Fitness & Pregnancy: An interview with Megan by FiTONIC
This week I was interviewed by FiTONIC about fitness and pregnancy. I shared what athletics has taught me, the importance of community in fitness, and how my daily movement practice has changed with baby-to-be on the way.
We are sharing the full interview here in case you missed it!
What is your fave way to train (running, yoga, CrossFit, weightlifting, dancing…)?
If I could only do one form of movement for the rest of my life it would be yoga. I also love triathlons so running and biking are essential to my happiness. On days where “exercise” doesn’t fit in, you can find me dancing in my living room.
How did that become your thing?
I got into triathlons in college when my Dad gifted me my first road bike. I had always played team sports in high school and missed the competition. My Dad was a triathlete and it was fun to get into a hobby that I shared with him. I ended up falling in love with endurance sports. It allowed me to continually challenge myself and I found it amazing just how much our bodies are capable of.
How has training physically changed you mentally or emotionally?
In 2011 I competed in a 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon. Training for this event was unlike any physical challenge I had ever embarked on. It required a lot of focus and sacrifice. There were plenty of days that I did not feel like getting in the pool or spending my Saturday on the bike, but in that environment, I was constantly surrounded by the most inspiring people. For me, the community around fitness has always been one of my greatest motivators and the reason I keep coming back for more.
What is still hard for you about your training, fitness or nutrition?
Right now I am pregnant with my first child. It has been a complete shift in mentality. Instead of training for triathlons and marathons, I am slowing down and being more gentle with my body. I still have a daily movement practice and will always feel best when I stay active. It has been a learning process that at different times in our life we need different things and honoring that is the best thing we can do. What we cultivate through fitness often impacts every aspect of our life. In 2011, the discipline and intensity that training for an Ironman required kept me focused as I finished my graduate work and jump-started my career. Today, being gentle with myself and slowing down is helping create space and compassion for a soon-to-be new baby.
What is the mantra in your head that you hear most often when you train?
I am alive. When I train, I always feel like I am living at the height of my being. This mantra reminds me that it is a privilege to be an athlete. The most challenging training sessions are often the ones that bring the most joy.
What do you love most about your body?
That it moves me through all of the experiences of life. For that, I am so grateful. I am constantly amazed by the body and its ability to adapt. Before, I was amazed that it got strong enough to take me through a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, followed by a marathon. Now, I am amazed that it has softened enough to bring new life into this world. The female body, in particular, is pretty freaking cool.
If you have worked with a coach, what’s the most important lesson you learned from that person?
I had a basketball coach in high school who said, “athletes are made by what they do when do when one is watching.” This taught me to play and train for myself, not for anyone else. If you aren’t doing it for yourself then what’s the point.
What is your fave nutrition tip?
Give yourself unconditional permission to fuel your body. Female athletes in particular often try to skimp in order to stay lean. Proper training without proper nutrition will lead to fatigue, injury and ultimately sub-optimal performance. If you aren’t sure what proper nutrition looks like for your level of training, find a Registered Dietitian in your area of reach out to me! I would be happy to work with you.
If you could tell only one thing to every woman who is struggling in her fitness journey, what would that be?
I’d ask her why she values fitness? Does it make her feel energized? Motivated? Fulfilled? If her current fitness efforts aren’t meeting those underlying values, then what else could she do to live those values. Maybe it is not fitness related at all and that is totally OK. Like I have mentioned, fitness ebbs and flows throughout life. Let it be fluid and trust that your body is guiding you to what it needs.
What goal are you going to crush next?
Motherhood! I am looking forward to hiking with my baby and rocking a jogging stroller. I am also planning to get back into it by running a half marathon at the end of 2019.
We would love to hear your stories about the transition to motherhood! Please share with us in the comments below. We are so inspired by this community of strong mamas!