I can’t believe it. Meg will be turning one very soon, and it’s made me reflect a bit on the past couple of years.
This time last year I looked like this:
Pregnancy felt like a prison sentence for me… I can’t say I enjoyed it too much! There are obviously magical moments as all mothers will tell you, but on the whole I struggled to let go of control over my body… my figure in particular. I missed being agile and I missed feeling light. I missed riding my bike outdoors and the freedom that comes with it. I missed my pretty clothes. I missed being pretty! I did love the shock on people’s faces when I’d turn to the side and they’d see that I was massively pregnant, but hadn’t been able to tell from the back. I missed feeling small when my husband hugged me, or tried to at least. I just had to watch as my belly grew and grew, and my hips and boobs with it. I never felt comfortable. My energetic step rapidly turned into a waddle and the lack of space left in my body meant I was always short of breath. I really worried about my fitness as I’d already been off the bike for a season due to a nasty crash on my road bike.
A year previous I looked like this:
It’s a funny old thing. If I hadn’t had that crash I don’t think we’d have started a family yet. I completely snapped my collar bone, amongst other injuries, but it took ages to heal and being forced off the bike for such a long stint meant that Rob and I did lots of other fun stuff. We went on cliff-side picnics and when I was a bit more mobile we went on lots of walks. I really fell in love with walking again and we regularly walked sections of the south coast path. The views are stunning and provided a bit of that freedom in the outdoors that I so often crave. I realised that I could cope with being off the bike for a while and I think the shift of focus away from my riding allowed the broodiness to set in!
So here we are, year three living in Somerset and we have a beautiful baby girl who has just learnt to crawl, but really wants to walk. I’ve been back on my bike for almost nine months – training properly for six with Rob coaching me. I have already surpassed my Season’s target on our local five mile TT, taking the Yeovil women’s club record now well below 13 minutes and also set a new 30 mile club record. It feels great to be racing regularly, and my results have provided great reassurance that it is possible to take time out to have a family and return to decent form in a relatively short space of time. We know I’m not quite back where I was prior to my crash, but I’m having a very successful season so far and it’s a lot of fun to be doing something new like time trials. I think I’m addicted!