When new mom and professional runner Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, 32, started sharing her postpartum journey on Instagram, she didn’t think anything of it. She just wanted to talk about her post-pregnancy body struggles and her fight to get back in shape. But now this Olympic hopeful is inspiring us all with her realness!
Stephanie decided to take a break from training between Olympic cycles for her first pregnancy—a real gamble when the majority of professional runners have sponsors and don’t get maternity leave. Now with two kids, who are 21 months and six months old, she’s juggling family life with Olympic training in the hopes of qualifying for the 10,000 metre race as a part of team USA.
“The 10k that was more than just 6.2 miles.” My post race recap up on my website. A little inside into how I got to racing 5 months post partum, my support team, the feeling of crossing a finish line again, and in true #keepinitreal Steph fashion a little anecdote towards the end. Warning may be TMI for some:) Enjoy! Link in profile.
A photo posted by Stephanie Rothstein Bruce (@stephrothstein) on
Looking at her feed, it’s easy to see why women are so moved by her photos. Stephanie posts about her struggles with diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles), pumping breast milk pre-race, and shares photos of her postpartum belly. She also encourages women to be confident and post their own PP bodies and tag #journeywithsteph.
Had to let the day set in before I got deep. Today was a day where I got 2nd in my first National Championship after having my kids. 51:13 15k on a muggy morning. (5:29 pace) I felt like I won my own race. Coming back from pregnancy has been extremely humbling, embarrassing at times, but extremely rewarding. Not many women I raced today were pumping breast milk pre race. But it can be done. I hope more pro runner ladies don’t wait for their careers to end to have babies. I hope runner mamas everywhere find belief and stength and humor in their post baby comeback. I hope men runners aren’t weirded or grossed out by the realities of a mom runner. Because the mom strength and power is real ya’ll. #roadtorio #6monthspostpartum #journeywithsteph #timetofly #oiselleteam
“I can run 5:20 pace for a half marathon, but I still pee my pants, have diastasis recti, stretch marks, and other postpartum issues. I share this so moms and soon-to-be moms know you can still get back to your athletic self, have big goals, be a mom, have imperfections, don’t be embarrassed by them, and have confidence in yourself,” Stephanie told SELF.
You go, girl! We’re right behind you on team #mombod.