No doubt, Alaska has its share of fit people, including some notable Olympic and professional athletes. Those who know me know I'm not one of those people. Not by a long shot.
That being said, it appears that 33 year-old, four-time Olympic cross-country skier Kikkan Randall and I do share two things in common (in addition to 5 mutual Facebook friends, I mean): (1) We were both pregnant at some point; and (2) We have both had cross-country skis on our feet.
That's where the similarities end, however, because Kikkan and I have had some drastically divergent experiences of impending motherhood, at least as described in a recent Alaska Dispatch article profiling Kikkan's pregnancy:
Kikkan: "Twice-weekly interval training."
Me: Twice-weekly vomiting and weeping over unbearably painful eczema.
Kikkan: "A couple of hours of daily activity--skiing, snow biking, swimming, running."
Me: A couple of hours of daily activity--Googling pictures of margaritas and sushi while drooling, staring skeptically at the DVD case of a prenatal yoga video without actually inserting it into the DVD player, scratching my skin until it bled, urinating seven times per hour.
Kikkan: "Read whatever she could find about other world-class athletes who remained world-class after pregnancy."
Me: Read whatever I could find about all the horrible things that could happen to me and my baby, and what became of all the other people to whom these horrible things happened once they weren't pregnant with/inside of each other anymore.
Kikkan: Was "amazed at how my body told me it's good to go forward and when it's time to step back."
Me: Was amazed at how my body told me it was being overtaken by an evil alien who meant me great harm, that the end of nine months would never arrive, that I would never be the same again (mentally or physically), and that I would very likely die before I met my children.
Kikkan: After the baby is born, is "hoping to be in good enough shape to start the World Cup season in October."
Me: After the baby is born, was hoping to be in good enough shape to shower by myself, walk without limping, and also write a screenplay called 'Class 5' about an evil developer trying to ruin a white water rafting company in Maine. But life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, as they say, because it turned out I spent the entire three months I'd carefully set aside for these tasks crying over a broken saucer instead.
In all seriousness, I am sending nothing but good vibes Kikkan's way, because being a new mom isn't easy. But I think she will fare better than I did. Because I'm also completely serious about the fact that Kikkan and I are definitely, DEFINITELY not pregnancy twinsies.