So pre pregnancy my goals were to improve my pull ups and to perfect the single arm press up and I just about got there with both goals (the single arm press up still needs a little work). These types of goals gave me so much focus and drive with my training and it has been a challenge to think about what new goals would keep me motivated over the next 9 months. This is an issue I have come across with clients plenty of times over the last 8 years some due to pregnancy and others due to injury. Although obviously very different things both do impact your performance and force you to reevaluate your goals!
I will be honest losing my athleticism was far more of an issue to me than my figure. I had worked so hard over the last few years to master many difficult techniques and, of course, I know that it will not be wasted and that I will be able to get back to those levels post pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss training to that level. I get so much enjoyment from pushing myself, not to mention the stress relief it provides. I am still training, but it is not the same! Progressively scaling exercises back doesn’t quite give you the same endorphins or sense of satisfaction as scaling up!
Thinking back to times when I’ve trained so many others that couldn’t train to their full potential for many reasons, not just pregnancy, I would always say you just have to be patient, focus on what you can do and not what you can’t and, most importantly, set goals that make you feel like you are still making some progress even if it is not the progress you would ideally want. So with that in my mind I have decided to focus on different positives, like trying to enjoy the change of pace. Whilst I enjoy pushing myself it is also nice to work out without any pressure. I would say my only real goal is to stay as healthy and active as I can for as long as possible. If I can do that I will be very happy! I am also enjoying using the time to go for long walks with family and friends and, despite my disappointment that my pull up bar is now used more as a clothes horse than a piece of exercise equipment, I am still determined not to lose all the arm strength I have built up over the last year or so!
The only thing I will say to anyone else training when you are pregnant, just listen to your body. There have been days when I have been far too tired to squeeze in a training session on top of a long working day, so I just don’t. Pre pregnancy I would have been so hard on myself for missing a workout, but at the moment it is just not the most important thing happening and that is fine! There will be a time when it is a priority again, but that is not the case right now. Looking after myself, the baby and having the energy to work the hours that I do are more important and are often a big enough challenge.
The same applies for anyone recovering from an injury. The priority in this instance is not doing extra workouts, the priority may be rest, healing and rehab exercises. Previous goals may well need to be put on hold for a while and getting back to full fitness or mobility has to the be the new target.
So if anyone else has had to reevaluate your goals, try to be patient, focus on what you can do and set new goals to keep you motivated. It is not easy, but it is much better than giving up altogether!
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