Introducing the Newest Team Member

Nothing beats July 4th in the Midwest

Nothing beats July 4th in the Midwest. Lake DeNeveu, 2014.

Our favorite place to celebrate Independence Day is in Wisconsin. The weather is perfect, the beer is cold, and the family and friends are in abundance. We’ve been spoiled spending many a July 4th at the lake where I grew up vacationing with family.

This year, we celebrated in the second best place ….

LABOR and DELIVERY!

Smiling between contractions

Smiling between contractions

We joyfully welcomed bebe #2 in the early morning hours of July 3. A little firecracker from conception … it’s just fitting his arrival landed the celebratory weekend! Hard to believe he’s already a month old and we can’t imagine life without him. Meet Micah James:

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Big sis | already so much in love

Big sis | already so much in love

Happy One Month!

Happy One Month!

Micah was late and his delivery was fairly quick, just like his big sister. My labor started in the afternoon with contractions that quickly progressed. We were admitted into the hospital at 10:30 p.m. and that epidural couldn’t come fast enough!

Special shout-out to our OBGYN team. Not only did the same doctor deliver both our babies (unheard of in our practice), but, once he was multiple days late, they also worked with us to make sure we had a holiday-weekend delivery, which is exactly what we wanted.

We love Dr. Mayer!

We love Dr. Mayer!

I did manage a CrossFit workout on Saturday, July 2 at Chuckwalla CrossFit. It was a good one with lots of jumping, running, and lifting. I think Coach John’s programming did the trick – THANKS JOHN!

And, don’t hate me for saying this, but my recovery has been simple. I’ve been up and about … doing my mom/consultant thing. And last week, I started some at-home conditioning; nothing crazy, even simple push-ups are making me sore.

We’re so thankful to the CrossFit communities of CrossFit Full Strength and Chuckwalla CrossFit in Phoenix. While I was nowhere near as dedicated or setting PRs like I did the first go-around, it felt amazing to lift some weights when I could.

Coach Luz coaching me through one of the CrossFit Open WODs at Full Strength.

Coach Luz coaching me through one of the CrossFit Open WODs at Full Strength. March, 2016.

As I’ve recently written, working out at Full Strength with Coach Luz, a two-time Olympic contender, has been inspiring and educating. I’ve been able to focus on improving the mechanics of my lifts – especially the snatch (which I was never comfortable with prior to pregnancies!) – instead of focusing on setting PRs. While setting PRs can give you a natural high, there’s also so much to be said for working through the details of complicated lifts and the feeling of success that comes with nailing it.

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Coach John is the best!

Coach John Hazdovac is the best … even if his WOD didn’t get my water to break during the WOD! ha!

This girl loves to test herself.

This girl loves to test herself.

More rings!

Different Day. More rings!

The few Saturdays before our delivery, we spent at Chuckwalla as a family. Chad and I worked out and FG played in the supervised kiddo area. It was awesome to do that together. We’re so appreciative to the Hazdovac family for making it work for us!!!

So, not our typical July 4th and subsequent weeks, but full of fireworks all the same. Welcome to the team, Micah. We love you so much already!

xoxo,

Team Leatherman

Both babies at one month.

Both babies at one month.

Athlete Profile | Jenni Stockwell Woelke

So, this profile is super special for me to write. Within the last year, I learned one of my high school friends was also CrossFitting during her second pregnancy. Hard to believe, but I’ve known her for 20 years!! She’s been a rock star during her pregnancy and being consistent in the gym. I’m so proud of her!

Meet Jenni Stockwell Woelke.

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Husband to fellow CrossFitter Steve Woelke.

Momma to Duncan (4), and the newest Woelke, the gorgeous Delaney, who entered this world June 22.

Member at CrossFit Barbell Battalion.

Tennessean. Ohio State Buckeyes fan. Nurse.

Jenni started CrossFit just after Duncan turned one and she and her husband have gone full-force, participating in competitions and making their health a priority with very busy schedules to balance. I’ve so enjoyed watching her CrossFit experience unfold, especially during her pregnancy and I love that she is willing to share her story.

Jenni’s story:

Steve & Jenni

Steve & Jenni

What does your spouse/partner think of you CrossFitting during pregnancy? Steve and I CrossFit together, we competed right before conceived so he is very supportive of my goal to stay active all the way through. Of course he makes sure to remind me to be careful and modify movements and pace, he knows I can be stubborn.

Why I started CrossFit: To try a different style of fitness. We had been running and doing hot yoga, but wanted to do weight training without the expense of personal trainers. They started a ‘functional fitness’ with our Gold’s membership that was included and we loved it right away! That is how we came to train under Alex O’Bryan, our CFBB head coach, before he branched out and started his own affiliate.

Other exercise practices: Does keeping up with my four-year-old boy count? {YES!} I still run, but not as frequently or as much distance, and I love yoga.

Big lift!

Big lift!

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: To attend classes three times per week, which with our schedules is a reasonable goal. After setting that initial goal, I added on to participate in The Open, scaled and modified, of course.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? She said just listen to my body, I will know what to avoid by how I feel.

Bump buddies

Bump buddies

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? It is great to get feedback from the other members of our box and social media friends and family. I really don’t feel like what I am doing is that awesome since I feel slower and more sore than usual, but I am fulfilled to know I am making a healthy choice to be active while pregnant. When people tell me they are in awe of what I’m doing or inspired by it, I just tell them that is why I love CrossFit; everything can be scaled and modified to where you are at on that day with your body and abilities, just show up and do the work!

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration? Other awesome CrossFit pregnant women like my friend Emily who is just two weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy, and gave birth to her little girl Cora a few weeks ago! And the women profiled on crossfitandpregnant.com! Anyone who takes the step to make a healthier lifestyle for themselves and goes outside their comfort zone, or attempts what others say is impossible or difficult.

Tire flips

Tire flips

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: To BREATHE along with reps and to pace myself. That just being there and moving is really and honestly OK. That my body is amazing! For a few magical weeks I could jump rope again so I did. I set a small PR on my deadlift. I completed a very modified Murph on Memorial Day at 37 weeks pregnant and enjoyed every minute of sharing in that HERO WOD with the members of my box.

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: Recently my husband and I both changed work schedules, I now work night shift as a nurse in critical care and trying to sleep, take care of our son, and make it to the gym can be exhausting. In terms of workouts the biggest challenge is stamina, and movements just making the modifications to not be on my back, not kip or pull too much on my belly, and getting around the bump with the barbell for lifting.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? Try to be as clean in my eating as we can, but we are never 100% any particular diet in my house. Just focusing on nutritious and budget-conscious. Baby girl loves sweets and potatoes, so I indulge.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: We love Advocare products, and since I learned that I can have VO2 bars pre-workout that has really helped me from being breathless!

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant:  Even though I have gained weight in more areas than just my belly, I feel stronger and more aligned. With my first pregnancy I felt like I got swayback but this time I feel like my posture and range of motion is a little better.

Modifications you’d like to share with others: Box push-ups are still really challenging and give you full range of motion.

Lessons learned: Listen to your body, it is capable of more than you think!

If you could do it all again, you would: Still CrossFit!

Favorite quote: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

Favorite girl WOD: Grace

Three words that describe me: Determined, patient, happy

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Running around town with my son or cooking for my family

Delivery and Post Partum. Where is Jenni now?

Delivery-day WOD

Delivery-day WOD

Sweet Delaney was born June 22. Jenni did well and has been enjoying time at home with both her kiddos.

Successful delivery!

Successful delivery!

“So far I haven’t done much CrossFit, just a few body movement workouts when I can, since I am adjusting to having both kiddos and Steve is working a new schedule. I am anxious to get cleared by my doc for weightlifting next week and for Duncan to go back to school so I have time to do it! I have some goals to get working on-body weight clean and unassisted pull-ups.”

Snuggling

Snuggling

You’ll get there, Jenni! Thanks for sharing your story.

Athlete Profile: Lindsay Demboski

Demboski Baby Announcement

Demboski Baby Announcement

Momma to Peyton (4) with little girl Sofia on the way (due in November), and wife to John, Lindsay Demboski has been CrossFitting for three and half years. Her favorite part of CrossFit has been involving Peyton in her workouts and the positive energy that surrounds the CrossFit community. It’s something they can do together and as a family. Being pregnant hasn’t stopped her; she finds the boost of energy after a WOD helps get her through the day and fends off typical pregnancy ailments.

She is another example of why continuing your health and exercise routine during pregnancy is important.

Lindsay’s story:

16 weeks along and lifting

16 weeks along and lifting

 

What does your spouse/partner think of you CrossFitting during pregnancy? My husband, John, is a CrossFitter, too, and supports me 100%.  He is a doctor and is a strong supporter of CrossFitting while pregnant.

How did you find crossfitandpregnant.com?  I actually googled “CrossFit and pregnancy” looking for articles on the topic.

Why I started CrossFit:  I started CrossFit because I was not fulfilled with my workouts at a traditional gym and triathlon training. I did not feel like I was getting stronger and felt like I needed a new challenge in life with regards to fitness. I’m a triathlete, but replaced my triathlon training with CrossFit and my times have gotten drastically better. CrossFit also gives me the energy to keep up with my son’s t-ball league; I’m the team’s coach!

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is:  I’m trying to maintain my overall health and fitness for me and my baby. I want a smooth pregnancy and delivery; CrossFit has been the successful reason thus far.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?  My doctor encouraged me to continue to do what I was doing before and listen to my body. She has a handful of pregnant women she sees who maintained CrossFit while pregnant and had very healthy pregnancies and deliveries.  She did advise me to watch my heart rate (with a monitor) and be able to keep a conversation during workouts. I was told that along the way there would be movements I would need to scale and have done so. I found a great poster at a box I dropped into one day that gave a list of movements to stop doing based on CrossFit level and trimester/weeks that has really helped.

Great resource!

Great resource!

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support?  My husband John, my mom, and fellow CrossFitters at my box.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned:  To listen to my body while not listening to the naysayers, who think I should stop.

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: The naysayers, which include CrossFitters. They tell me I should not be lifting heavy or working out as hard while pregnant. I can listen to my body and with my doctor’s support, I have learned everyone will have an opinion, but I have to follow my instincts and what is best for me and my baby. In terms of working out, the biggest challenge is keeping my heart rate in check. It goes up quickly and because I am competitive, I have to force myself to look at my monitor and stop when I get out of breath. Before being pregnant, I would push through the pain and exhaustion so it has been challenging to make myself slow down.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?  Our family is about 75% paleo. We definitely have our cheat meals, but try to make healthy choices majority of the time. We just love our pizza nights and ice cream. {And don’t we all!}

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered:  I actually have more energy following WODs. On days I couldn’t keep my eyes open, I would workout and feel like I had a boost of energy when I needed it most. I am also strategically using this time to work on skills like perfecting my strict muscle ups and pistols.

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What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: The health benefits during pregnancy. I have energy, haven’t been sick, feel very strong, and have gained a healthy amount of weight.

Modifications you’d like to share with others:  Box jumps are the one thing that has bothered me early on, so I don’t do them. I substitute with step-ups instead. As my pregnancy progressed, I have eliminated various movements based on how far along I am (double unders, sit ups, HSPU, etc.). Otherwise, I have been able to do almost all workouts RX my first trimester and majority of my second.

Step ups in place of box jumps

Step ups in place of box jumps

Favorite quote: “One of the greatest moments in life is realizing that two weeks ago, your body couldn’t do what it just did.”

Favorite girl WOD: Grace (love me some clean and jerks!)

Three words that describe me: competitive, dedicated, social butterfly

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Spending time with my husband and son. We love to do anything outdoors together. And I spend a lot of time taking and watching my son’s various sporting activities (tennis, swimming, karate, baseball).

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Thanks for sharing your story, Lindsay!

Five Weeks Off …

Five weeks off from CrossFit is five weeks too long. Finally made it back to CrossFit Full Strength this week {despite being told the ligaments in my foot needed at least 12 weeks}. I’m not running or jumping to reduce impact; it did feel really good to have a bar between my hands again.

CFFS added weightlifting classes to its early-morning line-up on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Coach Luz. As I’ve mentioned before, Coach Luz is a multi-attendee at the Olympics for weightlifting, so any opportunity to learn and train with her is only time well-spent.

Coach Luz - total bad a**

Coach Luz – total bad a**

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She’s done a really good job of pushing my comfort with doing snatches. For whatever reason in my 3+ years of CrossFit, this lift was never really an emphasis {and one I flat out avoided when I was pregnant with FG}. Even after such a short time under Luz’s guidance, the lift hold and movements are becoming second nature. Now it’s time to start increasing my weight!

WODs:

Tuesday

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Warm up: 400m row and tabata planks

Snatch: 55# – definitely could have added. Squat clean + split jerk: 85# again add more. Back squat: 105#.

Thursday

Tuesday

Thursday was a lot!

Snatch 65# x2
Hang power clean 90# X1 – was struggling to get my elbows up!
Front squat + back squat (1/2) 90#
Romanian Deadlift 90# (3×8)
Weighted planks 10#. 1.55 mile walk

Definitely sore today!

Featured on Mum In Real Life (MIRL)

While the foot / ligament tears have kept me out of the box and tied to low-impact at-home workouts, it’s also given me a chance to write my Top 10 list of healthy pregnancy/post-partum tips for a new Brit-based website, Mum in Real Life (MIRL).

Here are my tips:

10. Drink lots of water – even more than recommended – especially when you’re working out. Your body needs it. Your baby needs it. You need it. If you’re bored with water, add citrus, herbs, and cucumber – change it up to keep it interesting.

9. Use pregnancy as an opportunity to nourish your body, not an excuse to eat junk. While obviously the cravings need to be indulged, balance-balance-balance, especially in the second and third trimester. I love making a smoothie for breakfast or lunch and pack it full of veggies, fruit, yogurt and a “chaser” (flax seed, chia, hemp seeds, etc.).

8. Strengthen your legs; they’ll thank you on those late nights when you’re up walking the house trying to get your newborn to sleep. But really, squats, lunges, walking, rowing, jogging, dancing with your partner – keep your legs moving. It helps with circulation, reduces swelling, and just feels good.

7. Keep your core strong. While most women are advised to stop sit ups in the second trimester, you can transition to v-sits, planks, kettlebells workouts, or Pilates movements. You’ll thank yourself later for spending at least 10 minutes a day strengthening your core.

For the rest of my tips and more good info from MIRL, read full article: http://www.m-irl.com/fitness/meet-mum-broke-weight-lifting-record-last-day-pregnancy/

What would you add to my list?

Athlete Profile: Fi Davidson

Hailing from across the pond, in London, is CrossFitandPregnant momma Fi Davidson. Two years into her CrossFit career, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Ella, this February after a grueling 40+ hours of labor (and two extra weeks of pregnancy!). Fi, like most of us who have headed down the #crossfitandpregnant path, credit CrossFit to getting her through – mentally, emotionally, and of course, physically.

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Fi killing some kettlebell swings

“I wanted to keep fit throughout pregnancy as I believed that it would help me to be prepared for labour and help to keep the baby healthy,” Fi said. “I also didn’t want to give up one of my favourite hobbies for nine months and lose the gains that I had worked so hard to achieve.”

Fi is a member at CrossFit Tooting in London and maintained her dedication thanks to the many other mums. “All of the members and the coaches at CrossFit Tooting have been a huge support,” explained Fi. “They have a dedicated post-natal group who I have worked out with some of the time during pregnancy and they have offered amazing support to me.”

What an incredible service to its female members – way to go, CrossFit Tooting!

Squats!

Squats!

Fi credits CrossFit for giving her the opportunity to maintain her identity while preparing for Ella’s arrival {something I can definitely relate to!}. “{CrossFit} also really helped me manage some of the psychological and emotional changes that happen during pregnancy,” Fi shares. “It also made me feel like I was actively keeping myself healthy and happy ahead of the arrival of my first child.”

That you were, Fi! So proud of your work, dedication, and we send you joyous blessings as you adjust to life with sweet Ella.

CrossFit Baby Ella. Isn't she a peach?

CrossFit Baby Ella. Isn’t she a peach?

More from Fi:

Why I started CrossFit: I was trying out new exercise options (including KPop dancing) in Cambodia and stumbled across a boot camp class that was being run in a car parking lot. The trainer then set up the first CrossFit affiliate gym in Cambodia. I signed up for their first ever on-ramp course and got hooked on CrossFit from that point. Since then I have trained on an ongoing basis. I love that CrossFit focuses on build strength and fitness (not being skinny) and technical skills. I relocated to London in August 2015. I reached out to some possible boxes and found that CrossFit Tooting had a specialist post-natal recovery programme. I had an initial free trial and chat with one of the owners Danielle Ren’e Gaskell who has experience of training women throughout their pregnancy and gave me a lot of encouragement and confidence to continue training.

Number of years CrossFitting: I started out working out in a car parking lot with Corbett Hix for six months and then started formal CrossFit training when he opened the doors of CrossFit Amatak {Cambodia’s first CrossFit affiliate!} in the summer of 2014.

Planks - great core work!

Planks – great core work!

Other exercise practices: During pregnancy I have done yoga or Pilates in combination with CrossFit. I also go for walks frequently. Pre-pregnancy, I also cycled and ran.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?: The doctors and midwives that I met during pregnancy have been supportive of me continuing to train. The advice has consistently been that if it is something that I did before pregnancy it was OK to continue during pregnancy, but to be sure to listen to my body and to tailor the workouts. The focus of all advice was not of any risk to the baby, but a potential risk to myself as my body changed throughout pregnancy.

How did you find crossfitandpregnant.com?: I was a bit nervous about continuing to train throughout pregnancy so I did a lot of online research and found crossfitandpregnant.com – it really helped to encourage me that training throughout pregnancy could be done. {So happy to hear!}

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: It’s really important to find the balance between pushing myself and keeping my fitness up and listening to my new limitations. There have been numerous times that I have had to stop mid-workout or just miss workouts to rest (especially during the first trimester – the coaches at CrossFit Amatak really helped during this stage) and I have been gradually scaling down my routine on an ongoing basis during the pregnancy. It has also been really important to listen to the advice of my coaches and to trust their knowledge and experience. I’ve also learned that it’s possible to keep training throughout pregnancy – I never thought that I would be able to back-squat at 39.5 weeks!!

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: Accepting that I need to scale back and accept some of the new limitations of my body. There have also been a lot of times when rest has been more important than going to do another workout. Constantly revisiting my own expectations of myself has been really key to managing the pregnancy against the fitness regime.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?: I am a seafood eating vegetarian. I eat healthily, but don’t follow any particular diet or regime.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: It’s even more important to eat and drink carefully when working out. I have made sure that I drink a lot of water and have healthy snacks available for after workouts.

Modifications you’d like to share with others: During the last weeks of pregnancy I did a lot more squatting and lunging that normal. I found that it helped ease some of the pelvic discomfort I was experience.

If you could do it all again, you would: do it the same – ask coaches for a lot of advice and keep adjusting the workouts

Favorite girl WOD: FRAN

Three words that describe me: happy, open, determined (others say stubborn!)

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: hanging out with friends.

Twisted Sista

So I cruise right from a cough + bruised ribs, to spraining both my ankles/feet.

How? you ask.

Just before I fell, enjoying the park in our St. Patrick's Day attire.

Just before I fell, enjoying the park in our St. Patrick’s Day attire.

Oh you know, stepping off a playground being the paparazzi momma. So typical. I missed The CrossFit Games 16.4, but luckily I did get in two CrossFit Full Strength WODs last week.

March 15: 5×3 snatch (65#), and then tabata push press (65#) / sit ups / kbs / bench press (65#)

Happy St. Paddy's + Happy Birthday to me. Was an amazing day, despite my feet!

Happy St. Paddy’s + Happy Birthday to me. Was an amazing day, despite my feet!

March 17 {Happy St. Paddy’s!}: push jerk 5×5 (95#); 10-1 hang power clean (65#) and 10# weighted sit ups – 9:08

My left foot, two days after my fall.

My left foot, two days after my fall.

This week, my left foot is still very painful, so I’ve been taking the dog on very short and leashless walks and doing the daily 21-Day Fix routines. Still working up a sweat and lifting weights, but not further straining myself.

Here’s hoping next week is more successful {and HEALTHY!}.

Any thoughts on the final CrossFit Games Open WOD? Looking forward to seeing the champs throw down in 16.5 tomorrow night!