A little more than a year ago, when I was on maternity leave, I got it into my head that would be able to do five pull ups before my leave was over. My upper body was so weak. Of course my arms did get stronger from totting Liam around for a year, but at this point in my life I really wanted to have more upper body strength. I wanted to be able to pick both my boys up at the same time and be able to hold them without getting winded.
Ok, so back to my methodology. Thomas has one of those pull up bars that goes across a door way. We have it in the door leading into our master bathroom. I decided that every time I went into the bathroom I had to attempt a pull up. Now being on maternity leave in the middle of January, as you can imagine, I spent most of my time in bed with my beautiful baby boy. With that said I went in and out of that bathroom a ton.
In the beginning of my sexy mama arm challenge, I couldn’t do a pull up to save my life. I figured if I couldn’t do the movement of the pull up I could at least hold myself up on the bar. In the beginning I’d hoist myself up and hold for all of 2-3 seconds. By the end of the day I believe I was up to 8-10 seconds. I repeated this, honestly every time I entered or exited the bathroom. I started out so shaky and my arms would pulsate afterwards, but after a week I noticed my confidence building and my upper body was feeling stronger.
About three weeks into the challenge, I felt ready to attempt a 90 degree hold. This 90 degree hold is to a pull up, what a crunch is to a sit up. As I started this 90 degree hold, I would pull myself up and lower down to 90 degrees and hold that for as long as I could. Again in the beginning I was only able to hold for 2-3 seconds before jumping down to the ground. After about two weeks of doing this 90 degree hold every time I entered or exited the bathroom, I was up to holding it for a good 25-30 seconds.
Now a month and a half into my sexy mama arm challenge, I was going to attempt to pull myself up from the 90 degrees I found myself in. My first attempt was a fail, well not really. As I pulled myself up, I was able to get my chin half way to the bar. I jumped down to the ground frustrated with myself, then realized, “Ok I’m one pull up closer.” With my next visit to the bathroom I attempted yet again and got the same results, chin hallway to the bar. I spent the following week either attempting a full pull up, doing a 90 degree hold, or just a pull up hold at the bar. If I chose the pull up hold, basically the beginning of a pull up, I’d hold it for as long as I possible could. I was well over a minute at this point.
Into month two I was bound and determined to complete one pull up. For weeks, I found myself on this bar every time I used the bathroom. I had been dedicated and it was damn time this mama with the sexy arms complete a full pull up. I griped the bar with both hands. I took a deep breath and jumped up placing my chin to the bar. I quickly lowered my arms down to 90 degrees and shot my chin up to the halfway point. I wasn’t going to stop there I was going get my chin above that bar if it killed me. It happened slowly but I got my chin barely passed the bar. I did it! It was not a perfect pull up, but it was a pull up just the same. I was so fired up at this point, I was excited to keep trying. My arms were tired though, so I got back in bed with my perfect baby boy and waited for my next trip to the bathroom.
By the end of my maternity I was able to do five pull ups. I already felt like superwoman after giving birth to two amazing little boys; and now I felt strong enough to carry them from here to kingdom come. Weeks later, I had Liam in my arms and I had to pick up Liam while I had Jax in my arms, along with my purse and diaper bag. As I stood up with ease and held both babies in my arms I realized I truly had become stronger. Motherhood had strengthened my body, my mind and my spirit.