From our women coaches to our women athletes, we’re lucky to be surrounded by so many incredible individuals at M2M! Coach Chany is one of the amazing women we have the pleasure to work alongside— a 9 time Canadian National team member (7 x Track and Field, 2 x Mountain Running), mom to beautiful 15 month old Olive and currently studying to become an Osteopathic Practitioner.
Last year, Chany shared her experience with the ups and downs of pregnancy and returning to running post-birth. Now 15 months postpartum, Chany shares in her own words her experience returning to running post-birth, the difficult balancing act of being a mom, and exploring her identity postpartum.
Today I registered for my first race in 2 years, admittedly I chose one I have never done before so I can’t judge myself on previous results. I’m all for competing with myself, pushing the limits, and at times getting thrown in the deep end, yet I am also for small victories, baby steps and realistic goal setting. At 15 months postpartum I truly pictured being super fit and back in elite race shape. The reality is my main focus has been Olive and it has been a challenge to revert mentally back to being okay with having my own needs, wants and passions. If you haven’t followed along for the previous 4 stages of my postpartum journey you can find them here otherwise I’m going to expand on training and life from 7 months postpartum to now.
Stage 5- Wants vs needs
Feeling okay with having wants was strange after resurfacing from the fog of sleep deprivation and having a baby attached to you constantly. Wants for alone time, to train more, the possibility of time away with loved ones sans baby. Figuring out what I was prioritizing for me not because I absolutely needed it but because I wanted it, felt so selfish and yet necessary. Training to me felt selfish, so it still unfortunately wasn’t consistent, but wow did it ever fill my soul when I gave myself the okay to ask for it. I was starting to see glimpses of pre baby Chany and the “want” to get faster and to be okay with taking the time to do it.
Stage – Balancing Act
Once I figured out my main priorities of wants vs needs and gave myself the okay to ask for it, the challenge came when I calculated the time it takes to do them vs the time it takes to look after a small child without childcare. It became clear that there aren’t enough hours in the day. This is a stage that has ebbed and flowed and will continue to for I’m sure a very long time, and it’s learning to ask for help. This is a very challenging thing for me, and yet I completely understand why they say it takes a village to raise a child. I have a very supportive and involved partner and yet between the two of us it’s still a constant juggling act of trying to find enough time in the day to both find a balance between the things that keep us happy and passionate as individuals and also giving enough time and presence to our family unit. I have gotten better at asking for help, and there is still a lot of room for improvement in this category.
Stage 7- Who am I?
The current stage is one of reintegrating back into the workforce, finishing up my last few months of school (did I forget to mention that part?) and very soon reemerging onto the racing scene. I am really enjoying coaching again for Mile2Marathon, I have created myself a training plan leading into the Whistler Half Marathon in June, I found a training partner on the tiny remote island we live, who is much faster than me (hanging on with all my might), I am managing to fit in study time because of my new friend called “asking for help” and lastly creating a healthy independence from Olive who I love over the moon and yet need to be a separate entity from.
In summary, I have learned that it’s okay and necessary to have needs AND wants, asking for help is okay in so many aspects of life, including with your children and being my own person outside of being a Mom is healthy and okay. I am really looking forward to training as much as I can over the next 3 months for the Whistler Half Marathon, graduating from the Canadian School of Osteopathy as an Osteopathic Practitioner and continuing to explore the beautiful balance of being a Mom and yet so much more.
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