Sometimes I forget how much my attitude to fitness, particularly pregnancy fitness has changed and I forget that not everyone in the world has moved on with me.
Today I encountered that immortal phrase “In your condition”.
I’d turned up at the gym and in my baby brain state had forgotten my water bottle. No matter I thought, I’ll buy a bottle of mineral water in the gym. Only problem was they had completely run out. As I pondered what to do and just thought I’d have to use the water fountain as I needed to, the woman behind the counter took one look at me and said “ooh would you like a glass of iced tap water, I just think in your condition I don’t want you going without water!” Bless her. The sentiment was sweet, she was just looking out for me & my well being. But it did make me chuckle. I’ve not heard my pregnancy described as a condition before. There was almost a slight undertone of ‘what on earth are you doing here?’ but she wasn’t going to vocalise that out loud. Never the less I was delighted with ice cold water, ice being a top craving at the moment.
So I started my warm up with Jason and I have to admit I was feeling a little stiff, but that eventually loosened off and it was all good. We had a little discussion about the photo of me at about 20 weeks pregnant with a barbell. No one has directly outright commented to me about that picture in a very negative way, but it has been a source of surprise for some people.
The conversation usually centres around “ooh is that safe? Should you be doing that, in your condition? I thought pregnant women shouldn’t lift/exercise/move off the sofa? Are you insane? Why don’t you just put your feet up? You shouldn’t worry about your weight/exercise/fitness until after the birth! 9 months on, 9 months off”.
If I am honest, these would all have been questions/statements in my head last time I was pregnant and even at the start of this pregnancy! It has taken a few months for me to get comfortable with the idea that it is ok to exercise whilst pregnant and as long as you are careful, there is no reason why you can’t get hot, sweaty and puffed out. Yes there are adjustments you need to make, amount of weight, type of exercise (laying on your back is out!), not over stretching etc and yes you have to consider how much exercise you were doing before but there is no reason why you can’t exercise, if your medical practitioners are happy for you to do so and your pregnancy is “normal” (whatever that means!)
Yet it still surprises me when I am getting changed and I catch women eyeing me up and down suspiciously. You can almost see them wondering a) what I am doing there b) why I am not just using the pool c) is it in the T&Cs for the gym that pregnant women are allowed through the door.
It also still surprises me when big hairy menfolk at the gym give you a bemused look. The best ones are those who outright stare, and then when you catch their eye look away sheepishly.
In a way I wish people would ask me straight out, it riles me that they will go on thinking I am the one in the wrong. It isn’t their fault. It is the media and a lack of knowledge/incorrect knowledge. I just want to set them straight and say “it’s ok in my condition to exercise”.
Oh and if anyone reading this is in doubt, have a look at this research from the University of Montreal, this is just one example of the benefits!http://www.edmontonjournal.com/health/Exercise+during+pregnancy+give+newborn+brain+development+head/9149635/story.html
I am just helping to grow a genius!