When Exercise Met Substitution

Let’s flashback to 6 months ago- I was in tip-top shape. I was running 5 miles, 5 times a week, on-top of strength training, and of course, eating by the book. Cardio was my free. Weightlifting was my release. My husband and I bonded over muscle definition and protein intake and sneakers, and I challenged myself to find the best workout playlists to run to; I think I became the first member to join the “reggaetonez” religion.

ALERT: to all of the women out there, who, like me, found their workout groove, I commend you on overcoming the epidemic that is laziness and for combatting the trend that is fear, and for finding the workout that works out (pun intended!) for you. As mentioned in earlier posts, cardio, interspersed with weight training, is the perfect “recipe” for me, giving me that thin, sculpted body I so love; NOTHING was stopping me from continuing down this life-long path, that is, until those two little red lines appeared…

Luckily, the prospect of being a mother has always usurped all other happiness’s in the world. Please ignore my passion and untainted love for cooking, traveling, fashion and running, these pale in comparison to the beautiful little baby that was to enter my life in a mere 9 months. On a particularly breezy run at the beginning of my pregnancy, I felt an overwhelming sense of dizziness and nausea, one that forced me to stop in my tracks and come to a complete standstill. I turned around. I walked home. I sat down in disbelief, asking myself, “Is this it? Am I done running for the reminder of this pregnancy?”

After visiting my doctor, who mentioned that I most likely will suffer from nausea and “heave ho” for the entire pregnancy (until this point, his words have reigned true and into my second trimester I am still suffering daily), it would be very wise to avoid running and heavy lifting for the unforeseeable future, or until the 6-week mark, post-delivery. “ALMOST 10 MONTHS without running”, I uttered to myself in the doctors chair, green from nausea and red from shock.

In life, there are alternatives to circumstances: if you are exhausted and over-worked, run in place or do jumping jacks in front of the tv during your nightly show. A hyperactive, Type-A such as myself not only thrives on, but NEEDS, cardio to survive; I was never going to find an alternative. Realistic in nature, I understood I couldn’t change the situation I was in and my pregnancy required my “taking it easy”. Not being able to control the weight gain and the inability to run or train, I had to step-back and re-evaluate: the power of power walking and the depths of deep breathing were to become my new workouts for the next few months, and these new workouts must be accepted wholeheartedly.

It’s pretty obvious by now that in life, we can’t control many of the things that happen to us (ignore the positive energy and karma talks for a moment); we must go with the flow and find new routes and alternatives that most closely align with our personalities, abilities and body types, in any walk of life, and in any genre. If I can’t run I will walk, for I will never fall and I will never give up on myself and that which is important to me: health.

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