On March 31st, I will be running an 8 week “Diapers & Dumbbells” class at CrossFit for Glory. Classes will be 45 min – 1hr, and friendly to new moms – no matter where you are in your postpartum journey.
But before we talk more about that class, I wanted to share a little about my journey:
My daughter Ava arrived at 9:43pm on August 2, 2019. I will never forget those first moments. The feeling of relief that she was here but also the all encompassing feeling that I had no idea what I was doing.
Before Ava, my life pretty much revolved around my work, working out and whatever I wanted. I was the new Head Coach at CrossFit for Glory and for the first time in a long time, feeling very fulfilled in my career. Prior to this, I had taught 6 years of highschool health and PE. I had played women’s tackle football and was a dedicated weightlifter, competing in local and state meets. And of course, I did CrossFit for fun. I felt my strongest and healthiest. My then fiancé and I just made it through our first deployment and were excited to tie the knot in November.
We found out I was pregnant 4 weeks after our wedding day. To say we were elated is an understatement. I was happy but scared. So much of who I was, was built on being an athlete and very active. I was competitive. I pushed my limits. I lifted heavy weight! I coached CrossFit and weightlifting DAILY. On top of that I was learning how to help people through nutrition coaching. You would think I would know how to have a “fit pregnancy”. Well I didn’t.
I remember that I had signed up for the 2019 CrossFit Open at 16 weeks pregnant so I could be a part of the magic. What I didn’t realize was how emotional that would be! I found myself crying and frustrated that I could not be and do what I had before. Luckily a good friend of mine, Lydia, reminded me that I was doing something amazing. I was growing and carrying a child. This helped to shift my perspective.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved being pregnant but it was also super hard. I was sick most days until about 26 weeks. My back was on fire or sore and so were my lungs if I tried to move fast. For my check ups, I met with different doctors and they all pretty much said the same things. “Keep doing what you’re doing, you look great!”. The problem was I didn’t even know what I was doing until I decided to do a little research and find out about what the heck was going on with my body.
There was minimal actual guidance of how to “fitness” during my pregnancy from my doctors. I mean, literally nothing. There were so many questions going through my head that I knew I couldn’t ask them. I was also the Head Coach, so shouldn’t I know what to do? “How hard can I work out?” “Can I still snatch heavy?” “Are pull ups ok?” “How do I know if it’s bad pain or just wod pain?” “How much weight will I gain?” The confusion and uncertainty was overwhelming at times.
I feel lucky that I didn’t fall into pushing myself too hard because it would’ve been very easy to do so. Hearing/seeing other women’s journeys on social media was somewhat difficult because it was either they were dealing with issues and inactive or elite CrossFit athletes killing it daily. It wasn’t until my third trimester that I started following Brianna Battles and the Bloom Method. These methodologies aligned with what I felt was right for my pregnancy.
By the end of my pregnancy I had gained 40lbs. It could have been because some days I just ate cereal or had grilled cheeses. It could have been because I craved ice cream and milk daily, especially after dealing with acid reflux and morning sickness for months. But I think that my weight gain was what my body needed to gain to grow Ava. I don’t know why I looked for excuses as to why I gained it because it’s just what happened. I’ve lost about 32 of those 40lbs but it didn’t happen overnight. At 6 months postpartum, I’m still working through my nutrition and the truth is that being a nutrition coach and helping others actually helps me. I do my best to ignore the “bounce back” message we see all over social media and respect what my body has given me and continues to give Ava.
As a new mom, a postpartum woman and athlete navigating this fitness journey, I’ve learned a lot. Each day I learn something new and I think about how much I wish I knew this or that before! I started my way back to fitness by completing an 8 week postpartum program by myself. It was absolutely the right choice for my body, I just wish I had others to do it with! I’m still recovering and there are many things I can’t do or am just not ready to do. Running feels different, lifting isn’t the same and I sure don’t move as fast as I’d like to. But I need to be patient.
Another thing I’ve realized is…finding time to workout is hard! Or at least harder than I’d like it to be. I’m fortunate to have access to a gym and home gym because some days, it’s just what works best for Ava instead of going to a regular class.
I want other new moms to be able to have a space and environment that is supportive and safe for them and their babies. A time and place that moms can move their bodies without having to leave their babies, yet still have some “me” time. When I look back, I wish I had a partner or a group to complete my postpartum workouts with so that’s something I want to provide to others.
This is a chance to get out of the house, bring your baby, meet other moms, sweat, and learn about postpartum fitness considerations from a qualified coach. We’ll get through this phase of fitness together.
Stay tuned for our next post where we will have full details. If you KNOW you just have to be a part of this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot now!