Elite runner, Olympic hopeful, and mother of two Stephanie Rothstein Bruce proves that even professional athletes go through the same post-baby struggles. Stretch marks and all, Stephanie has been embracing her body since giving birth to two babies within 15 months of each other, and has been open about her journey back to strength on Instagram. In addition to common physical postpartum changes, she also has a more serious condition called diastasis recti, the separation of abdominal sides due to pregnancy or multiple births. But Stephanie isn't letting that hold her back.
The runner has been focusing on core-strengthening exercises to build up her midsection once again, and with a positive attitude at that.
It still looks like a hot mess but the stability and strength is coming back to my core. The big 3: bird dogs, side planks, McGill crunch performed twice a day, everyday with extreme precision. It's boring, monotonous but gets the job done. Stretch marks are here to stay! #14weekpostpartum #diastasisrecti #keepingitreal
Just five months after giving birth, Stephanie ran and won the Cardiff Kook 10K, her first competitive race since the Utica Boilermaker 15K in 2013.
"In the moments standing on the start line at the Kook Run I experienced that self doubt that anyone who has been away from racing for years would. But as soon as the gun went off, the feeling floated away and the confidence I felt at the Boilermaker 15k came back. I belonged out there again and it became a race against myself," she wrote on her blog. Recently, Stephanie ran her first National Championship since having children and finished at second place.
Her unbreakable spirit is incredibly inspiring to all moms and non-moms alike.