My story: PGP and a triathlon

By Sheena Warman 

My PGP started when I was four months pregnant with my second daughter. It wasn’t as severe as it is for many people (I didn’t need crutches or a wheelchair), but it did have a massive impact on my quality of life, as well as affecting what we were able to do as a family. I had osteopathic treatment which helped a little, and like many I hoped it would go away after the birth. However, when my daughter was six months old, I found walking a few hundred yards was still an achievement. I was also becoming rather grumpy with the ongoing discomfort and worried about how I would cope with returning to work. I contacted the Pelvic Partnership for advice, which resulted in some fantastic physiotherapy from Clare Woodward. Clare put everything back in the right place and set me realistic goals for regaining some core strength.

I slowly progressed from gym ball exercises and bouncing on a trampoline in the living room (much to the girls’ amusement), to Spinning at the local gym. The PGP niggles didn’t disappear altogether, but as the muscles strengthened, I gradually found I could do more and more with minimal discomfort. It became apparent that an incentive was needed to keep me exercising at an effective level and tentatively I entered a mini-triathlon in September 2012 – even pre-children that would have seemed like a ridiculous idea! I managed to get around the course without sinking, crashing or falling over. The following day (still on a high!), I signed up for Blenheim Triathlon in June 2013, with the aim of doing a little fundraising for the Pelvic Partnership. The prospect of a 750m open water swim, 20km bike ride, and 5km run was enough to keep me motivated.

Race day in June was overcast but dry, and the water was just about warm enough. The swim didn’t quite go to plan; I’d been practising front crawl all win-ter (even swimming in a very cold river with the local triathlon club!), only to have a bit of an open-water panic and swim most of it breaststroke. However the bike ride was fun, the atmosphere on the run kept me going, and I achieved my goal of not coming last! I’ve well and truly caught the triathlon bug now, and have a couple more events lined up before the end of the season. Fitting training in around work and children is a challenge, but having a very patient and under-standing husband helps!

I am immensely grateful to Sarah from the Pelvic Partnership and Clare for her physio treatment for getting me sorted. Without their help I wouldn’t be running for the bus!

Charity Registered in England: 1100373 

The Pelvic Partnership consists of volunteers who have had pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and wish to support other women. We aim to pass on information based on both research and the experience of other women with PGP. We are not medical professionals and cannot offer medical advice and the information we provide should not take the place of advice and guidance from your own health-care providers. Material on this site is provided for information and support purposes only.

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We would also like to acknowledge the support of the National Lottery's Corononavirus Community Support Fund, which funded our COVID-19 Response Project. 

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