I was super excited to turn 40. I don't like to be the center of attention but I wanted a party and Iet my family know all about it. Life was good. I lost ten pounds and I ran the Chicago Marathon with my best friend. My husband and son traveled to Chicago with me and watched me (well, they ate hot dogs) qualify for Boston. Everyone was healthy and happy.
One month later, I thought I was dying. It seems that I couldn't outrun genetics and I was in perimenopause. The ladies in my family are a bunch of overachievers and we like to start this process nice and early. For the first six months, life felt really hard. The anxiety, insomnia and horrible period symptoms made me feel like there had to be something really wrong. I visited my primary care doctor, gynecologist, cardiologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, and gastroenterologist. The only answers I got were maybe you could find a support group. Just so you know, there aren't any support groups for 40 something full time working mom triathletes who are in perimenopause.
Here is where the fun part comes. That same doctor who told me to join a support group also said: "There are going to be times when you feel really alone during this process, like no one else in the world is going through what you are going through."
I found it a little offensive when she said it, but now I understand. But I do the only thing I know to do. I run, bike and swim away from it. I don't have any triathlete friends who are going through it but my sister is living through it so I'm not alone. She is older than me and helps me realize that this isn't going to last forever. If I can just keep moving forward like in Ironman training I'm going to be stronger on the other side.
To all you ladies, remember what Dory says "Just keep swimming!" Whatever you are going through whether your hormones are going crazy, you are a new mom, you are trying to lose the pregnancy weight; hard times will pass and swimming, running and biking can only help! So grab your sneakers, goggles or bike, enter a race or just get outside and enjoy today!!
Written by Valerie Bergman, Siren Luminary
Follow Valerie on Instagram! @vberg5791