We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming of Level II – Part II, to bring you a special edition of the Baby Buddhist. Why? Because when you’re feeling good you gotta ride the wave. (I’m sure that’s in Buddhist philosophy somewhere right?)
I believe wholeheartedly in the advice of two people: Jodie my acupuncturist (who I recently wrote about) and Teresa my tarot lady. Look, I’m not some Nancy Reagan psychic consulting kinda gal, but once a year for my birthday I go see the tarot lady for a little check up. When both those women tell me I have to calm the fuck down with the exercise…the dude abides.
Without a doubt, modifying my exercise habits to try and get pregnant is the most torturous part of this process so far. I was overweight as a tween, but was active my whole life, usually in competitive sports. I was teaching boot camp classes on military bases by the time I was 21. I started playing roller derby at 23. I did my first triathlon at 25. I ran my first marathon at 29. I became an Ironman at 31. At 32 I rode my bike across Wisconsin (175 miles) in one day. Competing, training, kicking ass…it’s just what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. I’ve got a routine. By now I’m training for the first half marathon of the season which leads right into the first marathon of the year in May. From this to “take a walk” “how about a yoga class” and “definitely, no working out on your period.” Let’s just say one of the most embarrassing meltdowns in front of my husband has been me crying about having to go to a Saturday morning yoga class instead of on a training run like I wanted to.
And, there’s more to it than the endorphins. Long runs on Saturday are time to run in quiet, with great music, with a dog by my side, breathing in the barely warm new-Spring air. It also justified all the eating I did over the weekend. Until they became my only options, yoga and walks were just bonus “workouts” that didn’t really count.
Reading the section on exercise in my new trusty friend, Making Babies, was the nail in the coffin. I have to take it easy. As healthy has I’ve been as a result of an active lifestyle, fertile healthy is different. The high intensity interval training and half day endurance training sends distress signals to the body so instead of nourishing it, the activity triggers the lady bits to shut down to conserve energy. “Nourish” – Jodie the Acupuncturist says it all the time. Get the blood flowing and healthy. “Juicy activities” is what Teresa the Tarot Lady called them. “Women’s bodies aren’t meant for all that hard stuff.”
So after the monthly hibernation I’ve decided to work out smarter. Running only in the first 10 days or so of my cycle. All the nourishing stuff the rest of the time. I belong to OrangeTheory and can’t bring myself to quit. Last month I went to my classes but tried to keep my heart rate under 78% of my max. It’s hard. The classes are designed to jack your heart rate up so it’s a test of self-discipline to maintain this threshold. But today, we’re in solid pre-ovulation phase. No ovulation or implantation happening any day soon. I just ‘er rip as my mom would say. And it was like drugs.
One hour. Feeling strong, rested, challenged. One glorious hour that just felt familiar. And just like drugs, I knew I was playing with fire. I’m certain I probably pushed harder than I should have. I know that when I go back tomorrow it’s not gonna feel this good. It didn’t matter. I just needed to ride the high.