My Story of Transitioning to Pregnancy as a Lifelong Athlete: Guest post by Alisha Edmiston
I first met this amazing woman ten years ago. We lived in the same town and both had a passion for riding bikes. Not only was she a gifted athlete, but she had a kind heart. Get ready for a story about Alisha’s journey to motherhood. Alisha will always be an athlete, now she will also be a mother.
Let’s hear Alisha’s story…
I’ve always been an athlete. I actually ran before I walked… my mom said I just “pulled up and started running” while my dad “chased” me on our small living room floor. More than anything, I’ve always just liked to move.
My love of movement has been a guiding light throughout my life. I was a 5 time State Champion in cross country & track my senior year of high school. I was a varsity cross country & track athlete throughout my undergraduate college years, earning all-conference in the 1500m and steeplechase. I was a professional cyclist and triathlete competing on the US National Team, racing and traveling all over the world. I started mountain biking and raced mountain bikes professionally, along with Xterra off-road triathlons. I eventually transitioned to trail running, competing as an Elite in the marathon and ultra-marathon distances. Then I found Crossfit, and ultimately my current love—Olympic Weightlifting.
Even when I took breaks from serious training and competition over the years, athletics always seemed to “find” me. I feel like life makes sense when I’m moving, no matter what form it takes. It’s a blessing to have been given a body that is as strong & powerful as the one I have been given, and one that I do not take for granted.
If you had asked me a year ago if I was going to have kids (like EVER), I would have laughed at you and said, “Why would anyone want to do that?” My life, in my mind, was perfect just the way it was… I married the love of my life, Jake Edmiston, we had bought our first home together, we enjoyed lifting and running together, and we have 4 (yes, four) crazy little dogs that we love dearly. What more could I ever want?
Well, things change.
Jake, unlike me, has always known he wanted to be a parent. One of our first conversations while we were dating was about having kids… or, you know—not. I realized at the moment that Jake said so surely he wanted to be a dad someday I would be willing to have a child with him. But, having kids has never been the focus of our relationship, it’s always been on “us” and our love for each other.
As an athlete, I had all kinds of irrational thoughts like:
“Having kids will ruin my physical ability” or
“Diastasis recti will damage my core so much I’ll never be able to lift/run/bike/swim/you name it well again” or
“I’m going to have this huge pregnant belly, yikes!”
“I won’t have abs anymore ever again”… and many, many more.
And even though these thoughts were irrational, they were my reality. I was so used to needing my body to perform or function a certain way in order to pursue whatever athletic endeavor, I was pursuing at the time that I really just didn’t want to give that up.
*And nothing you can say or do will ever make me, humph,* [insert foot stomp for emphasis] my stubborn inner voice would say.
Because Jake is the man that he is, I have never felt obligated to make a decision about having kids. He’s always just loved me as I am—no more, no less.
I recognized a shift in my mindset last October. More of our friends were having kids and were asking us if we were going to have kids. I gave my typical, emphatic NO, but there was something there within. I’d look at Jake—he’d be smiling at me lovingly while I said NO to what he’s always wanted.
I realized after a series of those moments that it was time. It was like a switch. I realized my life and my body would be changed forever if I decided to have a child. I realized I may not have abs anymore, or ever again. I realized giving birth would be traumatic physically for my body. And, as it dawned on me what a beautiful opportunity I had to create another life with Jake… I realized at that moment I accepted every bit of what will come with being a parent.
I accept that my body will be forever changed… because it will. There is no “getting my body back”—my body is what it is and will be what it will be. My body is going to change while being pregnant, it is going to change while giving birth, and it is going to continue to change postpartum. My body will never be exactly the same as it was before, but that is okay. I know I will be able to lift again, run again, swim again, bike again… I am an athlete before, during, and after giving birth.
My body will be something I continue to love and cherish, not only for what it can do athletically, but for being able to grow a little person in it and going through such an amazing transformation.
I’ve noticed since getting pregnant my focus has shifted from being able to lift as much weight as possible to grow the healthiest baby possible. It’s been a process of surrender and letting go so new changes can emerge. I want to be the best that I can be so I can be a good mom and a good wife.
I’m still human. I have my moments where those old worries creep in. But then I remember how much love is in my life. I look at Jake and I feel our little girl growing stronger inside of me (she moves constantly now!). And, through it all, I realized the focus of our relationship hasn’t changed—it’s still focused on our love for each other…
She will be what gives our love life.
Looking back now, how could I say no to that?
Facebook: Alisha L. Edmiston Instagram: alishaedmiston
Alisha is an FNX Ambassador and has offered her discount code “FNXAlisha” for 15% off https://fnxfit.com/