Womens Cute Sexy Multi Sport Running Cycling Long Sleeve Sun Protective Performance Gear Triathlon Infertility to Ironman

Infertility to Ironman

How does someone go from infertility appointments to Ironman training in the course of a year?

For me, it started with a question. What does life look like after infertility? 

Like most people in the throws of fertility treatments, I pictured rocking a newborn in a freshly decorated nursery as the final stop on my fertility journey, but this was not in the cards for me. After several rounds of IVF and a severely depleted bank account, there was no baby, and I was left wondering; what’s next?

I had spent years going to appointments several times a week, administering endless injections, temping, charting, and taking my medication at the exact minute my doctors instructed in order to optimize our chances. Fertility treatments had become a full-time job, in addition to my actual full-time job, and raising my daughter (I was blessed with a gorgeous little girl through fertility treatments years before).

Womens Cute Sexy Multi Sport Running Cycling Long Sleeve Sun Protective Performance Gear Triathlon Infertility to Ironman

Suddenly, I had no more appointments, my bum was starting to heal from the thousands of shots, and I felt lost. I remember crying on the bathroom floor after getting the call that the latest round of IVF was unsuccessful. I called my sister and asked her, what I was going to do now? What was life after infertility going to look like for me? I was sad, deeply sad, and angry. Angry that my body had not done what I felt it was meant to do. It seemed like everyone else could get pregnant whenever they wanted, why couldn’t I? I felt alone. I also felt really gross from the 15 pounds I had gained due to all the hormones I had pumped into my body for so many years.

I mourned the loss of the idea of a new baby, a sibling for my daughter, a little girl or boy that I was sure would complete our family. I had dark days when friends would announce a pregnancy and I would want to cry in the sho
wer for hours. I would be brought to tears when a well-meaning family member, friend, or even stranger would ask when we were going to have another baby. 

One day I dragged myself out of bed, pulled on my big girl undies, and told myself it was time to start living again. I cleared out my linen closet of all the leftover fertility meds, ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, sharps containers, and unused syringes. I finally got around to painting the spare bedroom that I had left unpainted for years because every month I was SURE I would be getting the call that it had worked and I could start planning the nursery. 

The most impactful thing that I did came a few weeks after our last attempt. I dug out my running shoes and struggled into workout clothes that were now much too small, thanks IVF meds!! I decided I would run to the end of my road, it was one mile. I ran at a snail’s pace and had to walk a lot, but I ran a mile down the road, and a mile back. I felt amazing. I had been a runner in high school and on and off during my adult life. I even trained for and completed, a marathon in 2009. Running was familiar; it felt a bit like visiting with an old friend. They say running is cheaper than therapy, and for me, it was exactly what I needed, every mile was balm on my wounds (I would in no way discount the importance of professional therapy as everyone needs to find what works best for them). 

After a few weeks of my slow slogs to the end of the road and back, I finally made the two-mile trip without a single walk break. When I got home, I signed up for the Lake Placid Half Marathon. Lake Placid is my hometown, and the idea of going home to race seemed like the perfect comeback for me. As a fun challenge during my half marathon training, I signed up for a local duathlon, and after very little training, I managed to place in my age group. It was my first ever multi-sport event and I was hooked! 

That duathlon had awoken a long forgotten dream of doing the Lake Placid Ironman.

I started picturing myself at the start line of the race I had grown up watching. The idea scared me, REALLY scared me, I mean 140.6 miles seems impossible, even crazy! But I had survived so much already and I started hearing a whisper in my mind saying, “I can do this.” The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. I found myself dreaming about the race every night, and before I had ever done a triathlon, I signed up for an Ironman and took off on a new adventure, Ironman training. I signed up for a small sprint triathlon and a half Ironman, hired my amazing coach, and haven’t looked back. 

Womens Cute Sexy Multi Sport Running Cycling Long Sleeve Sun Protective Performance Gear Triathlon Infertility to Ironman

I’m grateful for the strength I was able to find in myself as a result of my infertility journey. Even the hardest workouts in the worst conditions are a blessing. Hours on the bike trainer in my basement can be downright boring, mile repeats hurt and can leave me near tears, but it sure is better than a progesterone shot in the butt! My experience with infertility and my Ironman journey have made me appreciate that I am healthy and I am strong. My body isn’t broken after all! I GET to swim, bike, and run because I am blessed with a body that is strong and able. Infertility lead me to triathlon, and triathlon saved me. 

Written by McKenzie Trotter, Siren Luminary 

Follow McKenzie on Instagram @kenztrot

Womens Cute Sexy Multi Sport Running Cycling Long Sleeve Sun Protective Performance Gear Triathlon Infertility to Ironman

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