Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Pregnant CrossFitter - Tori"

My name is Tori and I have been a CrossFitting yogini throughout my entire pregnancy. This is my second pregnancy. I also work as a music therapist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, teach yoga, and am an avid runner. I ran until I was 20 weeks pregnant when my bladder told me that it would explode if I kept it up. So, I switched to walking and my in-home stationary bike. I am currently 39 weeks pregnant and just did a CrossFit practice (I mean workout) today, "The Baseline". I call it a practice because that's what I am used to as we call yoga, "a practice". I have found that the things I do to stay physically and mentally healthy are practices in life. It is a discipline. That's what I have seen my "CrossFit practice" as...a way to maintain health during my pregnancy.

When I was about 7 weeks pregnant I was told that I had a subchorionic hematoma and that I couldn't exercise at all. That lasted about 4 weeks and was the most frustrating part of this pregnancy. You see, I had just run 8 miles a couple days before my positive pregnany test and started being able to attend crossfit classes regularly before I found out that I was pregnant. It was disappointing to me that I had to take a few steps backwards. However, everything turned out to be fine and I approached Aimee to help me maintain my CrossFit practice throughout my pregnancy. I set up private sessions with her for a few months to learn how to scale and modify the crossfit workouts. I had plenty of experience modifying my yoga practice as I have had a yoga practice for 11 years now and had practiced yoga throughout my last pregnancy. Working with Aimee taught me proper form, how to adjust myself around my growing belly, and what/how to subsitute. It was very empowering to be able to attend a regular class and know how I could participate.

So why has it been so important for me to maintain a CrossFit practice when I already practiced yoga and was active? Why couldn't I have just picked it back up after my pregnancy? First of all, I just wanted to. Second of all, it is a very holistic approach to fitness and I really gravitate towards that. Third, it made me feel good about myself as a woman. I am not concerned about setting PR's or lifting a huge amount of weight. I am concerned with being healthy and being completely present in my body. Lastly, I believe that I am starting my child's life in a healthy manner. My baby is benefiting from my healthy body and healthy mind. There is such an intimate physiological and spiritual connection that we as mothers can experience with our babies in utero that it just makes sense to me to maintain the things that make me feel healthy. I work with many sick children and was sick for my last pregnancy to the point where it was life threatening. This time around, I am healthy. I never take it for granted and I will never give up on it. It is a part of my life whether I am pregnant or not. CrossFit has integrated naturally within that life practice.