The mask

pacing the Colville Wilds, Fire Season 2017

pacing the Colville Wilds, Fire Season 2017

it is easy to think of excuses and often there is no solution; it takes grit to look for the solution anyway.

I tossed my icy hand bottle, mask, and dirty trail shoes in the trunk, popped it in gear, and raced to the end of the pavement. once I hit gravel, I drifted my Subaru around every corner, all four tires ripping and all four windows down, singing along to All Them Witches turned up to twenty-two. it was 96F at 4pm with an air quality index worse than Delhi in September 2009 but the baby just fell asleep and the grandparents agreed to watch her so that is when I got to run.

every day I create opportunities to be feral, nearly naked, running uphill like an unteathered trout hucking falls and banging its head against granite banks not for the luxury of it <though beating my feet on Earth as my drum IS the ultimate luxury> but because I need it. I’ve always had too much energy for one body, too much verve inside me to sit still placated by money or upward mobility or matrimony or motherhood; too much vim to be kind until after I’ve had my romp. the movement is the path, the medicine, and the practice.

with the mask sheltering my breathing orifices from the 152 air quality index, the space between chin and bridge of nose felt as though I were running on the Napali Coast while the rest of me, parched and caked with dust, knew for certain that I moved with the numinous Colvilles. knapweed, thistle, and mullein tapped at my marble columns as they tumbled forward, always racing to be first as I fell on the hill over and over. in addition to the condensed breath and sweat that ran a river down my décolletage, the mask made it feel that I’d gone from 2500’ to 9000’ all at once and rather than the smoke giving me a headache slight hypoxia did the job just about as well. 96F began to feel like an oven, a sweet oven basking my skin in a generous sepia, and as I baked therein my entire being glowed with joy. I fell into step with Moose, who ran this way not an hour earlier, and I pondered as I usually do what fearsome beast could make Moose break into a gallop.

this movement is a gift; this movement is my savior and the light that I send out into the universe that lifts us all for the moments when I manage total presence. total ignites inside me, the sparks ripple out, and soon I’m hallucinating that I’m as good a runner as Moose, as deft as Eagle, as still as Hummingbird while I’m in the flow. how the fuck could I sacrifice this way of being to some stupid excuses? “it’s too smoky”, “it’s too hot”, “I don’t want my legs to get all scratched up”, “I’m tired”, “I only want to run single-track”, “this mask is uncomfortable”. give me the pain any day; it will never eclipse the vibration of my body ringing against our body <gonggonggong> as I run with the woods.



The writing practice

always writing, Okanogan Highlands, Autumn 2015

Other than the movement of my physical body in beautiful places, the talks I give, and the meetings I have with clients, writing is my vehicle of communication both as an athlete and as a business owner. A few folks have asked where I learned to write and how I cultivate a creative practice. At risk of being too myopically focused on the practice versus the outcome (it felt a little weird to write about writing) here are my insights on writing.


The practice: I've always enjoyed writing but in 2015 I decided to intentionally cultivate my writing practice. By completing The Artist's Way for twelve weeks at the beginning of the year, I developed vital skills and tools for what has become a key way to work and express myself in recent time. Since 2015, I've continued to write every damn day first for myself and, if I have time, for others to consume. 

Habit vs. ritual: Present in my writing practice are both the habit, or impulse, to write and the rituals surrounding my writing. The habit consists of writing for about an hour each day longhand in my journal. Always with an extra fine blue TUL ballpoint pen in a Moleskine extra large squared soft cover 7 1/2" x 9 3/4" journal - and it all happens in this chair most summer mornings. Over the years I've tried many different combinations of writing tools, including sandbagging myself epically with the 8 1/2" x 11" squared journals, and I find that these are the tools with which I do my most fluid work. My morning pages come before my writing in this space, on social media, and my interviews with various media outlets. Without making my daily habit seem precious, I like to cultivate my writerly space by signalling to myself that it is time to write. I signal this in many ways and the rituals surrounding the practice tend to shift depending on where I'm writing (outdoors while camping, at home, or while traveling). The consistency I cultivate by using ritual to initiate my practice at the beginning of the day makes up for the often-inconsistent nature of my surroundings as I am a highly nomadic person. I find my writing practice to be the single most grounding force in my life.

Boredom: I've been thinking about boredom lately and how important it is to the writing practice I am privileged to take refuge in daily. In my past life in the fast-paced world of big-dollar global development philanthropy, your importance was tacitly equated with how busy you were at work. An employee furiously typing emails and hitting send, sweating under the stress of her heavy deadlines, and staying up until all hours managing her grants was viewed as a good worker, a team player, and received the highest performance ratings possible. Over the last two and a half years away from this un-mindful office culture, having laid down the ways of measuring value that had been imposed on me in the workplace, I have allowed myself to re-think what it means to be effective and to work well. Outright boredom allows there to be space around my thoughts and makes apparent to me the different tones of the egoic voice versus the wise voice - and I know exactly from where I want my work to come. Boredom is the creative's friend.

Monotasking: Efficiency in this new paradigm is not equal to time spent in motion but rather to the mindful way in which I spend my time at work. If it is time to write, I write. If it is time to do the dishes, I do the dishes. If it is time to play with my daughter, I play with her. If it is time to sit still and stare at the river going by, I do my best to not reach for my iPhone or to ruminate on some social interaction I had yesterday or to pick at my three day old manicure. Monotasking is a mindfulness practice, a way of life that will never be perfect; when you become distracted simply note the distraction and refocus on your task or read more here

Creativity is the residue of time wasted.
— Albert Einstein

Building the muscle: Creativity is not a gift, it is a skill. Just as I tell everyone who calls me a 'talented' or 'lucky' athlete that neither of those words are correct when applied to me as an athlete, those words are equally as inappropriate to apply to me as a writer. I was not born with a natural tendency to run ultras alone any more than I was born to write gnostic words about the time I spend in the mountains. I chose to do these things because they are activities that give my life structure and meaning and, when I'm bone dust, I want to leave behind traces of my precious practices for future humans to enjoy. I work hard to be a better writer every day, not as measured by Strunk and White or some professor or honestly even you as a reader, so that I can more clearly represent the pulsation of divine insight that flows through me while I move in the mountains - and so my favorite tool for communicating becomes ever truer to what I intend to convey.

Creative grit: When I work at times during which I am not particularly inspired, I develop my creative grit. In the past, by working only when sporadic inspiration imparted its genius, I taught myself the false lesson that I can only work well under specific conditions and at the specific times that some omniscient outside force chooses. The idea that creativity only happens when we're inspired is, of course, untrue and limiting. This grit allows me to build trust with myself that I am capable of creating every day, under all circumstances, and that my creativity is not something with a finite limit. In turn this grit has allowed me to keep creating consistently even through the first year of my daughter's life despite having many competing responsibilities and a home that was often not quiet (or orderly).

Boundaries: I never, ever share the content of my morning pages. Hard boundary. This single steadfast boundary serves me well, giving me the safe space in which to create ugly, shitty, stupid, vain, and grammatically-incorrect prose that no one will ever read. Once I sift through the often beastly thoughts clouding the choicer, coherent thoughts by resting on the page each morning the words that I speak and write come from a wiser place. Aside from the sanctity of my morning pages, I have an ever-evolving set of boundaries I keep with myself within my writing practice. These boundaries include ones regulating my use of various means of correspondence while I'm writing, making sure to get my pages out of the way before 'broadcasting' my words outside of myself, or from whom I seek feedback on the quality of my writing.



A funny aside: I wrote this article in its entirety about a week ago but lost the whole thing when I switched from online to offline. A lesson in impermanence, trust, and detachment - and not getting pissed off.



Giving up vs. giving in

In endurance sports there is often an unspoken but powerful aversion to vulnerability. Becoming vulnerable means feeling the pain to which you subject yourself; witnessing your own fallibility, lack of preparedness, or even (most terrifying of all) your own power. Athletes often bristle when I talk with them about beginning a dialogue with the parts of them that suffer on long runs or climbs.

And still: becoming soft is vital to realizing your strength. I'll give an example.

In training for the Wonderland Trail in 2012 I ran a solo fifty miler on the Northside Loop starting at sundown to preview the work in store for me on the real run. It was hot: 85F all night even at 7000' and I sweated quickly through my shirt. Even though I was used to running alone in the dark five mornings a week, the immensity and gravitas of the committing route I'd chosen resonated and with each snap of a twig underfoot I tightened. An owl alighted from a fir bough nearly causing me to throw up in fear of the dark unknown unpopulated with other humans and stretching into blackness for miles in each direction. I relaxed into the sensation of being followed and yet alone, hooting every minute or so and finding my feathered companion trailed me for a good hour. 

Then, around 3am, a porcupine launched out of an impossibly-small triangular space between cobbles in the trail and its stumpy legs propelled it along close on my heels and all I could think was: "WHAT THE FUCK: AGAIN?" <aside: I was first chased by a porcupine while lost in a swamp at the base of Mount Stuart in 2009.> After this brief sprint, which occurred around mile thirty-seven, I was pretty discouraged mentally and physically feeling spent. Mara assaulted me and I dropped to the dusty trail. Metabolic waste products ached in my legs making them feel like concrete piers dipped in acid, my stomach churned, my mind spoke nonsense to me that I just happened to be tired enough to believe: "You're not a runner or even an athlete, what the hell are you doing out here? You're not good enough to belly up to a goal like the Wonderland alone or at all for that matter. Who the hell do you think you are to be so audacious? You're fat, you're broken, you're too tired to finish. You might as well give up now and not even try to run the hundred since fifty was clearly too much for you."

This might sound like giving up but it wasn't because of one key aspect of the experience. I let the thoughts spool out, I let my legs ache to hell and back, I let myself lie there in mud created by my own piss on the dust for a long time then, because I'd given myself no escape hatch, I stood, dusted myself off, ate something, and started walking down the trail. The rest of the run took on a softer quality. I found myself crying just before sunrise (that darkest dark, you know?) in a meadow about which I'd dreamed (which consequently bore the name "Mystic") months prior. Though I was in the kind of immense pain that comes for me around mile forty of every long run, the kind that makes my skin feel too tight and inspires me to peel it off for relief, I perceived pleasure in a cool breeze issuing from the mouth of the base of Thermogenesis a few thousand feet up and to my right. A family of goats joined me as I crested the final hill into Sunrise at sunrise, kids skating shale shards off its crest which slashed my legs as I moved like a metronome. In the final drop down to White River Campground where my car sat loaded with blueberries, kombucha, and the remainders of last night's burger my shoulders drooped and I felt the relief of having released my goal.

Immediately upon sitting with the spoils of my snacks, shirtless sweaty back leaned up against my truck tire, I looked at the time: it was only 6:45am, a rather short ten hours since I'd left my car the night before. Huh, I wasn't as slow as I thought I'd be. Then, scanning through my body that had been so focused on the importance of its own productive pain, I realized I wasn't injured or even particularly physically spent. What I had convinced myself was impossible overnight, my goal of running the Wonderland solo and unsupported, began to feel possible again as I realized that I'd achieved what I set out to achieve on what was likely to be my hardest training run.

I was only able to transform into the mind-body tool capable of containing this mountain gnosis because of my willingness to engage self-doubt, pain, and fear as they arose. If I had maintained distance from my experience, ANS fired up all night in a false sense of protection and reactive control, I would have bonked for real sending me into what would have been quite a dangerous situation alone on the trail at night a two day walk from wherever a ranger might depart to rescue me. Instead of resisting the negative emotions, the many Maras of my silly existence, I related with them - however ungracefully it happened. 

When giving up becomes an option, the only way to continue to commit to the growth contained in the experience is to give in. Making yourself vulnerable in the face of creation, universe, or god is necessary to go as far as you can go. To give yourself over fully to the depth of the experience is the only way to access your true power - and let me tell you it runs a lot deeper than bluster, bravado, and happiness.




Colvilles, 2017

Colvilles, 2017

my primary interest in (ultra) endurance is its psychedelic properties. in the altered state of consciousness that comes at three, twelve, thirty, or forty hours in constant motion, the boundaries between Self and Other appear as they actually are: illusory. in this state I forget that I don’t have wings and remember how to fly. here, no thought is secret. I can see the beingness in each stone, lake, gust of wind, Moose, or man. in the last five years of my endurance practice, solo unsupported ultra running has emerged for me as the most accessible path to these altered states - thus leaving lesser loves of rock, ice, altitude, and glacier in the role of subservient practices.

I’ve done psychedelic drugs in the past and find their effects, while stimulating to the gnostic being, lacked the depth of their ultra endurance counterparts. rather than wake up the day after a trip feeling the let down of re-entering normally-perceived reality, the day after a long run or climb or after childbirth provides me with the afterglow of conscious motion with, for, and into that which I believe to be truth of my existence, clarifying a path of love i may walk if i choose in my normal life.

this deepening of perceptive reality is the reason I spend all my time preparing to reach farther and farther into its depths. I must know myself as something ingrained in the very granite on which I travel, something also not separate from you.



MN is five!

Five years ago this week, I registered this business with the state and began my much-oxbowed journey into small business proprietorship. When I started Magnetic North, endurance coaching wasn't a thing; Training for the New Alpinism hadn't come out yet; climbers still called their alternate self-flagellation and debauchery 'training'; and running a fifty miler was still pretty out there. 

I established MN out of curiosity. After training for my first hundred miler and experiencing a thriving mind, body, and spirit, I knew there was something different about the way I approached my mountain practice that allowed me to avoid entropy. I started this business because I wanted to share (ultra) endurance as a practice of self-love, an opportunity to plug back in to the Earth, and a vehicle in which to explore the topics that interested me the most: lucid dreaming and performance, pregnant athleticism (even though I didn't have a child at the time), and the new frontiers of mind-body integration I was exploring in the cadaver lab, the scientific literature, and my own movement.

In its fifth year, MN has hit its stride. Given my many doubts and trials along the way to building this successful, change-making business I've learned a lot. I'll share some of what I've learned here.


Authenticity, there is no other way: Upon first establishing MN I was totally clear on one structural aspect of running a business that is quite different from other outdoor businesses: I would not accept sponsors. Too often these days sponsors' needs and values override the athlete or business they sponsor and, to me as a consumer, this reeks of inauthenticity. By not accepting sponsors I've retained total ownership of my business' vision and I don't have a boss - except for my dear clients.

Low overhead + loyal clients = creative freedom: A primary value of mine, in business and in life, is total freedom to do and say things that may be different or provocative. In order to be nimble and explore cutting-edge (read: TOTALLY CRAY!) new aspects of the endurance life, I've consciously kept my overhead low. Like crazy low. Like this is my highest overhead month ever and it still is under $100. That doesn't mean this business was free to found (I mean, think of how wealthy I'd be if I'd never gone on climbing expeditions or paid tuition for physiology courses or if I'd spent all my time working instead of running!) but it does mean I am unencumbered by the pressure of debt or the need to 'scale up'. PS: Scale as the measure of impact is a farce. By connecting deeply with the clients with whom I work I've been able to build a sustaining user-base that tends to align well with new evolutions of how I do business.

Not everyone will like you and that's okay: It has never been a challenge for me to be a honeybadger (DGAF) but it is worth noting that in the world of small business, your niche is your claim to fame. When you establish a niche and claim your voice, you will inherently winnow out some potential clients even while you gain credibility with others. Not everyone has to agree with or like you; but you still have to respect one another's work.

Fake it till you make it: This doesn't mean to lie to yourself or others about what you're capable of, this just means that even if you're writing to an audience of three in the beginning (and one of them is your mama) then you should write as though a thousand people are reading what you have to say. This is exactly how I started and now I have an international reach via traditional and grassroots media channels. It still boggles my mind how many people have read my work and have shared it with others - especially given my VERY humble beginnings in 2012.

Work your ass off: No small business ever got off the ground without a good deal of chutzpah. Apply your passion to your mission, people, and you'll see results. This process may take years of rather unrewarding churn and shittons of self doubt but nothing beats good old fashioned dogged persistence.

Imposter syndrome: When I first started this business I was nearly paralyzed by not feeling smart/good/strong/fast/educated enough and I still get imposter syndrome sometimes. The best thing I can tell you to navigate imposter syndrome? Anytime that perfectionistic impulse to do nothing out of fear that it isn't good enough sets in, ask yourself: If I believed in myself what would I do next? Then do it. Send that email, make that coffee date with a bigwig in your field, reach out to that news outlet, fucking go for it. The worst you'll hear back is 'no' - and you better get used to hearing 'no' real quick.

Start small, start now: On the aforementioned perfectionism. It is tempting to start a business only once your idea is perfect, your website is super polished, your clients are already lined up but sometimes the best thing to do is just to leap. While I was still working a day job I started offering weekend mindfulness and running retreats, hosting a 6am trail running group, and blogging weekly. Think up a limited menu of services you will offer and offer them now - even if only one person signs up it is worth it.

Boundaries: Part of running a small business is being vulnerable because the thing you've chosen to do is inherently something about which you're passionate. For me, after a decade working dispassionately for a good cause, starting this business and proclaiming my personal interest in endurance was terrifying. Using my voice in a public forum was something that took years of getting used to. In order to feel like I was establishing real connections through my business but that my unprocessed personal stuff wasn't out for display I adhered strongly to the Brené Brown method. Though my reach has changed drastically and though I review my boundaries of what I share and I what I don't share regularly, my short list of people has remained remarkably the same today as it was five years ago.

Word-of-mouth is gold - and the Nordstrom policy is the best by which to operate your business. Nuff said.

Profitability and taxes: Aim for year-over-year profitability and track your shit people! Don't get hit with a big end-of-year tax bill like I was in 2014 and use Mint or Square or Quickbooks or something to track your ins and outs. Budgeting for a small business can be tough but the least you can do is to stay organized so tax time doesn't take you by surprise. Another interesting thing to note is that I've been profitable since day one - thanks to my aforementioned low low overhead.

Haters and copycats: Kierkegaard’s prescient statement about dem haters: “Showing that they don’t care about me, or caring that I should know they don’t care about me, still denotes dependence.” *boom* When you get your first copycat you know you've really made it. Let them haters and copycats be, if they crop up on social media delete their shitty comment and report them for bullying. And remember: it probably took the copycat a long time to imitate your brilliant work and by then you've already moved on to new, spectacular heights of creative work. It is too bad they are making themselves small by shouting from the cheap seats or undermining their own creative gifts by trying to steal your joy - but that doesn't really have much to do with you, now does it?

My favorite business resource: Being Boss.


Now go get em, tiger!



"Last Stand" film premier in Seattle this Wednesday

Seattle peeps!

My good friend, mountain running buddy, and climbing partner David Moskowitz has finished his film on mountain caribou. You may remember his post on why mountain athletes should be environmentalists from last year.

Over the past two years, Dave and his collaborators dove deep into forest politics and what they mean for this dwindling species. Communicated with great beauty, depth, and hope, they have distilled their experiences into a piece of journalistic and photographic excellence - and it is coming your way.

Be sure to stop by the Mountaineers HQ in Magnusson Park at 7:30pm this Wednesday. If you're curious to learn more before you go (or to share the work far and wide) check out the trailer.

Brittany Raven



Why I use the pronouns 'ki' and 'kin'

Objectification of the natural world reinforces the notion that our species is somehow more deserving of the gifts of the world than the other 8.7 million species with whom we share the planet. Using ‘it’ absolves us of moral responsibility and opens the door to exploitation. When Sugar Maple is an ‘it’ we give ourselves permission to pick up the saw. ‘It’ means it doesn’t matter.
— Robin Wall Kimmerer, "Nature Needs A New Pronoun"

You may have noticed in my recent Instagram and blog posts that I use the terms ki and kin to describe the more-than-human. 

While reading Robin Wall Kimmerer's Gathering Moss and Braiding Sweetgrass as well as listening to her interviewed on my favorite podcast, On Being, I developed a great affinity for her work. Kimmerer is a professor, a community leader, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and a brilliant writer exploring the intersection of science, culture, and intuitive knowing.

We know we're a part of the land with whom we dance. On a cellular level, transcending all politics or spiritual beliefs, we remember ki is a part of us; the physical and experiential representation that we are, indeed, one organism incarnate in multitudinous different bodies yet all dependent on Earth and Source.

These endurance practices that bring me into greater attunement with the natural world with whom, and as whom, I dance are practices of awakening. By assigning a dehumanizing, dead pronoun to them I place myself in hierarchical superiority to kin's unthinkable power and intelligence. That is false.

As we begin speaking and thinking about the natural world in terms permitted by speech that recognizes kin as yet another living being, other antiquated constructs also fall easily away; the paradigm of competitive achievement begins to look unnecessarily extractive to the athlete on a spiritual path of oneness; the notions of 'conquering' a mountain or 'devirginizing' a summit begin to feel as violent and non-consensual as they actually are.

By speaking about the land (snow, ice, owl, dirt, rock, trees, deer, all of them) as our equals, as co-creators in the mountain experience, we create space for beauty, connection, and recovery alongside the more-than-human and between each other.



Hey you with the desk job, it is time to get outside.

a little weekday Fun, Mazama

a little weekday Fun, Mazama

When I read a recent Seattle Times article on the growth of sitting-intensive jobs I couldn't help but feel sad. Most people I know who have recently transplanted to the Seattle Area have two things in common: a love of the outdoors and a sitting-intensive job.

I can help you desk jockeys reconcile this difference.

After a ten-year career in the non-profit world, much of it spent at a 9-5 desk job in Seattle, I transitioned to being an elite athlete running a small business in a mountain town. During that decade spent working full-time and living in the city, I learned how to deftly navigate the world of training as a mountain athlete in the limited time I had available. These strategies include prioritization, periodization, recovery, and useful tips for business travel as an athlete. 

So, while you try to scheme your way out of the city and into a little cabin in the woods running, climbing, and skiing to your heart's content, engage me as your coach. My clients find our engagements help them get clear on training priorities and reduce their injuries thus spending all of their off-hours enjoying the mountains.

I've onboarded a whole passel of new clients this month so the next openings are in July. Snag one now and I'll be able to support your summer goals!



the glaciers

lonely glacier, Glacier Peak Wilderness

lonely glacier, Glacier Peak Wilderness

There’s a great intelligence there. We’ve been treating the earth as if it were a supply house and a sewer. We’ve been grabbing, extracting, resources from it for our cars and our hair dryers and our bombs, and we’ve been pouring the waste into it until it’s overflowing, but our earth is not a supply house and a sewer. It is our larger body. We breathe it. We taste it. We are it, and it is time now that we venerate that incredible flowering of life that takes every aspect of our physicality.
— Joanna Macy, On Being podcast



Pregnant Athlete: Dispelling Myths Series, #4

A pregnant athlete should expect to recover more slowly from her workouts.



Increased stem cell activity initiated by the fetus in its mother's body has a two-fold positive affect on the recovering pregnant athlete's body: 1. Faster recovery from injuries and 2. Increased rates of angiogenesis.

Something NFL athletes have known, and exploited, for quite some time is that increased stem cell activity reduces their recovery time from injuries and surgeries. In particular tendon injuries seem to see a healing burst as a result of increased stem cell activity. By better understanding the meaning and utility of exercise, one can also extrapolate the importance of a boost in stem cell activity in recovery from particularly strenuous exercise.

Bones and tissue in our bodies are constantly breaking down and replacing themselves. During exercise, bone and muscle tissue breaks down as an adaptation to the applied stimulus and is replaced by stronger material. The faster this process can occur, the faster the athlete can recover, the more stimuli can be stacked close to one another, the stronger the athlete can feasibly become.

By thinking about recovery from weight-bearing and endurance exercise as the need for tissue regeneration it is easy to understand why, when I was pregnant, it was near-impossible to become sore from a workout and I felt my recovery time had decreased. It is also good to note that one major aim of endurance training is to induce higher rates of angiogenesis, or endothelial cell proliferation and an increase in capillary blood vessels.

Enter fetal-maternal microchimerism (also known as fetomaternal microchimerism or FMc). According to Zhong and Weiner's 2007 study on pregnant mice:

Fetal stem cells appear to respond to maternal injury signals and may play a role in maternal tissue regeneration during pregnancy. Massive new blood vessels were formed around the injury site which indicated the incidence of high angiogenesis events during the recovery of the skin injury. 

In an even more mind-boggling turn, the fetus continues to supply stem cell support to its mother even after it has departed from her body.

Fetal cells have also been identified in skin lesions of women with systemic sclerosis, a disease of unknown origin which often occurs in women after their child-bearing years.

This boost in FMc continues for quite some time according to Bianchi et al

In humans, PAPCs (pregnancy associated proginator cells) have been described to persist in mothers almost three decades postpartum.


This means that recovery times decrease and the injury-assisting qualities of fetal stem cell activity increase in the maternal body even after pregnancy. Now that is some rad sci-fi shit I couldn't dream up if I tried.

If you're into doing research on this sort of thing, doctors, please do us ladies a favor and dig deeper on the topic than I was able to do in this article. You owe it to preggos everywhere. Those burly NFL players only wish they could be pregnant athletes.