Author Archives: Coco
I’m 6 weeks postpartum and I’m ready to dive back in! I was cleared at 4 weeks to return to normal exercise. In true form I had already started wading back in. A few days postpartum I started doing crunches and stretching and then I added quick resistance circuit here and there. By week 2 I tried a lazy jog and went to a dance audition. of course no semblance of order to this and many days where I did nothing but feed the baby and pray for a shower…
Now I need structure again and accountability and, dare I say it, adventure! I’m bored with my lazy jogs and my measly few sets of push ups. But I’m also ruled by a baby’s needs and time table. We are breastfeeding, its been a rocky road and it hasn’t smoothed out yet. So my need to be athletic has to fit around the babes needs. Priorities.
I have this vision though, and its not “getting back to pre-pregnancy body” its something new, its moving forward. I want to be an example of what women can do for my daughter and i want to be a bad ass warrior protector for her. I wanna know i can run fast away from danger or put up a fight or pick up a car. I want to feel healthy, fit and able. There was a time in my life, most of my life actually, where i knew with a little time i could pick up any athletic endeavour, And i did! anything i wanted to do that seemed impossible i just did! I became an aerialist for a show in a month with no previous training, I started rock climbing, I ran a half marathon when previously i couldn’t run a mile, I went back to being a professional dancer after a 5 year hiatus. But there cam a time when i stopped believing that I could and injuries piled up and doubt crept in and I got soft and a little sad. 2015 began a series of events that just wore away at my physical body and my belief in my capabilities (stories for another day). but the truth is I am capable and I can work hard and design the life and body I want. So here we go!
I’m pretty soft at the moment. 6 weeks postpartum. I can so far jog 3 miles, do pushups but mostly on my knees and I can do 1 pull up. Thats as good a starting place as any.
So, I know its a Wednesday but its still a beautiful day to start! here are my starting pictures… I want to be able to see my body changing.
I started writing again while I was pregnant but I found I couldn’t write about fitness with the same passion at the time. so i started a new blog
YES!!!! We made it to the third trimester! Sorry it’s been a long time between posts. I have been BUSY! This life pace has really made the time fly.
I’m nearing the end of my education at Paul Mitchell and when I hit 1250 total school hours I was allowed to start adding extra hours bringing my total to 45 hours of school per week. Its been a hustle that includes some 12 hour days, school on the weekends, squeezing in my workouts and times I spent with Daniel and the puppy completely exhausted. Despite being busy and tired I’m very happy and grateful! My goal had been to finish school before I hit 36 weeks in the pregnancy, just for my own peace of mind. At the rate I’m going I will graduate the day before we turn 35 weeks!
My days now consist of about 4-7 hours of doing hair in one way or another (my clients are mostly blonde clients!)- foiling, cutting, colouring and styling, cosmetology theory work, cleaning my tools and then landing at home tired and trying to find the energy to get a workout in. Workouts have been more scarce but I manage 3-4 days a week. I’ve tried to push that to 5-6, but no go. There are 3 days a week where I leave for school at 8am and get home at 8pm and those days I have not managed to workout at all. Being pregnant and on my feet for most of the day seems to take it out of me. The other hurdle is sleep. I am so ready for bed by the end of the day but I find it difficult to nod off. I toss and turn, I wake up 5-8 times, mostly to pee but often I can’t fall back asleep. Regardless, I’m happy and I seem to have enough energy to function.
I’d be lying if I said being pregnant and seeing the changes in my body and my abilities has been easy. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or I feel my legs rub together (did I mention it’s been between 100 and 120 degrees here?) and I instantly think some horrible degrading thoughts about myself like “ugh you’ve gone TOO far and let yourself go you gluttonous pig, get your shit together” or “you’re so disgusting, have some control you ugly piece of shit”. So pregnancy has brought to light some of the harmful thought and belief patterns I have that I need to change, NOW. It’s not been comfortable, but I think in the long run this is exactly the work I’ve needed to do. Is that really what I believe? That I’m a “piece of shit” because I gained weight or I’m not following a strict diet? And horrifyingly, do I think less of others too? Is my value system so skewed and so black and white? No, its not. But I’ve been actively changing those thoughts and self-talk. I certainly don’t want to pass that on to my child and at the end of the day, I’m somebody’s child too. If I heard someone else say that about themselves it’d bring tears to my eyes and I’d want to hug them. So, since I’ve been super busy with school and spending what little time I have with my husband and my dog and preparing for our baby, I’ve been actively kinder and gentler with myself. If I really don’t have the energy to workout after a 12 hour day, its ok, I relax and think about how every season is temporary. I will not be pregnant forever and I will not be in school forever. I want to enjoy as many moments in this pregnancy as possible and I focus on that. I may not love that my butt is too big for most of my clothes but I LOVE feeling the baby move from the inside! It’s incredible. and I love daydreaming with Daniel about our future and what the baby’s personality will be and what we will all do together. I love talking to the women at school who are mothers and listening to their different experiences. So really, there is a lot I love about being pregnant and I focus on that as much as possible.
I did it! I ran the 5k today no problem. I had been worried about running while pregnant and have kind of avoided it. I jogged twice in the beginning of my first trimester, hoping to keep up right from the beginning as everyone told me that if you keep up running while you’re pregnant you can run safely, but if you stop its dangerous. However I was exhausted and frightened so after those two jogs I kept to power walking, elliptical and…napping. I’m now in the second trimester but bump is not very big and despite not actually running I’ve kept relatively active – easy cardio, easy strength training and basic conditioning. I’m not winning any awards but I’m keeping a very base level of fitness up. So the other night I tried to jog and it started off really well but omg I had to pee ever 3 minutes and it was so annoying I just power walked with some very short jogging intervals and 2 bathroom stops. ANNOYED.
Today I’d been looking forward to our schools team for the Wage for Hope run – 5k walk or run. I often forget how much I love running. Showing up today I really really wanted to run, but not at the expense of my little miracle baby and nothing is worth putting us in any kind of danger. So i promised myself I could jog easily but had to just stop, walk, leave at any time. Taking that pressure off did the trick. Music on, smile on my face, the energy of people with a common goal (raise money, awareness and remission for Pancreatic Cancer survivors) – all the things I love about being part of the running community- let me start out with an easy jog and finish straight through. At first I had to pee but I told myself this was good kegel training anyway which EVERY pregnancy website encourages anyway. Halfway through i didn’t really feel the urge anymore, mercifully! Three quarters through I felt a little winded so i eased the pace a little but then felt reenergised and pushed A VERY LITTLE BIT. Finished no sweat! Feel fine now. I made sure to hydrate immediately, use the bathroom and about a half an hour later I was ravenous and had packed Clif Bars 🙂
So in summary, I guess I can run while pregnant now! I’ll talk to my doc next week when I see her to get all the precautions and a definite green light. I’m not planning on distance training but if I could 3-4 5ks a week I’d be a very happy girl. I’m planning that next marathon training to start in January after appropriate baby recovery has been had and I’d be overjoyed if some very base mileage could be kept at least for the rest of the second trimester. But again, keeping expectations fluid. Its good right now and I’ll keep assessing as we progress. Me and Fetus are a team and I’m struck with how profound that actually is. This is one very special time in my life where I am symbiotically functioning with another being, soul and body. Our bodies are connected in a way I could never really understand and don’t know that I do fully even now – our blood is the same blood. But I’m amazed and impressed and so very grateful.
Here’s what I’m going to be doing to make runs more likely:
1. Keep mileage short, 5k’s
2. Pee before, run in a place where a bathroom is accessible
3. focus on a light step, minimise bounce!
4. sign up for short races to keep the motivation and have fun
5. read blogs by women who run/ran pregnant like this one!
6. get a belly band as my belly expands
Alright, I’ve actually been dying to write but its been difficult since we’ve been keeping a secret. And I haven’t stopped working out at but no matter how much I work out I’m just going to be getting bigger because….I’m pregnant!
Everything I’ve wanted to write about has been directly or indirectly affected by my surprise pregnancy so I just had to wait. But now, I am 12+ weeks pregnant, we’ve told the family and friends, heard the heart beat and seen the little jelly bean swimming and kicking, so I can be super fantastically excited and open about it!
I have NEVER been pregnant before. I’m 34 years old and never so much had a pregnancy scare. Ok, not completely true, there was a time I thought I could possibly be pregnant but it turned out I had just lost my period again, this time it would last 7 years (the first time I lost my period it was a 10 year drought). I took so many mandatory pregnancy tests during those 7 years that I just started to roll my eyes and yawn before every very much expected negative result.
I had just in the past 2 years gotten my period back, though not reliably. A skipped month or two never gave me pause but an appreciation for the money saved on tampons.
I don’t know what made me take the pregnancy test when I did actually. Hubs and I had decided nearly a year ago to not stand in the way of getting pregnant. We called this “trying” but we weren’t actually trying. I wasn’t tracking my ovulation or even my periods (don’t tell my doctor), we weren’t setting up times to “try” or really anything other than just having unprotected sex when we felt like it. What we were actually doing to “try” was for me to go to school so I could have a career conducive to the family life we would want and Dan working towards having a career here in town. But I guess on some deep level I didn’t believe I’d actually ever be able to conceive so I was really trying to construct a journey of happiness that included career achievements that were meaningful to me, the ability to travel and live where we wanted to and be performers AND homeowners.
Enter the new year (or just before) and I had been very unhappy with my body, my injuries, the trajectory of my career path, the time spent away from Dan and I was searching for structure and mostly….joy. It seems sometime during 2015 joy started draining out of me, at first slowly and then at a sickening speed and I couldn’t stop up the hole because I didn’t know where it was. I was sick and in pain near constantly. I found myself putting myself down all the time and feeling guilty that I wasn’t successful or valuable in any way I could see. Nothing made me happy. I still felt accomplishment when I performed a good show, a good run on the trapeze or spanish web. But I felt no desire to start each show, no desire to train, no joy in the audience. 2016 didn’t seem much of a change though big changes were made. I became increasingly upset with my body and tried many different paths to FORCE change upon it. But I could never settle, different diets, exercise routines. I found some release in taking dance classes and going to acting auditions in Portland but no joy in aerial work. Why? Aerial used to be my one feather in my cap. We moved and I hated Vegas, I hated myself and my seemingly continued decline. I felt like a failure in every way – my career, my body, my mental state. I tried so hard to try so hard.
Slowly things started to change. Not my body, I’m still fighting with it a bit though we’ve reached a bit of a peace treaty since its the home of another being right now. I’m letting go a bit of what wasn’t bringing me joy anymore. But redefining myself as a non performer is not really working. I just fight constantly with myself over that so I just started to not think it through. Take it a day at a time. Right before this new year, after a glorious Christmas that included a very fulfilling audition, a visit from good friends and also a bit of revelation about just how much Id been wallowing in misery, I made some decisions and changes. I joined 2 hot yoga studios and started taking classes, sometimes twice a day. I told myself I could go on a dance hiatus until I felt good about my body again (the relief poured through me). I refocused on school and finding freelance and hair and makeup opportunities. And during about 2 weeks of feeling good, feeling my body change with the hot yoga, I also got what I thought was the flu. oh well, i was still moving along. Focused, happier, and decided to drink a few glasses of wine one night after a very successful hot yoga class followed by a fruitful Yin class.
For some reason when I woke up the next morning, feeling refreshed and just slightly hungover I thought to myself – “maybe I should take a pregnancy test today before hot yoga. Just so I don’t worry about having wine at night” I to pick up Dan at the airport after my class and I had an evening of sushi and wine and tipsiness planned for us.
That was it, that was the only thought. Dan had been gone for 2 weeks but over Christmas we’d of course celebrated and enjoyed each others company. I’d been off birth control for 2 years and we’d ditched any other form of contraception a year ago.
So I peed on the stick and timed it while I got ready for class. When it showed a positive reading, I couldn’t help but feel JOY shoot through my completely unprepared body. Joy. That thing I’d been searching for for nearly 2 years. Why? this wasn’t the right time, I was in the middle of school, my body wasn’t the beautiful temple it had been in years prior, Dan was traveling all the time and I had just found my world realigning with hot yoga, cosmetology and auditioning as a vocalist. But it was undeniable joy and I’m not one to argue when happiness shows up at the door.
So here we are, both of us feeling like we won the lottery. I think we both thought (though we never spoke it before now) that we’d never get this experience of a child, a family life. We’ve spend our lives up until now traveling, leaving behind, moving moving moving, auditions and ambitions. and we’ve been so lucky and grateful, it seemed we had to sacrifice this part of life. But there is actually a baby inside my body. I heard the heartbeat! I saw it move! I pee every 35 minutes!
All those other things don’t go away. Dan and I will always be performers, travellers, ambitious and unordinary. But our priorities have shifted and our trajectory has changed and we are so grateful.
I promise I’ll talk about fitness next post!
I have not forgotten you, I promise. And I have not forgotten to keep up my daily exercise – nay, it is what keeps me sane. The ADHD demons kick in hard when I’m going to school for 8 hours (usually I get antsy in the first 10 minutes of sitting down). Even though I’ve scaled back on how long I work out (I never thought a 20-30 minute workout even counted before), getting that morning sweat sheen is now imperative. I’ve also never been a morning gym person, but alas, getting up early to take care of the puppy, then workout then school is the only thing that works. If I wait until I get home I have to wait two hours more so I can entertain dear doggie and by that time I’m beat and my workout probably won’t happen. This won’t last forever, but until I finish school I’m left to 6:30am workouts and 10pm crash times.
With the limited time allowances what have I been doing? I got a subscription to Gaia.com and I’ve been doing either the 20-30 min The FIRM workouts (with light weights) or a Mari Windsor Pilates mat workout or any 30 minute “sculpt and tone” workout. Doesn’t sound like me at all huh? I’ve never liked classes or aerobics or other people. But I have time constraints and I find I’m more motivated to push myself if I’m watching the effort that the leader is putting in. So far so good. I would have laughed at those FIRM workouts before but guys, some days I’m really sore, or I’m puffing 10 minutes in. On Saturdays and Sundays I also get an hour on the elliptical in if I can. But for now this is what I can do and I’m doing it. its not at all as athletic or hard core as I feel like i should be working out, but other things have taken priority and I have to do the best i can. I’m not a sponsored athlete (YET, wouldn’t it be great if I became amazing at something at 40?! maybe that should be my goal. I have 5 1/2 years) so I have to focus on finishing school, getting a job that supports my family, taking care of my loved ones. And working out IS a priority, its just not at the top anymore like it was when I was in between dance contracts. Evolution is hard some times, to change from one season of my life to the next has never been seamless so I shouldn’t expect it.
Anyone have quick and dirty workout suggestions?! I’ll take em’ all!
Things are changing rapidly, or more like, they just feel like they are sliding into place. My life has felt extremely scattered, my focus all over the place. It’s been extremely frustrating. But all of a sudden all the lack of focus made sense. This is going to be a vague post and I apologise in advance. but I found a sense of peace today. I didn’t understand why everything felt wrong lately. My passion for performing, once my only driving force, felt off. Like I wanted to want it and I don’t know who am if I don’t have a burning drive to train and perform. But nothing I did felt right, it felt like being caged. I’d get excited in theory and then when I showed up it felt….off. With a few exceptions. There have been a few gigs and auditions that felt really good. and the rest just didn’t make sense.
So here I am and plans have changed once again. But in a beautiful way. Now I have a focus. Its interesting how sometimes you just have to wait and trust that the universe will open the doors and you’ll know which ones to go through.
I’m going back to finish cosmetology school, but I’m going full time. No splitting myself in a million different directions because I’m afraid to commit and lose out on other options. My focus will be school, taking care of my family (Dan and Gypsy) and personal fitness (yoga and cardio). That’s it. I trust the direction my life is going and I’m actually really excited! I’ve love the life I’ve had. I can finally see that I’ve done some amazing things and anything I do after is just adding to it, not taking away. I thought watching the deaths of my possible selves (full time aerialist, dancer and teacher, broadway bound triple threat) meant I failed but it doesn’t. I’ve done so many things in my lifetime and my career. I’ve had a successful and satisfying career in performing that has allowed me to do – aerial work, dance, voice, acting, film, stunts, choreography and sample many different cultures. I’ve been able to travel and work with my husband and some really great people. I have no regrets heading into this next phase of my life. But it is a next phase. Travel has dropped off, dancing ended yesterday, I haven’t done aerial work for 6 months. I’ve actually been singing more and I’m lucky to be a part of a production of the Vagina Monologues next month. I’m hard working, I’m loving and smart. Its time for the “next”. I’m not saying I’ll never perform again. It’s just not first priority anymore. and I’m at peace. Peace is a welcome feeling 🙂
Yoga is my jam. I’m feeling my body change and stretch and grow and strengthen with each class. It’s really important to do it nearly every day, I can see that now. I needed to pick something and work on letting it work my body. And yoga chose me right now. I was loving the hot classes and the teachers I had there. But because a change in my health and circumstances I have to find another way. No more hot yoga and I need more accessibility and I’ll be honest, I need to not have to spend $80 a month to get my yoga on.
So I found the my solution. Gaia.com I’ve looked at heaps of streaming yoga classes and I have a few downloaded. My favourites being my Tara Stiles classes. But they aren’t advanced enough to keep pushing me or varied enough. but on Gaia.com I pay $10 a month to have unlimited to access to tons of yoga classes and pilates, meditation, documentaries. The classes range from beginner to advanced with all different styles and focuses. Bonus that I’m loving pilates too and Mari Windsor’s classes are included.
This morning I did an ashtanga flow class for intermediate practitioners. Now here’s the thing, I’m pushed harder in class with an instructor present and I sweat more when it’s 100 degrees. But that just means I need to step up my own practice and when I can drop in to led classes. For now this is what I have to do so its up to me to keep moving forward and challenging myself.
And of course, continue cardio . I’m loving the elliptical especially since its been raining like crazy but I’ve gotta hit the pavement soon. There’s a 15k I’m longing to do in February (Hot Chocolate Run!).
Life is music
music is life
I bend and I fold
I’m one with the tide
I live in the rhythm
I feel in my soul
I move to the beat
that my hearts grown to know
but sometimes I falter
forget whats inside
sometimes I question
I doubt and I hide
but saving my soul
over and again
the music my lover
my saviour, my friend
I’ve had a great day and I attribute some of that to the weather taking a turn towards “spring” and some of it to enough sleep, not being sick, having goals. I got a bunch ticked off my to do list, I got an hour of sweating in this morning, AFTER I took the pup for an hour long walk. She loves being outside, she’s got a true spaniel nature.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that music has made my day today. I’ve always been deeply connected music, all kinds. Rhythm runs inside me, moving me, changing me, shaping me from the inside out. Whenever I have felt “flow” its never been silent, never been without music. Every powerful experience connecting me to the universe has had a soundtrack. Ive felt this connection while – running, dancing, spinning from my neck, during yoga. Writing this makes me wonder why I ever stop moving to music, EVER. Sometimes you hit a sound that moves you into alignment or maybe it just highlights that you are in alignment. Today while browsing Apple music to give me some elliptical sounds I found David Gray’s 2014 album Mutineers. How did I miss that in 2014? I guess it wasn’t time for me to hear it. Today was, I moved and my body and mind came into alignment, I flowed, I felt the invisible current of the universe envelop me and I was comforted. I’m on the right path. Thank you.
David Gray has been the soundtrack for other eras of transformation for me. 2005 when I lived in Santa Ana and I would go on long walks with my iPod shuffle (remember the first one that looked like a stick of gum?) and 2009 in the brief 2 weeks between getting dumped, surviving a motorcycle accident and moving to Singapore. David Gray’s music is full of soul. If I ever got to meet him I’d probably thank him for creating the sound track to my evolution.
Read these lyrics from part of his song “Back in the World Again” and see if you’re moved to hear the whole thing
“Every day when I open my eyes now
It feels like a Saturday
Taking down from the shelf
All the parts of myself
That I packed away
If it’s love put the joy in my heart
Is it God by another name
Who’s to say how it goes
All I know is
I’m back in the world again
Like the lift of a curse
Got a whole different person
Inside my head
No more trudging around
Stony eyed through the town
Like the living dead no
It’s love that lifts us from the dark
Is it God by another name
Who’s to say how it goes
All I know is
I’m back in the world again
Back in the world again
It’s the only way to be
It’s the only way to be
I’m naked like a tree
It’s the only way to be
I’m naked like a tree
It’s the only way to be”
And I agree, we all should be naked like a tree. Thank you David Gray for once again telling me what I need to hear, just when I need to hear it.