Thighs & Theories

When I got pregnant with Shelby I was a recovering marathon addict and a newly evolved triathlete. My hard body grew a bump and nothing else. It was a record pregnancy that I successfully powered through to run my last 4 mile workout at 9 months! Looking back I could only imagine what my neighbors were thinking...."Is that woman gonna run to the hospital?" My mother was convinced all that bouncing around to the fetus was going to cause major repercussions, including, but not limited to, hyperactivity, an inability to concentrate, and brain damage. After Shelby was born (completely normal, by the way) I immediately returned to workout mode, infecting John with the bug, and pushing us both to complete The Wildflower Triathlon in 2005. When I got pregnant with Ana my goals become more realistic, my body softened to a pliable goo, and I grew varicose veins in all the places you wouldn't want to imagine. By the start of my second trimester I was on a strict diet of milkshakes and french fries and napping three times a day. Good old mom had her theories about this kid, too. I became the general contractor on the job site as we remodeled our newly purchased bungalow and pushed the completion of our kitchen to beat the arrival of new baby. All my conversations regarding product orders & subcontractor appointments began with, "I'm X months pregnant and the clock is ticking....I need this kitchen finished in X weeks!" My mother would shake her head every time I recited our latest setback or additional expense, and then she would launch into her theories of how my second child was channeling all my hostility and stress in utero and how it would come out incapable of handling everyday stress, that she would be an unhappy baby and ultimately an unhappy adult, that because I was so preoccupied by the progress of my home, my child would be aware that she was not a priority in my life and would harbor that hostility towards me for the rest of her days. Some of my mom's other theories: Drinking an occasional beer or glass of wine during pregnancy will cause the baby's eyes to grow so far apart on their head that they'll resemble more of a fish than a human. Eating too much tuna fish will result in a concentration of mercury in the baby which, as everyone knows, leads to hearing loss (what?!). Consuming excessive amounts of carrots causes their skin to turn orange. Exercising regularly throughout your pregnancy cultivates a thin, frail infant with emotional turmoil and ADD. Well, the whole point of this story is to recap my recent return to the workout world. I, like all of you, pay for a gym membership that I've successfully ignored until last weekend when my baby sister suggested we meet up for a "little workout" (in retrospect, meeting up for a "little beer" would have worked out much better). So off I went, dusty gym bag in hand, John and the kids safely locked up at home. My sister then educates me on the use of the "Smith Machine", leg squats, and an unrealistic set of numbers and weights I'm supposed to embrace while keeping my chest lifted. Being the older sister and reminiscing to my days of muscle prowess, I attempt to keep up with her. Let it be known that my sister was the prototype for "Sport Barbie" and spends all her free time at the gym. Long story short, I made it to the second machine and had to retreat to a treadmill before my legs buckled. A day later and I couldn't squat down to pick Ana off the floor and I discovered that my toilets are WAY TOO low to the ground. She wants to go back to the gym today but any more leg exercises and I'll have to pee standing up.

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