We’ve got a motto here-you’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can. ~ Christopher McDougall, Born to Run
As a pregnant woman and a runner, I can’t but be inspired by the story I’ve seen floating around the news world today. A woman, nearly 39 weeks pregnant, finished the Chicago Marathon this weekend. Seven hours later she gave birth to her daughter. (You can read the full article here).
I’m sure reactions to this story are all over the spectrum. I want to call this woman up personally and say “thank you”. I want to give her a hug, kiss her sweet baby on the head, and celebrate with her family. I want to thank her for believing in herself, knowing and trusting her body, and for embracing what it means to be a human. I’d also love to hug her husband and her doctor.
How did we get to a point in society when pregnant woman are thought of and allowed to think of themselves as incapable? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself during this pregnant “I’m pregnant not broken.” Our bodies are made to be pregnant. As woman, we are designed to have children. The human body isn’t designed for sitting on a couch with feet propped up for 10 months. Although I agree with taking certain precautions while pregnant and consulting with a doctor before taking certain risks, I think active pregnancy should be celebrated in the same way that an active lifestyle should be celebrated.
If we were told at the age of 16 that we would get only one car our entire life, we would do everything in our power to make it last. Why do we treat our bodies different? We would only put the proper fuel in the car. We would keep the engine running. We would maintain the vehicle. Why don’t we do this with our body? We get one body for our entire life, and yet we abuse it. We fuel our bodies with horrible foods (if they can be considered food). We sit stagnate in life. We don’t practice preventive medicine.
Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. ~Christopher McDougall, Born to Run
The human body is meant to be active. We are born to run. Just because society and technology have advanced to allow us to sit all day long, our bodies are begging to move. Being pregnant is no different.
Perhaps all our troubles – all the violence, obesity, illness, depression, and greed we can’t overcome – began when we stopped living as Running People. Deny your nature, and it will erupt in some other, uglier way. ~ Christopher McDougall, Born to Run
Cheers to the mom who finished the Chicago Marathon pregnant. Cheers to everyone who crossed the finish line at any race this weekend. Cheers to those individuals who embrace their bodies, fuel their bodies with proper nutrients, and cherish activity. If we all took the time to listen to our bodies, we would hear them begging for activity and a healthy life. How did it become the norm to live a life dehydrated, malnourished, and inactive?
While I can’t speak for the Marathoning Mama, I can speak for myself. I run (or walk) while pregnant (and not pregnant) because it’s the one time during my day where there is a rhythm to everything I do. My body, my breathing, and my mind are working together to create a peaceful place. This has to be good for my baby.