Athletes: Pre-Pregnancy to Post-Pregnancy Bodies

I’ll begin this post by sharing how I came up with the topic Athletes: Pre-Pregnancy to Post-Pregnancy Bodies.

This evening, I decided to challenge myself by doing a 20 minute pigeon-paced run – my tendonitis-prone knee is still in a fragile state – and when I walked into the  treadmill section of the gym, I was delightfully surprised to see that the only other person there was the famous pro runner, Lauren Fleshman (you can find her blog here). She barely makes an appearance at the Downtown Athletic Club (more on why I joined the DAC later…) because she prefers being in the outdoors, but she was there this evening for, presumably, two reasons: 1. It was hailing outside, and 2. She’s pretty heavily pregnant so she probably wanted to do an incline walk on the treadmill instead of hitting the slippery, hazardous running trails. Had I been gutsy enough, I would have initiated a conversation, but because I’m intimidated by her absolute awesomeness (by the way, she also ran for Stanford, started up her own companies, Picky Bars and Believe I Am, and is a Partner of Oiselle), I simply looked down and shuffled along all red in the face. Oh, Bunny, you are quite something…

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Lauren tweeted this drawing followed by the question,

“How are you supposed to keep your pants from falling down in these circumstances?” 

The best answers to #pregopantspredicament were:

wear suspenders, bring back overalls, and, her favorite, screw pants altogether.

As a self-conscious treadmill-runner anyway, you can imagine how my nerves flew of the scale when I realized Lauren Fleshman, the U.S. 5000 meters champion in 2006 and 2010, to name just a few running accomplishments, was in the room. And just Lauren Fleshman, nobody else. All eyes on me. Accordingly, for the sake of my willowy confidence, I decided to hop onto a treadmill in the row directly behind hers, so that I was the one observing her, and not vice versa, not that she’d pay any attention to a crippled semi-jogger like me. And this is when the inspiration for this post hit me.

You see, Lauren Fleshman is three months away from popping out a future olympian, but, boy oh boy, is she still enviably slim and “chiseled”. While relieved not to be in her path of view, trotting behind this beautiful, heavily pregnant lady who doesn’t have an ounce of jelly on her body, not even on her belly, while I, totally not pregnant, could feel my inner things quite literally viciously banging together, which was just a teeny tiny bit disconcerting. I’m pretty sure than instead of turning my usual exhaustion-induced crimson color, I was tinged green, green with envy.

No, I do not idolize “stick-insects” – not the Lauren Fleshmen is an “Olive Oil“; she’s just a lean mean running machine – and, no, I do not think thinness equates to beauty, but I do admire pregnant ladies that can maintain slenderness while creating another healthy being inside their tiny, toned bellies. And what’s most baffling is how the likes of models (a post dedicated to them will soon follow…) and athletes can regain their pre-pregnancy bodies so frightfully quickly, while the majority of “normal” women, even if they do exercise regularly, fight for months, years, and even a lifetime, to retriever even a smidgen of their pre-mama figures. What’s up with that, Creator?

With that, I’ll the let the following pictures do the rest of the talking:

Lauren Fleshman‘s Pregnancy Journey (thus far…):

Kara Goucher‘s Pregnancy Journey:

Paula Radcliffe‘s Pregnancy Journey:

Deena Kastor Pre and Post Pregnancy:

Kerri Walsh, the Olympic Volleyball Player for the USA:

I can only hope to remain fit as a fiddle during pregnancy, but, when the time comes, I’ll just go with the flow; having a child will be the greatest gift in and of itself, and I will sacrifice nothing for that fetus’s health.

What are your thoughts on exercising while pregnant?

Click on the following link to read about Goucher and Radcliffe’s exercise during pregnancy : A Friendship Built for Long Distance

To read articles galore about exercising while pregnant, click here.

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