You know, I've heard a lot of stories about moms-to-be in their third trimester who run whole marathons and such, but I've never actually seen it. After today, I know I won't be anywhere near that group of women.
Ever since the end of the first trimester, when I was finally able to pick myself off of the couch and not fall asleep the moment I got home from work, I've been incorporating walking as my basic form of exercise. Certainly, I've done some small amount of yoga here and there, but (and don't laugh, because I know how pathetic this is), I've kept my goal of walking for at least 10 minutes a day.
Some days, I've even walked for 15 minutes!
So you can imagine my surprise when today, after walking for about 12 minutes, I headed back inside to my work building and quite suddenly couldn't walk any more. It was as though my hips and legs had revolted against movement and decided that they preferred to stay put. I sort of limp-walked my way to a small table in the seating area between the two cafes in the building and pretended like I had to check a cell phone message. I tried to stretch my legs a little, covertly. Which is kind of hard to do sitting down with a dress on, so that didn't accomplish much.
I shifted my hips back and forth a few times, but the pain wasn't letting up. I was coming to the end of my lunch break and had to get back to my desk, so I stood up, using the table as leverage and plastering a strained smile on my face.
If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is showing weakness to people I don't know. This burst of contrariness got me down the hallway into the sectioned off area for my department. Inside this area, there was no one, and my legs automatically knew it. They froze up stiff again, and I leaned against the wall as I shuffled forward in a motion some may refer to as... shambling.
Once I turned the corner, there were people in view again and so I switched to taking the smallest steps I could, as slowly as I could. I tried to assume an air of nonchalance, as if I always shambled to my desk like this. No one seemed to look, or care. I got to my desk and gripped the armrests as I lowered myself into the chair.
Then I needed to use the bathroom.
I took a deep breath and waited as long as I could before I absolutely had to get up. Sadly, sitting down for a half hour didn't provide me with much relief, and I began to shamble my way towards the bathroom. One of my coworkers looked up at me and asked if I was alright.
"You never move that slow!" she said. "Are you feeling ok?"
I laughed and sort of shrugged as I told her that my legs were just a little stiff today. She seemed to agree that this was reasonable and went back to her work. I got to the bathroom and then, outside of the view of coworkers, my legs froze up again.
Luckily, it wasn't that hard to basically throw myself in the direction of a bathroom stall, take care of business and lurch across the way to the sink. It was just the thought of walking back to my desk seemed overwhelming beyond belief.
I tried to stretch my legs gently, using the sink to balance against. Nothing seemed to help much though, and I started to entertain how I was going to explain to my supervisor that I needed to go home because I couldn't move. How would I leave the bathroom to tell her? Why had I parked across the parking lot like I do every day? Would I have to ask a coworker to bring my car around for me?
Another coworker came into the bathroom and the knowledge that someone might know I was in pain spurred me forward to the door and I seized that burst of energy to make it through the door and back towards my desk. Once back in my chair, I didn't get up again until it was time to go home. Sadly, my legs had not magically healed and my hips still felt like pain.
Still, I managed to make my way down the stairs and out into the parking lot, where I then shuffled oh-so-slowly across the whole damn lot to get to my car. How could I have not predicted that today I would hurt myself walking and that I should have parked right outside the staircase? How could I have been so foolish as to think that I would be able to walk across the parking lot today, like I have every other day this week? I cursed my stupidity and trust me, I had a lot of time to do so, because I had to stop every twenty feet or so to regroup.
Once I got to my car, getting in and driving wasn't too bad. In fact, the overheated leather seats actually felt a little bit nice. Since I've been home, I've been trying to gently stretch out with my yoga ball but it wasn't doing that much to help, so I gave up and shambled over to my desk to write a really long, whiny post about how much my stupid legs hurt.
What bugs me the most is that I didn't do anything any more strenuous than I've done as recently as yesterday! And I have been walking daily so it's not like I suddenly decided to add exercise and then overdid it. I'm currently imagining how I'm going to deal with work tomorrow if my legs don't get their act together and I'm really, once again, amazingly impressed with not only the marathon-running pregnant ladies, but the ones who have jobs where they are on their feet all day long.
I remember back when I worked at Jewel that one of the cashiers was expecting, and she worked until the week she went into labor. She made it look practically effortless and I just can't imagine how at this point.
Well, that's enough complaining for one day. For a week, really. But we'll see.