writeonthebay

Just Call Me Michelle Obama (Or, Thank God for My Arms)

In Family, Uncategorized on January 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

Arms at their triathlon peak, summer, 2008.

I am inordinately happy about my arms today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for my two well-functioning legs. It’s just that I haven’t seen much of them lately, except for that gnarly varicose vein on my right calf. Nor do I think I’d care to look at them at 30 weeks gestation.

Before this pregnancy, I came to be a runner. Not a fast runner, mind you, just someone who actually enjoys running and signed up for races here and there. I ran through my first trimester, albeit with a sudden shift in what my cardiovascular system could tolerate before I cried “uncle”. Since then, I’ve vacillated between astonishment at women who run throughout pregnancy and envy for anyone I see running — outside in the bitter cold, or inside toiling away on the treadmill. (Good god, I hate that thing, but I’m jealous nonetheless.)

Much as I want to work up a profuse sweat and push my body to its athletic limits, it just ain’t happenin’ right now. Seems as though this pregnant belly does not take kindly to much more than walking from my legs. Ten minutes of any leg-driven cardio gets my abdomen hard as a rock and cramping. This is not a pleasant sensation, and one of those moments when my body is just screaming out “Stop it fool!”

My arms and upper body, however, I can push. I can hit a muscle conditioning or yoga class or even free weights and know that I’m getting a challenging workout without disturbing baby’s world. I caught sight of my arms this morning in the mirror at the gym and was pleased to see some definition. For now I’ll ignore the extra little jiggle of water retention and hey-I’m-pregnant-hand-over-the-cookies maternal fat. I spotted a bicep! And look — that there — it’s a tricep!

Just like Mrs. Obama’s iconic limbs, my arms still have something going on. And for now, I’m good with that.

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