Athlete Profile | Olivia Leblond

French-born Olivia Leblond has been CrossFitting for two years gave birth to her first born in February. A self designated ninja in the making, Olivia was supported by her spouse to CrossFit during her pregnancy. It was her daily social outing. Olivia and her husband are currently living in Singapore, where pregnancy advice is “by the book,” meaning you’re not allowed to lift anything nor let your heart rate go too high. She tried to explain what she was doing but her doctor just dismissed her. “In that sense, I did take a risk,” Olivia said. “But I only did because it was a low risk pregnancy. Had it been any different, I would have taken down the training intensity a lot.”

More from Olivia

How did you find crossfitandpregnant.com? The day I found out about the pregnancy, my first google search was “CrossFit pregnant”. Though, I’m still rather new to CrossFit, I had been educating myself extensively to become a (good) coach at the time. So I just didn’t want to throw all that away.
Why I started CrossFit: Because I did the usual aerobics. Then the Insanity videos. And then I was desperate to find something tougher. It may be a coincidence that a box opened in my city at the time.
Other exercise practices: if I had the time, I’d do gymnastics. And if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d run but I always make excuses.
My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: I wanted to maintain my strength and avoid all the usual pains and aches you hear of. Oh and I wanted to prove to the world that CrossFit can be adapted to EVERYONE. In the future, I’d love to help women before/during/after pregnancy; so I’m my own Guinea pig.
CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? In the community, the other athletes at the box, the strangers on Instagram, from my husband and my distance coach in the U.S.
CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration? I’ve been going to New Hampshire every year for the past 18 years. Two years ago, I visited a box – White Mountain CrossFit – and as I sat there watching a class, this amazing 7-8 months pregnant woman was doing pull ups better than anyone else. That day I said, if I’m ever preggers, I want to be like her! Oh and her coach is now my coach too!
Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: that your body is pretty intelligent and you can trust it. I’ve learned that you can be super strong when pregnant. I felt amazing at the gym. I’ve also learned that working out stopped the morning sickness.
Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: it’s a mental challenge – specifically not being able to do certain movements anymore. As the pregnancy advanced, I had to stop abs, then pistols, then box jumps. And I felt very heavy the last few weeks. The muscle definition went away as well.
Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? I’ve kept my diet more or less the same as before. I’ve always eaten clean-ish. I do love candy every once in a while. Quantity wise, it’s been rather normal portions. I have kept on taking protein as usual. I just made sure the products I was ingesting were as natural as possible.
Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Don’t listen to the haters, but listen to your body. It’s amazing how the body knows if something is wrong. Some movements were OK the first months and all of a sudden, it felt wrong, so I stopped.
What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: the fact that in the box, even pregnant, you’re still an “athlete.” You’re part of something that’s not about the baby but about yourself. It’s nice for a change. The only difference in the box is your status from “one of the athlete” to “badass mom.”
Modifications you’d like to share with others: it’s not really modifications, it’s more about accessory work. I did loads to support the heavier body and the birth strains. Just bank on the accessory work! I wasn’t following the normal classes. I’m lucky to have a coach in the U.S. sending me a daily program and he looooves accessory work!
Lessons learned: time your pregnancy so you’re not completely out for The {CrossFit Games} Open – haha! I missed it all this year. ☹
If you could do it all again, you would: do the exact same!
Favorite quote: “Push it like you’re giving birth” that’s what I yell at people nowadays.
Favorite girl WOD: Annie. Simple and efficient.
Three words that describe me: mad, resilient, upright
When I’m not in the box, you can find me: At starbucks or sleeping
***
Thanks for sharing your story, Olivia! Enjoy your sweet baby!
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Whole 30 Convenience

WHOLE 30 | Thirty days done and not ready for it to be over! We’re both feeling really good, are making strides in losing weight and inches, and are seeing better performance at CrossFit and honestly, in life.

HOWEVER …

I love my convenience foods (mostly bars) for my on-the-go days. It’s really hard for me to sit down to a breakfast (I’m a bit better at lunch). Totally get this goes against the Whole 30 mindset, but can’t beat the grab-and-go for when I’m literally grabbing and going with the kids, work, CrossFit, etc.

I was asked by Reviews.com to share their protein bar reviews. I didn’t agree with the list at all. While I honestly haven’t tried any of the bars in the list, my first impression is it’s a list of options chock full of processed, nutty, sugary options; I didn’t see this as the best resource. Reviews.com did eliminate bars that didn’t have 10G or more of protein. So they took a stand in their reviews with an emphasis on protein, and some other factors they list. I respect the stand … just not the results.

We have some of our own favorites – a few of which are Whole 30 approved – but we base our selections on total ingredients (not just protein). *None of the following content is sponsored – just my personal opinion.*

LARBARS – Gluten free * Dairy free * Soy free * Non GMO * Vegan * Kosher. I don’t feel guilty sharing with the kids and I definitely sneak ’em so I can savor all the yumminess. My favorite is cherry pie – dates, almonds, and unsweetened cherries make up this little bad boy. Sooo tasty! And extra good right out of the refrigerator. Not a ton of protein (5G), but it’s definitely filling and hits the sweet tooth cravings. Best price has been from Sprouts at $1/each.

Rx Bars – Chad bought a sample box for us at the start of our Whole 30. Touted as “No B.S.” with the ingredients listed right on the front. We didn’t have the ones with peanuts (because duh, legumes), but the others were tasty. Again a great sweet tooth and on-the-go Whole 30 option. {If you want to try one – get the MINT one – like a Thin Mint but SO MUCH BETTER!} We bought the sample pack for $25 from the website.

Our entire family favors the San Diego-based, family business of Perfect Bars. These are NOT Whole 30 approved, but most bars are paleo (again, not the peanut butter ones!). The most cost-effective way to purchase is at Costco. $20/box for 12 bars and Costco seems to have them on sale about every quarter. Sometimes Sprouts will have them on sale, too. Perfect Bars have no preservatives, so you’ll find them in the refrigerated sections. The bars range in protein – 9 to 17 grams – and I’m definitely full and energized after having one.

What’s your favorite bar to grab and go with? Have you tried any on the Reviews.com list? Share your thoughts!

Turn It Up

10 months in to parenting two has caused me to be … quiet on here, but we clap our hands everyday!

Handclap is one of our favorite jams – great for dancing in the kitchen during dinner prep, or in the car shuffling from here to there. Everyone gets down!

Parenthood comes with a lot of hand clapping for all the “momma, watch me’s” and “poppa, looks!” we get from a highly active three-year-old. And at 10 months, our bebe is just getting this skill down pat.

CrossFit has a bunch of clapping and high-fiving, too. You’re seeing it during the Regionals competition today and in boxes around the world.

I’d like to do a bit of hand clapping for my team and co-captain on this crazy journey. We’re 20 days into our first round of Whole 30 and we (finally, embarrassingly) did our first CrossFit WOD in 10 months at Chuckwalla. Well, scratch that, the hubs did some killer workouts at our affiliate in Boulder, CrossFit Beat, so he’s a head of my curve.

Felt good to be sweating with others and just grinding away on an intense WOD. So, thanks Coach John, for making today a doozie! Good way to segue back.

Quick W30 takeaways:

  • Never thought I could drink black coffee, but here I am … enjoying it!
  • So much good food, but hard not having some convenience items to leverage with littles at home and a crunchy schedule. Fortunately, I’m used to meal planning and food prepping. I imagine this is very overwhelming for someone just beginning.
  • Sugar is in EVERYTHING. It’s honestly disgusting and gross to realize. It’s no wonder we’re all addicted. It’s almost impossible to get away from.
  • The non-scale victories (NSV): clear head, more energy, less bloat, less aches and pains, less hangriness.

Can’t wait to see the results now that CrossFit is back into our routine.

<Hand Claps!>

**I’ve had several pregnant mommas reach out to me during my blog writing hiatus. I apologize for not getting back to you – this has been mom guilt x200 for me. I would love to feature you, so if you’re still interested, drop me a note!**

2017. Already February?!

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Our friends at Chuckwalla CrossFit have been posting some funny CrossFit | Valentine themed memes on Instagram this month. Couple that with the excitement around the CrossFit Games and some recent #crossfitandpregnant scaling articles from CrossFit had led me to move my health and wellness off the backburner. Here are the articles:

I don’t know what it is, but I hit a slump with both babies in the 5-7 month postpartum range and end up packing on pounds again. It’s super annoying. Notably, it has been the holidays for both babies at this point, but regardless, it is frustrating to see the scale go up and down. I do love my body – it’s strong enough to bring two healthy, happy bebes into this world and feed them. BUT, I do miss wearing the gorgeous clothes in my closet!

Nothing like getting out the measuring tape to get your booty in gear, which is exactly what I did this morning. Despite my utter exhaustion and still battling flu symptoms from last week, I did a cardio workout today at home. Felt good to sweat, but I have a LONG way to go before I get back to a box. My endurance is shot.

To stay focused, the hubs and I are going to start training for some runs again. It’s something we loved doing together pre-babies and I miss that time and sensation of completing something together. And it’s perfect running weather in Phoenix right now, so we just have to pack the bebes in the stroller and ago. My second focus is fitting into a particular dress for a big work event at the end of March. Nothing like a killer dress to motivate!

Any tips from other mommas on what to do to stay energized, focused, and active?

xoxo

22 Kill Challenge

The VA released a startling stat in 2013:

22 veterans are killed by suicide every day.

Let that sink in. Twenty-two EVERY DAY.

That stat launched the #22KILL movement – an effort to educate the public, and show financial, physical, mental, emotional support for our veterans battling thoughts of suicide. Part of the current awareness is a Facebook campaign nominating people to do 22 push-ups a day for 22 days.

#22Kill

#22Kill

Thanks to one of my Booz Allen Hamilton mentors, Heather Williams Walker, I’m doing 22 push-ups a day for 22 days to raise awareness of the tragic loss of combat veterans due to suicide. I am honored to be nominated and think of the struggles our heroes face on and off the battlefield with every push-up.

I started this challenge on Sunday, Sept. 25 and I’ve been capturing videos along the way.

For my first set of nominations, I’m asking my fellow fit-mommas to join the challenge. Ladies, I hope you’ll accept this challenge and add ~two minutes to your daily routines to think about our service women and men who feel they have no other options.

  1. Jessica Taylor, lifesaver who got me into 21-Day Fix
  2. Kelly Darrell, wife of a Naval Captain and former co-lead of Leash Your Fitness in San Diego
  3. Colleen Rooney White, CrossFitter and wife of a police officer
  4. Leslie Spector, CrossFitter and wife of a firefighter
  5. Stacy Alcala, CrossFitter and recently experienced the USMC Bootcamp

The rules are simple:
* Once nominated, your 22 days start the following day.
* Every day, record yourself doing 22 push-ups. Try your best to reach 22. If that means doing assisted (from your knees) push-ups or you have to stop and take a break that’s fine but try to get them all done in one video.
* Every day you must nominate a different person. Try to choose people you think will want to do this and/or have the ability to do it.
* And finally, have fun with this. This is a simple and fun way to get the word out about an important matter. These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and yet, sadly, so many veterans feel suicide is the only option.

If you want to do more than push-ups, take direct action.
Click one of the links below to make a donation and to learn more about what you can do to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activity.
http://mosheroes.org/
http://www.teamrwb.org/
https://www.22kill.com

#NeverForget

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#NeverForget

September 11, 2001. I was living in Galway – my Junior year of college. Classes hadn’t started so I was touring Salthill, just outside of Galway, with some of my flatmates.

We stepped into Claude’s Casino, which isn’t the casino Americans are accustomed to in Vegas; it’s more penny slots and games. There was a talk radio show on the loud-speaker and the host was talking about the Twin Towers bombing. Without a visual, I assumed the talk show was referencing the 1993 incident and making comparison to the conflict in Northern Ireland, which is often a topic of discussion on Irish radio.

Just down the street was a Kitty O’Sheas. I grew up dancing the jig to Irish Rovers music in the Chicago Kitty O’Sheas, so I convinced my friends to go into this chain with me.

In we walk to a big screen of the first Tower burning. Blatantly American, all eyes were on us. And we were breathless. The rest of the afternoon is a blur, as we watched the second plane hit, the Towers crumble, and the graphic horrors in between.

I was the one to alert my mom. My dad was working on a contract in Saudi Arabia at the time so I was anxious to know he was OK. Lucky for us, he was safe, and still managed to visit me before returning stateside. I had one friend in NYC at the time; it took awhile for her to get connectivity to update everyone, but thankfully, she was also safe.

That day naturally shaped the rest of my study abroad experience.

  • There were several students studying that semester that were directly impacted and went home immediately.
  • The Uni gathered all the American students together to share safety recommendations, travel tips, counseling resources, and what we should expect the rest of our time there. Tension and uncertainty filled the room.
  • I encountered more Irish who lost friends or family than I knew in any of the areas directly impacted.
  • I spent a weekend in Wiesbaden, when our military started flying relief packages out of our bases in Germany. The noise of the planes was relentless all night long.
  • The entire country shut down for a national day of mourning. We attended a service at the Cathedral and had no idea that “shut down” meant everything was closed. We should have stocked our fridges better that weekend.
  • I didn’t hesitate to fly within Europe, but boarding my return flight to Chicago in December, I was on high alert.
  • Reading the international papers provided a much broader and deeper perspective of how America was viewed – views I would have never understood or read living stateside.

Most importantly, my national pride swelled. The reports of the heroic acts, the brave souls who continued search and rescue missions, the families that lost a loved one is such a devastating way continue to inspire me year-after-year.

Fifteen years later, sadly, we are more divided and at war with ourselves. The news cycle of daily shootings in our schools, military bases, in our homes and on our streets pull us farther apart. I hope more of us can reflect on the unity 9/11 brought our nation and find it within ourselves to set aside our differences and come together – especially in this election year.

Otherwise, the terrorists win.

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Documentary about Women in CrossFit

There is a documentary about women in CrossFit in production and the production team is seeking support to carry out the project.

From the project:

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PR is a feature length documentary following women in CrossFit from all different walks of life, from CrossFit Games icons and competitors, to up-and-coming athletes and coaches. We currently have three women we plan on following for the film: Christmas Abbott, Carleen Mathews, and Jennifer Monaghan.

The goal with this film is to show the beauty of the sport while also attempting to capture what drives and motivates these women. We’re trying to create a film that helps women overcome stigmas associated with body image and social expectation, while also giving a look at the future of the sport.

We’re currently running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funding for the film. We’re hoping you might help us get the word out. We’re only asking that you simply share the link on Facebook. It would only take five seconds of your time and you’d be helping change the perception of women in fitness.

Please support and share!