26 Feb Member Spotlight: Kathleen
Prior to starting the FitPartum program I had been attending KFIT for 3.5 years. I worked out through my first pregnancy and came back to the gym around 2 months PP as soon as my doctor told me I was “cleared for exercise” I had a C section because my daughter was breech and eased back into the gym with no real direction aside from “listening to my body”. The trouble with that phrase as that you don’t really know what you should be listening for. I knew my old body, pre baby and my old athletic skill level and mostly just cared about getting back to that level as quickly as I could. I eased back into my old routine and before I knew it found myself back on the rig pushing myself probably far beyond what someone who had experienced major abdominal surgery should have been doing 6 months PP. Fast forward to my second pregnancy, again blessed to have been able to workout through that till the end. Due to the circumstances of having absolutely no control over childbirth, I ended up with a second C section. Again, returned to the gym as soon as I was ” cleared” and off I went clamoring to get back to my old self. I am an occupational therapist, and while I have a good understanding of anatomy and physiology as well as diastasis recti, I certainly was out of my wheelhouse when around 6 months PP I noticed the separation was not closing at all. I had a slight separation after the first pregnancy but the second pregnancy just seemed to blow my abs right open. At the same time I was having a nagging left low back/hip pain that I couldn’t seem to shake so it was time for me to admit I can not solve all my own problems in the gym and that I needed help.
I saw Kellie to assess my separation as well as hip pain. Even though I knew the separation of my abs was deep and wide ( as I could test myself) it was still not great to hear. Mostly just a blow to the ego because I knew it meant modifications were coming, And now 8 months later and sort of a lot more life experience under my belt I realize that modifications are what basically saved my body. The old me would have been like ” I am still going to do what I want” or push beyond my limits due to my unreasonable inner competitiveness. Kellie took the time to complete an extremely in depth assessment of my ailments ( which also made me feel like 100 years old and that my body was falling apart) but actually was just an indicator that I needed to slow my roll and not come back to the gym trying to go balls to the wall after growing two humans in three years. She prescribed me a specific program that would address my functional deficits in the gym, stretches and strengthening exercises that would decrease my pain and improve my pelvic and hip dysfunction as well as muscle imbalances. Probably the most important thing she taught me is that even if my separation does not fully close, I can still control it and use it functionally in the gym engaging in the exercises that I love to do ( mainly on the rig). However, in order to get to that point, I had to take a long hiatus from the rig to really focus on learning to breath with exertion and control my abdominal muscle contractions. I knew it was the only way I was going to really address the problem and fix it from the inside out ( and honestly ignoring it for the six months before I got to her did nothing for it, so what did I know)
So the new me went back to the gym with a new mindset that I am not going to lie was not easy to adjust to initially. Ally helped me tremendously switch out moves on a daily basis in class in accordance to the plan Kellie set up. Each day I would go in and look at the board and initially feel overwhelmed that there were so many moves I ” shouldn’t” be doing, but Ally let me know every time, “Do not worry Kathleen, I have something for you” ( lucky me 😉 ) Honestly most of the modifications were more difficult then the original move prescribed ( insert eye roll) and I realized that I wasn’t going to be lacking in this new workout regime, it was just going to be a different. I really learned a lot about being patient with myself and trusting the process and I could not be happier with how everything turned out. Through some diligent stretching and strengthening my hip and back pain was gone and I was able to make some great progress on my DR.
Women go back for their PP follow up and are blindly cleared at 6 weeks to resume exercise without their doctors fully understanding what type of exercises you did prior to and without proper monitoring and guidance. Listening to your body is just not enough if you want to safely manage the significant after effects of what pregnancy changes in your body, I am grateful to Kellie and Ally for everything that FitPartum helped me accomplish and can not recommend this program enough.
*Update, now 18 months PP, Kathleen has ran a marathon and is back on the rig:)