Pregnant CrossFitter - Hannah Marley
For those who do not know me, I have currently been a member of crossfit KoP for over two years and just recently had my son in May 2010. Prior to being pregnant, I was able to make a fairly consistent 5-6 times a week to the gym. I was a high school athlete and continued my passion for sports in college. I become a health and physical education teacher. I love fitness and nutrition, though I do follow any strict diet or limit myself to certain foods. I eat a little or a lot of everything. To be honest, I crossfit so I can eat! Within my first year, I lost about 20 lbs and gained muscle all over my body. I continued to gain strength and endurance in my workouts. I looked forward to working out everyday!
I found out I was pregnant in September 2009 and my first thought was I had to quit crossfit and I am going to get fat! I attempted to discuss working out with my doctor. If your doctor does not crossfit, they won’t get it! I heard a lot of, “don’t get your heart rate over 140.” Are you kidding me? I walk up the stairs and I well over 140! I researched what there was on pregnancy and crossfitting and there was not a lot, but I was able to read Carey Kepler’s blog and she had several posts about her pregnancy. If she can do it, why can’t I? I spent the entire 9 months of my pregnancy at the box whenever I had the time and energy. I rx’d most wods until my body and mind told me not to. My first and foremost concern was the health of my child. I kept a journal of my workouts and thoughts during my pregnancy. Here is a journal entry I found just weeks before my delivery, “I have learned to compensate for 35 extra pounds, poor balance, flexibility, and agility. In the long run this will make me a better crossfitter. I am more in tuned to my body and mind. For the past 9 months, I have had training unlike anyone else in the box has had…” A week later I wrote this, “I have been mostly frustrated, miserable, and angry while working out. It really sucks watching my PR’s slip away, slower times, loss of movement, but I know I will have gained so much more. I will have a beautiful baby.” Crossfitting while pregnant is not easy. You deal with hormones that men cannot even grasp. You have your bad days and you have your good days.
I worked out a week up until I had my son. My last wod rx’d was 20 shoulder to overhead #115 and 40 sandbag burpees (chest to the deck). I was in labor for 30+ hours and my doctor then decided to give me a c-section. Liam was born on May 29, 2010 weighing in at 10 lbs 5 oz and 23 inches long. To put that in perspective the average baby weighs about 7lbs 7 oz and 14-20 inches long. I am not claiming crossfit helps make big, strong, healthy babies, but that is what happened in my case!
Liam is now 3 months old, and I have the challenge of working off a few extra pounds. I am still not where I was prior to being pregnant, but I will get there. I am not going to say it’s been easy, because it hasn’t, not one bit. I have to deal with the surgery from my c-section and the lack of sleep and energy from having a newborn. It is a battle to show up to the gym day after day. I just do my best. This makes me healthier and I want to be that example for my son.
I am not a doctor, but my words of advice for pregnant mothers would be to continue working out and listen to your body. When your body is tired, then rest. If you feel good, and want to lift heavy weight, then just do it but be careful.
If anyone has any questions about my experience or just want to talk about crossfitting while pregnant, I am would love to hear from you!