Since the calendar turned I’ve been carrying two extra weights. In addition to the life growing inside of me for 36 weeks now, there’s the weight of words I’ve wanted to write. Words I’ve cheated on with love and travel, suffocated with work, and fettered away on naps and Netflix.
When it comes to writing, I’ve grown comfortably stuck at whatever phase comes before what Anne Lamott calls “shitty first drafts.” I call it “even crappier overthinking.”
So, on this inferno of a day, I carved space to write. To not to overthink how to justify the months of silence since my last post, or how to transition a food-blog-turned-triathlon-blog into a mommy blog. (I won’t do it!) Just to let the words flow—no takeaways, no lists, just old-fashioned, long-form, low-traffic words.
I am very fortunate to have had an easy pregnancy—nothing I will take credit for due to staying active (ish) or eating well (ish) or any of those pat-yourself-on-the-back injunctions preached by pregnancy websites. For me, 10 years of triathlon training was the perfect preparation for this new journey, however. Both are intensely physical, involving quirky bodily changes that are, frankly, fascinating: How your heart adapts to running longer and faster; how 180k on a bicycle saddle grows to feel comfortable; how a little human takes up residence inside you and squishes your organs into new places; how you can crave a food like your life depended on it.
Over the closing hours of 2017, my boyfriend and I found out we were expecting. My little Ironman holiday in Argentina might not have yielded my elusive best Ironman yet—instead, it brought something even more unexpected. The extent to which being a week pregnant influenced my ultra-crappy run that day I’ll never know, but I do know that we were happy to find out that we’d brought a microscopic extra passenger home with us.
Then there was weight gain, blamed on Christmas and too many Manhattans (sorry, buddy, we didn’t know!). The festivities were followed by those dreary January blues, fought with a season ski pass and my personal first-trimester first-aid kit: JJ Bean muffins, Kraft Dinner, Mr. Noodle, Mad Men, walks, naps, Kleenex, and hugs.
I shouldn’t be surprised that the second “leg” of the pregnancy trimester triathlon was my favorite. Just like riding a bike, my energy came back with the spring sun. I embraced it with as much physical activity as felt right. What I found was a new way to enjoy movement for its own sake—playful (yoga), meditative (walking), social (swimming)—integrated into my life, rather than dictating it.
There was conferencing in Florida and there were tacos and whale sharks in Mexico. There was sleeping in the van on the Sunshine Coast and a road trip to California. There were mountain hikes, and visits from parents and faraway friends. With May came the taste of change always in my mouth, as I got ready to leave a city that has twice helped patch my heart’s unraveling seams.
My third trimester started with packing my life into boxes (yet again) and answering the mountains’ call (yet again). I was sad to leave the little ‘hood that had grown to be mine in a way few things have been over the last decade. A weekend with girlfriends in Pemberton helped ease the hormonal cocktail of the opposing forces of nesting and change, welcoming me to life in the Sea to Sky corridor.
Then it was off again as quickly as I’d arrived: San Francisco with James; Toronto for his mom’s 70th birthday; Winnipeg to show off the bump; Gimli for collages and foot rubs with my aunt; a road trip to Calgary for the Stampede where James was showing his art (and I got to see old friends, work, drink Phil & Sebastian coffee, and see Broken Social Scene live for the first time); and a final trip to Salt Spring Island.
Another quick visit from a friend and I was back in Whistler to stay. A great sigh came over me and I let myself relax into idleness, staring out at my new backyard, eating salad and basking in a sense of home that’s evaded me for a long time.
BBQ’s, Fairmont Fridays, heat and hikes. Ironman spectating and friends dropping by. Alta Lake SUPs and swims. Baby kicks and belly massages. Painting, Ikea, Craigslisting, and more gear than triathlon. Prenatal yoga. Scooting around Whistler with a belly. Turning 500 sq ft into a cozy nest for three.
Yep, that just about sums up the last few weeks.
Nine months of training for what I’m sure will be a far longer, more difficult, and altogether more awe-inspiring journey than anything I’ve undertaken thus far.
Here’s to new ways to love and new ways to fail.
Here’s to the most exciting start line yet.