Monday 17 June 2019

The critics won't stop me running marathon with eight-month bump - Aoibhin Garrihy

Blooming: Aoibhin Garrihy. Photo: Eamon Ward
Blooming: Aoibhin Garrihy. Photo: Eamon Ward
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Whether it's manuka honey or yoga classes, once you're pregnant everyone has an opinion.

So Aoibhin Garrihy discovered to her cost when she climbed Ireland's highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, and, despite lots of support, some followers questioned her choice, with one calling her "irresponsibly silly."

But the criticism hasn't stopped there.

The RTE beauty explained how her updates during what should be one of the most joyous times in life have been met with strong warnings and 'advice' at every turn.

"When I uploaded a post about manuka honey, I was told I shouldn't be eating it because it breeds bacteria," she said. "Then when I posted a photo in a yoga studio I was told it was dangerous because it affects the blood flow. The whole area of pregnancy and motherhood is a funny one. People are quite opinionated. The most interactions I've ever had on social media is people telling me what's right and what's wrong in pregnancy.

"People have very strong views about everything from birth plans to eating and it is all very new to me.

"I'm probably the least 'mumsy' person I know. I have never seen a baby before this and gotten broody," she laughs. "I didn't know what an epidural was until I got pregnant.

"I just think it's important to look after yourself within limits and remember that pregnancy is not a condition. Everyone knows their own body and baby is boss so, whatever works, go with it."

Far from letting the criticism deter her from her active lifestyle, the presenter says she is currently in training for the VHI women's mini-marathon this June bank holiday weekend.

Though the Castleknock native will be eight months pregnant and due later that month, she is keeping up her training programme and is looking forward to the day.

"I have been doing all the training for it and I am going to try to do it. I am not ruling it out. But I don't want to put pressure on myself so if the weather is good and I get a good night's sleep, then there will be a good chance. I have been going to the gym a bit and walking and doing some park runs in Ennis at the weekend, so we will see."

Aoibhin, who runs a drama school and is a wellness advocate, running Beo Wellness events with her family, says she is in much better spirits following a tougher time during her first trimester. She said: "While we were trying, and we really wanted it to happen, when I got pregnant I was really low in iron and lacking in motivation and the morning sickness was 24/7 for the first three months so that all hit me like a ton of bricks.

"That period was a really lonely time and people don't like to talk about that but at the same time we both know we are very lucky to be expecting. I am in a very good place now. I love swimming and yoga and going for a run and walking the dogs. To me it's more about mindfulness rather than exercise. When I don't get out in the fresh air I start to feel it in my mind."

Now living with husband John in Ennis, Co Clare, she says: "I spend half the week in Dublin and the other half at home. There is something very calming about coming home by the sea."

Part of her feel-good mindset is to stop playing 'keep up' with social media.

She adds: "On social media I learn to unfollow the people I compare myself to and just follow the people I enjoy and get positive vibes out of".

Sunday Independent

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