Finding Joy in the Midst of Sacrifice

Some of my readers know this, but some of you don’t…I am 15 weeks pregnant. When Michael and I decided to start trying, we didn’t know how long it would take and trusted that in God’s timing it would happen. To our surprise, we got pregnant pretty much right away. We have accepted that our lives would be changed forever and sacrifices were worth the joy of having a baby. I knew change was inevitable and yet I don’t think a new mom will ever truly know how much her life will change even before the baby is ever born.

announcement

Up until about 8 weeks, I had been training as usual; swimming, biking outdoors, running and weight training. I was following the training plan as much as possible, just as I had been all along. I competed in the Tri Waco Olympic distance triathlon 5 weeks pregnant and ended up placing 4thin my age group. Up until about two days before the race, I had been feeling pretty normal just a little more tired than normal. After the race, I continued to train as usual until my first check up with the doctor. That is when things changed…

 

At 8 weeks along, I went for my first doctor appointment where I was told for the safety of the baby, I should not engage in activities that the likeliness of falling is high. She reported that I should no longer ride my bike outdoors but a trainer was just fine. This was expected, but still devastating at the same time. As a triathlete, that made me feel as though a part of life was taken away from me.  While I completely understand the reasoning behind her advice and have abided by it, this has been by far the HARDEST thing about pregnancy. Giving up riding my bike outdoors is something that I have grown to love doing on a weekly basis. Riding the trainer just isn’t the same. Out of all the changes I have thus far experienced, fatigue, frequent need to pee, weakened immune system, shortness of breath, fullness, weight gain, stretching pains….not riding my bike is the worst!

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As my write this today, my husband just left for a 35+mile bike ride and an hour run. Being positive, encouraging and supportive to him is important to me as he will be racing Kerrville 70.3 and Ironman Waco 70.3 but oh my, it has also been so difficult to remain positive, encouraging and supportive. Prior to last week, I had been participating in as much training as possible. I had been riding the trainer, running outside, swimming and lifting as if I was a “normal” triathlete…just with an added couple pounds and bump on my belly. I have missed riding my bike on the road as there is just a unique and empowering feeling I get when I am out there on my bike and challenging myself each day. This week has been extra difficult though. This week, I have been couched by a nasty sinus infection. Thankfully, the doctor reported I did not have the flue or strep, but with this brutal infection, I have done nothing all week. While I have not felt amazing, it has still been very difficult to just go to work, come home, sleep terribly and do it all over again the next day with no form of physical activity.  Since I am pregnant, I did not feel comfortable jumping into my normal “get better from a sinus infection” herbal supplement and decongestant routine so I have had to let my body to rest and the infection take it’s natural course.

 

Some of you can completely relate and hear what I am saying. Others of you, I know think I am crazy and can’t imagine or relate at all. It’s ok if you can’t, I know I fall into a certain unique group of people called Ironman triathletes.  So today, I wanted to focus on finding JOY in the midst of SACRIFICE. Joy in my life is…I am alive; I am growing a human being that God placed in our lives and will get to meet in a few months; next week I should be back at my “normal” training; my body is healing; my husband is supportive and amazing; I get to live vicariously through all my triathlete friends victories and struggles and one day I will be back out there racing and participating in triathlons again. They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. This is very true for me and I look forward to getting back on the road someday soon.

 

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