Tapping into my mental strength gained from triathlons.
I love competing in triathlons and can’t help but compare some of my life experiences with racing. The other morning, I had an “aha” moment. I began thinking about child labor in comparison to racing. How time and time again, I have signed up for triathlons, knowing the dedication that goes into proper preparation. I began thinking about how tough training for an Ironman is and all the hours, days, weeks and months that go into preparation for race day. There is so much sacrifice you have to make along with the sacrifices your family makes while you are in season. Maintaining dedication during training is the hard part for me and race day is the reward. Race day is about putting it all together, taking the unexpected experiences with grace and being smart about making changes as necessary. You never know how a race day will unfold.
Being pregnant and the process of labor is a lot like training for a triathlon. Adding in the fact that this is all taking place during a pandemic makes it even more complicated. Wearing masks during labor, the possibility of going through labor ALL ALONE (if I test positive for COVID at the time of admission), and even bringing in a vulnerable baby right now, are all considerations we didn’t have with Everitt. Now back to the comparison of triathlon and labor…initially, thinking about the pain my body will endure again was very intimidating. I am not one of those moms who can say I have forgotten the pain or the process of child birth. The pain and process were definitely factors Michael and I considered when deciding to try for another baby. All the days, weeks and months of being pregnant can be exhausting. The changes my body undergoes, fatigue from poor sleep, and so on….if you have been pregnant or know someone who has been pregnant you probably know what I am talking about.
In the midst of my feelings of intimidation, I found peace and reassurance. Peace that my body has been created by God to have a baby. Reassurance, that He will give me the strength to fearlessly face labor again. What I found very rewarding about labor the first time was the feeling of progression. I could tell by the contractions moving, that progress was being made and my baby was one contraction closer to being in my arms. While being in labor is far from painless, so is racing an Ironman. With two Ironman races under my belt and a desire to do more in the future, I decided to look at labor in a similar light. I have to shift my mindset to the positive and embrace the fearless woman inside. Look at this process as a blessing and unique, with the finish line of having a baby that was specifically created for our family. I am not alone, and am never alone. God is always with me whether I am racing or in labor.
I am about to begin week 33 of my journey. Michael and I are excited and feel blessed with another baby boy. I hope that this blog has provided some hope, peace and encouragement to any other moms out there! Maybe it even helped shift your mindset toward hope, positivity and strength.