Practicing healthy eating and exercising throughout pregnancy is incredibly important. Top recommended physical activities are walking, yoga, and swimming. I am still attending my awesome prenatal yoga classes (and my tiny baby continues to kick and say hello during the end of each class!)

Walking for the first several months was amazing. I live near a gorgeous walking path, so I would lace up my kicks and get in my exercise that way at least a few times a week. The tempeture, however, in New England has decided to plummet to the single digits with windchill, and anything more than a couple blocks is excruciatingly cold. So I decided to sign up at my local YMCA, and take advantage of their heated facility.

I’ve used their treadmills, gone to a few of their classes, but what I was most looking forward to was swimming in their pool. I used to be an avid swimmer, granted it was in high school, but man was I good! I found my speedo one piece, which is surprising still IN one piece, seeing as how I’ve had it since 1996. Sure, the butt is so worn out that its pretty much invisible, but I’m not trying to be glamorous. I’m trying to be fit!

Membership in tow, I headed off to the YMCA the other day with my bag in hand, a new combination lock, goggles, and swim cap packed away. The locker room smelled familiar: cholrine from the pool mixednwith various beauty products from women who had just prepared themselves for the rest of the day. I slipped on my old suit in the changing room, surprised that it fit over my large belly, and waddled (yup, waddled like a penguin) off to the pool to do the laps I remembered with such longing.

Lap swimming is generally broken up into different types of lane. There are lanes for divied between various speeds which usually include a leisure lane. I, being an avid swimmer in my youth, always swam in the fast lane. So obviously, that’s where I went. I mean waddled. (Picture Danny DeVito with long hair and a one piece. Haha, that’s just terrible. But, true. Unfortunately. Ugh.)

I ever so ladylike (or DeVito-like) slid and plopped into the pool, adjusted my goggles, and took off. I impressed myself with the precision of my forward crawl, cutting through the water with ease. My legs kicked in perfect unison, as I blasted across the pool length.

Ryan Lotche better watch out!

I was awesome.

I was a shark.

I was…

I was…

…out of breath. Out of steam. Wooo. And my heart was racing faster than Lightning McQueen! Instead of giving Lochte a run for his money, I was barely even lucky to compete with a beached whale. There I was, flopping, turning and gasping for precious air desperately. It must have been an ugly site. I’m surprised George Costanza didn’t come running over screaming, “back away people, I’m a marine biologist. Back away!” Yeah, it was so bad it required a Seinfeld reference.

I don’t know how, but I seemed to have forgotten that I was pregnant, and my heart is already working overtime to create my Itty Bitty. Swimming in the fast lane, as you could imagine, probably wasn’t a good idea.

I looked over at the slow lane, which was already full of four seniors. They seemed to have a steady pace, and I was afraid I would throw them off. I calmed by breath a bit, walked out of the pool, and grabbed a kickboard.

No one else was using a swimming accessory, but between my see through booty and my lack of endurance, I didn’t care if I looked different. I didn’t care what people thought. I needed some exercise, and I wasn’t leaving the pool without some!

My new lane was labeled “Leisure/Therapy,” and it was all mine. I kicked around at a comfortable pace, and even did some laps with the breast stroke kickboard-free. I even spent twenty mins doing some modified walk swim laps that I made up. My heart felt like it was getting some good exercise, and so were my legs and arms. Best of all, I wasn’t out of breath!

I may not be as fast as I used to be, but I am really proud. I am pregnant, in my third trimester, and am making sure I stay active. That’s something Ryan Lotche will never be able to do.

Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew, exercise-wise?