Michelle Leigh: “adjusting my swing due to my growing belly”

A fellow PinkStig pro, Tijana Kraljevic sent me an article written by the Chicago Tribune heading, “For top female athletes, pregnancy no longer a career roadblock.” I love this heading as for a long time I always assumed that if I wanted to start a family, I had to retire from playing professional golf so I could raise my children as well as the physical hiccups I would encounter.

I was always jealous of the idea that a male professional could continue playing well into his wives pregnancy and start up again whenever he felt like it. Even if it is only a week after their baby is born. That he never had to stop his career but merely put it on hold for a while. Why did I have to stop as well? Yes, the first few months your baby is more reliant on its mother ie. Breastfeeding but why should it stop you forever?

Catriona Matthew with her daughter

Catriona Matthew who is a well known player on the LPGA Tour won the Brazil Cup when she was 5 months pregnant and went on to win the Women’s British Open only 3 months after giving birth to her second child. I feel that if you believe you can get back to the level of greatness that you were and even excel it, then nothing can get in your way. Why should it? Nothing has ever stopped anyone from doing anything they believed they could.

My daughter will be going on 5 months old when the Sunshine Ladies Tour will begin again. I have 100% belief that I will be more than ready to compete with my fellow players again. Not because I have to in order to keep my child fed,  but because I have a passion for the game and am not ready to walk away. I will always put my daughter first and make sure that she is happy and healthy. But like many women, I can do anything my heart desires.

At this point in time in my pregnancy, the only thing I am finding to be a challenge is adjusting my swing to now accommodate my growing belly as well as the fatigue that is setting in a lot quicker. The first thing I asked the doctor was if I could continue playing golf? Absolutely I could.

The exercise would always be good. He also said that I should continue to do everything I did before I was pregnant and that’s exactly what I have done.

I think every female athlete should know that there is no such thing as limitations. Every sport is starting to become an equal between men and women. Don’t let anything stop you from perusing all your dreams as I am doing. There are going to be critics but without them, life would just be a string of Thursdays with no motivation.

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