A mother of two completed an Ironman competition while pumping breast milk for her infant.
Jaime Sloan, 34, an active-duty Air Force Airman in Tuscon, Ariz., who gave birth seven months ago, was determined to complete the 70.3-mile Ironman in October, an intense fitness challenge that includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle, and a 26.2-mile marathon.
According to Kennedy News and Media, Sloan had struggled with a low breast milk supply, so if necessary she was prepared to stop and pump between the biking and swimming portions of the race. However, not wanting to break her momentum, she made the decision to multitask.
“I was thinking I might even be able to make it through the whole race without pumping. But I knew that this particular day would be a longer one and I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to go,” Sloan said, according to Kennedy News and Media.
“I just thought ‘I’m just going to do it on my run,” she said. “I figured that coming off the bike would be the best time to do it as my legs would be tired anyway, and I would probably want to walk a little bit. I’ve always found a way of incorporating pumping into my training schedule. I used to ride my bike to a bike path and then sit there and pump and then get right on my bike.”
Sloan was encouraged by the crowd and shared that two confused men even mistook her cover-up for a bandage, believing she was injured. “But once they looked down and saw my pump they were like ‘Oh, okay!’ Everybody I’ve spoken to and everybody who has seen it has said, ‘Wow that’s great!’”
However, she tried to be discreet. “To be honest, it was a little bit awkward, just because I was so tired from the ride and the swim,” she said, per Kennedy News and Media. “I was trying to get it going, and there were people everywhere and I was trying not to flash them. I was nervous at first that I would get some weird looks or even get disqualified due to nudity, but I did my best to cover up and make it work.”
The mom, who could not be reached by Yahoo Lifestyle, said, “I was concerned about possible nudity, as Ironman has a no-nudity policy, so I was super worried about getting disqualified for that — because it was really windy and the cloth I had over my top was kind of blowing around. I was able to run for a while and then the milk started spilling out.”
Completing the Ironman was a breakthrough for Sloan, who finished beating her personal best by 30 minutes. She wanted to prove that setting goals, even as a new mother, was possible.
“I hope that it can encourage other women and mothers and really anyone who has a lot going on in their lives,” she said, according to Kennedy News and Media. “There’s always a way that you can make it happen; you might have to get a little creative from time to time. No matter what, if someone believes they can do something, they can make it happen because it is possible.”
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