Where did my body go?
A postpartum CrossFit athlete's journey.
My entire life I have always been scared of getting pregnant just for the idea of “getting fat”. I have always wanted kids, but never wanted the things that happen to your body when you get pregnant and have them. I think that is pretty natural, the fear of the unknown. I have been an athlete my entire life. Between school, club, college, I never really had a time in my life where I wasn’t fit. The idea of not being fit/skinny/in shape was terrifying. That’s why I always thought pregnancy just might not be for me.
Fast forward to 2013, I started crossFit. I drank the Kool-Aid. I found my competitive drive again. I was ready to go hard and never go home. By 2014 I was in the best shape of my life. We opened Ransom and I was working out harder than I have in my life. My body was pretty close to my goal body and I was so happy. 2015 I tore my ACL, was set back a little, and had a killer comeback. By the end of 2015 I was back to tip top shape and in my body again. The 2016 Open came and I felt great and I was doing so well. I finally thought. . . THIS IS IT! Then comes April 2016. Wam
Bam. I’m pregnant.
I didn’t skip a beat working out. I kept at it because I wanted to stay healthy and keep MY body as long as possible. Selfish, I know. But the fear of FAT FAT FAT was looming and I was going to do everything I could to not gain my body weight with a baby. Modifications started happening the further along I got, and the insecurities began in my work out world. I CAN’T do this I CAN’T do that, but MORGAN, YOU HAVE A BABY GROWING INSIDE OF YOU! I had to keep reminding myself that what I was doing was amazing and that the gym was way less important that our future child. That was SO HARD. When you can’t run a mile without stopping, things get a little tough mentally after that point. My endurance went down, my strength in some areas went up, it was like a roller coaster.
Fast forward to December 2016. My water broke. At the gym. GAME ON PEOPLE! Judah, my son, showed up and life was wonderful. By the time I got home I was ready to start moving again. Getting back to life as usual. We went for our first walk aaaaaand we made it a block! What?? How could I only walk a block and be completely winded?? That’s when it hit me. Ohhhhh boy. This is going to be a journey that is slow and steady. If you know anything about me, I don’t do slow and steady. Waiting 6 weeks to get back to the gym was downright depressing. There were so many days that I would stare in the mirror and cry. I would put on clothes and just get depressed. I would look at myself and think, where did my body go? I tried wall pushups in the shower and my arms would hurt after 10. I would try to do shallow squats and my legs would burn after 10. My back felt broken from changing diapers and picking up my tiny little child. Y’all, I felt like someone else. I used to be strong, confident, independent, but now I didn’t know what I was. The gym helped me figure out who I was and not having that for 6 weeks was emotionally and mentally damaging. My first workout back was an all body weight workout and I was sore for days. Do you understand how hard it is to walk into a place that once made you so happy but now you feel so depressed? I struggled to get myself to even go. I kept asking myself, WHAT’S THE POINT? I CAN’T DO ANYTHING ANYWAYS. I kept comparing myself to my old self and it would crush me. Oh cool, we have sit ups today? Great, I can’t do 10 without my abs wanting to explode. Oh cool, we have heavy squats? Great, I can maybe do 100 pounds (which for me is not much). I couldn’t go every day because well, baby, and the fact that my body would be so sore that I needed a day off. My pull ups sucked, running, sucked, heavy weights killed me, it just wasn’t the same. Again, I kept thinking, where did my body go and when am I going to get it back?
I am going to be real honest. While all of this was happening to my body my struggle with my self-worth was real (which has always been put into my athletic abilities) and my self-confidence was at an all-time low, I was also learning how to be a mom for the first time. I was learning how to be a full time working mom. I was learning how to love my husband and my child and myself. I was learning how to balance working out and being healthy and being a mom. Do you know how hard that is? REALLY HARD. I have never been an overly emotional person. I have prided myself on my ability to be tough, thick skinned, and a no BS Kind of chick. Well, all of that went out the window. I worried about everything, cried WAY too much, compared myself to every other possible human, and doubted my ability to do anything well. I can’t. I won’t. I will never be able to. All flooded my brain.
Soooooo this chick got on meds. Meds that will help with all of this. Help me be me again. Help me find myself and figure out life. It took me awhile to make the decision, but once I did, things started to turn around. It has been 9 months since the birth of our son. 7.5 months since I have been back in the gym. 6 months since I have been on meds. Many things have changed for me, but there is still so much that I can’t do like I used to. There are movements that haven’t come back for me, like bar muscle ups. There are weights that I see that I “should do” and instead of trying to lift them, I just laugh. There are days when I see the workout and just think to myself, this is going to be terrible because I am not who I used to be. But my outlook has changed so much. I come to the gym just happy that I made it in the door. I come to the gym to sweat and get a good work out. I come to the gym to lift weights and be in misery with my closest friends. I come to the gym to be a good example for my son. I come to the gym so that other moms can see that it can be done. No excuses.
Being an athlete is who I am, it’s who I will always be. Will I ever be the Morgan I was before kids again? Maybe, but I am the Morgan who has a son now. I am learning not to compare the two. I am learning how to be this new person and accept it. Do I take working out as seriously as I used to? Nope. Do I still struggle with what I see in the mirror? Yup, daily. Do I still want to crush a workout? You bet. My priorities have changed but I refuse to give up on me. I will take it one day at a time and I will get better, faster, and stronger. It just might not be in the time frame I am wanting to see. How much weight I can squat and how many unbroken pull-ups I can do aren’t my focus anymore. I want to be the best wife I can be first, the best mom I can be second, and the best athlete I can be third. I will get in the gym and keep working hard but now I know that my identity isn’t in the gym and that is okay. Every day has it’s struggles but I will keep moving forward and getting #everydaybetter.