomorrow.

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