Pregnancy and Crossfit – Two Peas in a Pod

Exercise devotee managed seven months of pregnancy sans workout modification

But it finally happened. I needed to modify a crossfit workout. For the most part I had been able to perform the WOD (workout of the day) with a lighter weight than the prescribed amount for the workouts. But it’s evident that I am now at the point in this pregnancy that a couple movements need to be modified to accommodate not only the growing baby bump but also the plethora of physical changes that go with it.

(Photo by Jessica Schroeder, CrossFit Sandstorm Coach)

(Photo by Jessica Schroeder, CrossFit Sandstorm Coach)

I guess I lasted pretty long though; seven months of pregnancy without needing to alter a body-weight or barbell or kettle bell weighted exercise. The coaches and I chose to change one exercise at a time to identify what the cause of my discomfort may be from.

The movement we began with an alternate for was kettle bell swings.  A few days prior we completed a kettle bell swing, 400m run and double under jump rope conditioning workout. Today was a kettle bell swing, goblet squat and 400m run workout. Coach Jim modified the kettle bell swings to sumo dead lifts. This was a new lift for me in terms of hand position and feet position but by no means a foreign movement for my body or muscles. Following this workout I didn’t have all of the same recovery aches as I had with the kettle bell swings. Modify as needed.

I’m an incredibly competitive individual; both internally and with those around me. I don’t want to need to modify; but I’m glad to know there are adaptations in crossfit so in order for everyone of every ability level to exercise together and get something great out of it. I may not be going as hard and heavy and pushing myself as much as I usually do, but that’s because I have baby on the brain and in the belly!

First and foremost, I must insure she’s safe. A close second though, I need to make certain I’m not getting injured so that I can continue to exercise. Getting injured to a point where I have to stop completely, lose the momentum and lose all the benefits of exercising three to five times a week would be devastating for me.

I love to exercise! I love crossfit as a regimen! I love to run!

But overexerting myself at the expense of not being able to do another workout tomorrow is not an option. I suppose being able to alter an exercise in order to get a really good workout in is just as beneficial as pushing past your limits, potentially sustaining an injury and thus not being to exercise the next day.

A 500m row before a series of 30 wall balls. Anna in the front, husband Kevin behind. (Photo by Jessica Schroeder, CrossFit Sandstorm Coach)

A 500m row before a series of 30 wall balls. Anna in the front, husband Kevin behind. (Photo by Jessica Schroeder, CrossFit Sandstorm Coach)

I really appreciate all the coaches at CrossFit Sandstorm taking the extra time with me to modify the written workout and showing me multiple substitutes for exercises. The further I get along in this pregnancy the more I notice I have to change and alter what I usually do. That’s all okay, I understand.

I understand at this time I won’t be as limber as I was pre-pregnancy. Nor is my body as strong as it was in the same ways as it was. But I also understand that it’s doing this amazing thing on its own and all I have to do in my brain is go ahead and let it do the most natural thing of all and support it in creating this little girl. I also have to keep eating right, not overindulge my maple donut fetish, and making sure that I keep up the exercise regimen that I do have even if that means cutting back on weight, or altering movements.

I dread getting to a point where I have to sit on a couch or, heaven forbid, be on bed rest. So I will continue to attend classes at CrossFit Sandstorm. I will continue to let the coaches know when I need some sort of modification or assistance from their expertise and understanding of how the body works. I will continue to appreciate the knowledge the coaches have in being able to help all ability levels walk into the Box, do the same workout as the rest of the athletes, scaled and modified as necessary.

I love being able to walk into a Box and not be judged for being pregnant, not be put off to the side like some fragile delicate thing. At the same time, I am cared for, watched over with an extra set of eyes to make sure I’m not pushing too hard.

Here’s to continuing to perform thrice-weekly WODs (workout of the day) for the duration of the pregnancy and long after our baby girl is crawling and walking and running on her own. Cheers!


Simultaneously Excited and Apprehensive

Waves of excitement, pure unadulterated joy followed by anxiety about everything under the sun…that pretty much sums up my general state of being. I suppose that’s partially a bi-product of this pregnancy. But for me it’s also the complete shift of working for myself/my clients from home to working full-time in an office nearly an hour’s drive away.

I recently accepted a full-time position with the Army National Guard as a military technician. For this gal who’s spent the past two and half years as a solopreneur working to build a business, the shift is going to be a challenge. I have been lucky enough to be blessed in so many ways through this business journey. Continue reading

Who Designs Military Maternity Uniforms? Must be Men

After more than eleven years serving in the U.S. Army National Guard and I’m still struggling with uniform issues.I began my career during the end of the BDUs (pants and tops in the camouflage green pattern, black boots), and soft cotton sweats for physical training. After a few years, the Army transitioned to the current digital grey pattern (Army Combat Uniform or ACU) with some upgrades to the trousers and blouse. These included a zipper close on the top instead of a row of buttons, pockets galore to even include a pocket on the bottom left sleeve for writing utensils.

But they also included velcro. Velcro tabs to hold the top’s flap closed, velcro on ALL the pockets, velcro for all the interchangeable name tapes and rank. The boots changed from black to desert tan which signaled the end of spending hours each evening shining boots. (I often wondered what the Drill Sergeants replaced that discipline skill with in Basic Combat Training.) Continue reading

The Third Time I Trudged Through the Bataan Memorial Death March

This was the third time I’ve participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March. The first year I entered in the military heavy category. This meant I wore my full Army uniform, including combat boots and carried a 42 lbs ruck sack (a military issued backpack). The requirement is 35 lbs. How did I end up with 42 lbs then? Well, that’s what happens when you train with two fellow females and one shows up the morning of the march with entirely too much weight and we distribute it. Bad idea. Bring non-perishable food items instead of military issued gear so you can donate what you don’t need to make weight. Continue reading

What is failure exactly?

What exactly is failure? Is it a lack of being able to accomplish a task or reach a goal? Is it giving up even if you have the resources to finish? Is it not getting started in the first place? What is your definition of failure? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.

Take chances, make mistakes.Webster’s defines failure as an “omission of occurrence or performance” or  “lack of success”. That seems a bit too narrow in my mind. Let me first say I hate failing. Loath, despise and abominate failing! Continue reading

On the Quest for Harmony

Harmony Work-Life Balance

I recently watched a TED talk presented by Nigel Marsh titled “How to Make Work-Life Balance Work“. In light of some upheaval during the past week, I found it a poignant topic. Am I in the right line of work? Am I pursuing it properly? What about my commitments outside my business?

Marsh argues that, “Certain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningfully engaged on a day-to-day basis with a young family.” He also posits that a work-life balance does not mean the same things to every human being on the planet. I too alluded to that sentiment in my previous post on this topic. In addition, his comment stuck with me that being balanced doesn’t mean I have to do a full 180 degree turn to find some solace. Continue reading