Athlete Profile: Lauren Koemans

Making gains at Chuckwalla, 12 months post delivery.

Lauren Koemans is a coach at Chuckwalla CrossFit and something I adore about her is her dedication to pregnant and post-partum mommas. As I mentioned in my previous post, Chuckwalla is hosting its second Pregnancy & Postpartum Core Connections workshop on August 26 {Register} with El Jefe CrossFit. Lauren is leading part of the workshop and has recently blogged about #CrossFitandPregnant advice.

Not only is she doing great things for mommas, she’s also a thoughtful coach who takes time and attention to make sure all her athletes are pushing their limits safely and properly.Team Leatherman is so thankful to have her in our corner!

She hails from Missoula, Montana and has been CrossFitting for four years. She and her husband Jason are also big runners, and have competed in several Ragnar Relays.

Welcome to the world, sweet boy!

They welcomed their son Kyrie in May, 2016. Here’s her story:

Why I started CrossFit: I was an athlete growing up and have always enjoy a friendly competition and challenge. When I discovered CrossFit I knew it was just what I wanted, little did I know it was everything I needed!

What did your spouse/partner think of you CrossFitting during pregnancy? He loves to see me enjoy CrossFit and running, but did need some consolation that it really was safe for the baby if I continued those activities.

Training for Two!

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant was: My goal was to maintain my fitness level and not to lose my conditioning/strength.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? My doctor(s) – I moved mid-pregnancy – didn’t have much to say beyond limiting activities with risk of contact (I wanted to go downhill skiing! She said no.) and that if I did it before pregnancy I could continue doing it.

CrossFit-themed baby shower from CrossFit 2 Serve

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? I find support in the CrossFit community around me. At first I was in Nevada at CrossFit 2 Serve and then mid-pregnancy we moved to Arizona and joined Shamrock CrossFit [now closed] (where there were two other pregnant mommas and all of us due in a five week window!). A couple months after my son was born I found Chuckwalla CrossFit. The community at Chuckwalla is especially amazing. I will never forget the members who held my newborn baby so that I could get a workout in! And of course, my husband Jason is my Number One.

Mommas of Shamrock CrossFit

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration? I was inspired by Lindsey Valenzeula, a CrossFit Games athlete, who was due with her first baby (also a boy!) the same day as me, and continued to CrossFit her entire pregnancy. She has since returned to CrossFit to qualify for Regionals and finished 11, at almost exactly one year postpartum. The other moms in my box always inspire me, too.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: There is a much better answer to “how to work out” during pre/postpartum than just “listen to your body” and “do what you did before.” And I learned that seeing the doctor at eight weeks postpartum and being “cleared for [any] exercise,” does not mean to jump right back to what I was doing, but to slow down and build a foundation first. I have been studying Julie Weibe (DPT), Brianna Battles (MS, CSCS, USAW), Jessie Mundell, Jennifer Campbell, and a few others who are making waves in the pre/postpartum exercise world. I have learned a strategy to take into my future pregnancy(ies) and began implementing it postpartum. The strategy is more than just modifications, and it teaches me to use my core and pelvic floor in a way that prevents, heals or minimizes any pelvic floor/core dysfunction. I have learned that the postpartum symptoms that are common – such as leaking/incontinence, diastasis (separation of abdominal muscles), painful intercourse, low back pain, etc. – are not “badges of motherhood” that have to now be lived with, but there is hope for healing AND for exercising in the way you love. As a postpartum mom, implementing the piston science strategy and managing my symptoms, I am actually becoming STRONGER than before my son!

10-11 weeks pregnant

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: At about 10/11 weeks pregnant, I ran Ragnar Las Vegas (Nov 2015). I had been signed up for the ultra (which would up have been up to 40 miles) prior to finding out I was pregnant. My husband, who would not claim to “enjoy” running, actually swapped places with me and I ran on the regular team, still covering the most miles out of the 12 legs for about 20 miles total! My joints hurt SO BAD I didn’t run much during the rest of my pregnancy. The other challenge for me was to embrace the changes in my body during pregnancy. I (think) I will be much more accepting next time around…

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? I guess you would call it “whole food eating.” Low crap/chemicals matter to me more than low carbs/calories!! While I do end up eating some processed foods, I try to eliminate them as much as possible, also watching added sugar and artificial ingredients. (Although I’m sitting here realized I had two different kinds of Goldfish today…maybe I need to revisit the limit on processed foods…) I try to incorporate fruit and/or veggies in every meal, with lots of protein and healthy fats. I drink mostly water but of course I have at least one (usually iced) coffee a day, and I do enjoy La Croix/sparkling water or iced tea. And I do love me a lot of dessert, so I do best if I don’t keep it in the house, but when I do partake in eating desserts I do it guilt-free.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Mommas are strong, fierce and determined, and pregnancy/postpartum doesn’t change that. The question isn’t “Can I do this workout/movement.” The question is “SHOULD I?”

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: CrossFit is valuable for pregnancy the same way it is valuable for life – the discipline, strength, confidence & mindset you grow as you accomplish hard things, makes you able to keep accomplishing even harder things with a positive attitude.

Modifications you’d like to share with others: What is better than a modification is the strategy of alignment (ribs over hips, butt untucked), piston breathing (managing IAP by engaging your pelvic floor and core to be coordinated with your breath) and lack of symptoms. That strategy allows you to determine if an exercise is appropriate for you at the phase you’re in. If you can’t maintain the strategy or if you experience symptoms, then the best way to modify is to bring things back to center, closer to your core, with smaller movements. Gravity (prone positions like plank or push-ups) traditional ab work, and high impact activities (running, jumping) increase the chance of not being able to maintain the strategy, so pay extra attention to those types of movements.

Lessons learned: I have become so passionate about making sure all moms get the information they deserve about pre/postpartum exercise because it is something most medical/fitness professionals DON’T talk about (often because they aren’t trained in it.) A mother’s body is AMAZING, just to carry, grow, labor and deliver and sustain the life of a tiny human. The changes her body goes through to accomplish such an incredible feat are mind blowing. I want each momma to have the support they need to slow down, embrace the process, and exercise in a way that is healing and restoring instead of damaging.

Some of the Chuckwalla CrossFit mommas

If you could do it all again, you would: I have learned so much about pre/postpartum exercise. I am excited to be armed with better information during my next pregnancy, so that I actually know what my body is telling me! I will be more intentional in my exercise, especially with higher risk movements. I also want to embrace my body more for the amazing feat it is accomplishing, and take more photos during my next pregnancy.

Favorite quote: You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Favorite girl WOD: Nancy is my favorite girl WOD because I enjoy running and OH squats are a good challenge.

Three words that describe me: I couldn’t decide, so I asked my husband: “Tough, thorough, beautiful.”

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: If I’m not at home with my busy little one-year-old, I’m probably at a coffee shop or Target.

Kyrie. Year one in the books.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Lauren! Join her August 26 at the workshop or contact her at Chuckwalla CrossFit.

xoxo

Chuckwalla’s CrossFit Momma Program

One of the reasons I/we love Chuckwalla CrossFit so much is its focus on family – FREE childcare, community events that are tailored to families (swim parties, bounce houses, gluten free goodies, moms groups) … need I say more!?

Most recently, Coach Lauren has developed a pregnancy and postpartum exercise program, focused on supporting mommas through all phases of motherhood and maintaining a strong core.

The next workshop is Saturday, August 26. I encourage YOU to join the conversation and register for the event! Here are ALL the details:

WHEN: Saturday August 26 from 11am – 4pm (with 30 minute lunch break)

WHERE: El Jefe CrossFit (8110 W Union Hills Dr, Suite 250, Glendale)

*Taco truck on site, lunch available for purchase*

WHO:

  • Any woman who has had a baby (postpartum is forever!), is pregnant, or thinks she might have a baby someday (core & pelvic floor strength starts now!)
  • Any fitness or health professional (i.e. health advocates, physical therapists, medical staff, fitness professionals, coaches, or instructors) who work with women
  • Anyone experiencing core & pelvic floor dysfunction (leaking/incontinence, diastasis, painful intercourse, low back/hip pain, etc.) because it’s not just a pregnancy or postpartum problem

COST: $70 ($55 for Chuckwalla Members with code MEMBER)

REGISTER NOW and share with mom’s you love!

WHY: There is a lack of guidance out there about pre/peri/postpartum exercise strategies and a lack of awareness about the core and pelvic floor relationship, causes & signs of dysfunction, and treatment/healing options. Leaking urine during exercise (or any other time), painful intercouse, pelvic/back/hip pain, diastasis (separated abs) and other postpartum issues get written off as “badges of motherhood,” but we want moms to know there is hope! These postpartum
issues might be common but they do NOT need to be normal and are NOT something moms have to live with. Moms deserve to do the exercise they love in a way that prevents, heals, or minimizes core and pelvic floor dysfunction. Even if a mom doesn’t lift weight or have dedicated exercise, she is lifting and moving all day long. Her movement should leave her strong from the inside out, not be enhancing or creating her dysfunction.

Join us to learn the key components of finding strength from the inside out and then how to apply these strategies to daily living and your choice of fitness, whether that is pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy or returning to exercise postpartum. Learn strategies to help prevent, minimize, or heal diastasis recti and pelvic health concerns such as painful intercourse, urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Discover the optimal nutritional needs for supporting pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond. All women deserve to feel healthy and strong, especially moms.

Objectives:
– Understand the anatomy & relationship of the core (including pelvic floor & diaphragm)
– Understand the changes to the core & body during pregnancy, labor & postpartum
– Understand the signs & symptoms of core & pelvic floor dysfunction (especially incontinence, diastasis, & pelvic organ prolapse)
– Understand that there is treatment and healing for core & pelvic floor dysfunction
– Have an exercise strategy for pre/peri/postpartum based on breathing, alignment & mindset, which will minimize or heal core &
pelvic floor dysfunction
– Practice alignment, umbrella breathing & piston science strategy (core, breath & pelvic floor connection)
– Practice applying the strategy to (your favorite form of) exercise through discussion & hands on teaching of the squat, deadlift & pull-ups
– Know how to determine if an exercise/movement is “safe” for your body during pre/postpartum, how to modify, and how to progress volume/load/intensity
– Learn (and practice!) how to lift & carry the baby and perform activities of daily living with optimal alignment and breathing
– Learn how to properly fuel your body for a healthy and strong pre/peri/postpartum season
– Take home a folder of the presentations and handouts so all of the material is accessible
– Have local contacts for pelvic floor physical therapy, exercise guidance and nutrition coaching

PRESENTED BY
:
* Breann Fox, mom to one, PT, DPT, PRPC, physical therapist specializing in pelvic & visceral health. Former D1 collegiate soccer player.

* Sarah Backus, DPT, physical therapist specializing in pelvic health; interested in core & pelvic floor stability in the female athlete. Avid CrossFit & PowerLifting athlete.

* Lauren Koemans, mom to one, CF-L1, ACSM CPT & Chuckwalla CrossFit coach; passionate about connecting moms with the support they need & helping women find strength & confidence through exercise. Loves running & CrossFit.

* Ashley Nowe, of Get Mom Strong, a mom and certified nutrition health coach specializing in helping moms regain their strength through nutrition, healthy living & functional exercise

Athlete Profile: Andrea Signor

Meet Andrea Signor. Andrea is a recovering journalist, momma of two, Olympic weightlifter and founder of mamalifts.com. Andrea reached out to me as she was launching mamalifts. Like me when I first started out, I found there was very little research, which led me to documenting my own experiences. Andrea’s doing the same – primarily centered around Olympic lifting, but she did CrossFit for two years before she focused.

That focus is paying off – she competed in her first Oly competition just FOUR months after delivering baby #2. Talk about inspiring! Andrea’s always been active and loves to be outdoors. Living in Colorado makes it easy to rock climb, snowboard, and hike. And Andrea takes advantage, like most Coloradans.

A proud member of CrossFit Castle Rock Barbell Club, Andrea finds she’s feeling better than she did after her first mostly due to her tribe at the barbell club and lifting with other women — some of whom have had kids and some who haven’t. “Working out at the gym is “me” time and it’s nice to have a few hours a week where it’s just about me feeling good and not having to worry about anything else.”

Also doesn’t hurt that her husband also has her back. He is more enlightened than most and realizes not all women are created equal – so to tell all not to lift more than 10 pounds – is actually silly.

We agree. More from Andrea:

A funnier anecdote: When I told my (male) lifting coach that I was pregnant with my first child, he told me that I should continue lifting and not use my pregnancy as an excuse to not exercise. I believe his exact quote was, “Do you think when Running Deer got knocked up the tribe stopped migrating with the buffalo? No. So you shouldn’t stop training.”

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: My goal was always to maintain strength and stay as healthy as possible. One thing I struggled with in both pregnancies was knowing the line between pushing myself and overdoing it. I think more often than not I went too easy, but I was working out by myself at a rec center and didn’t have a program or a support system to help guide my workouts. (My former coach was in Michigan and we had moved to Colorado during my first pregnancy).

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? Ugh. The nurses at my doctor’s office advised me to not lift more than 10 pounds and when I said I was lifting regularly they told me I could lift 25 pounds. To be honest, I just politely nodded and didn’t disclose what I was doing for workouts.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration? I love hearing other women’s stories of working out through their pregnancies. I have a good friend who is currently pregnant with her second child and she’s a yoga instructor. I have another friend who just competed in a power-lifting competition at 14 weeks. I knew women who climbed until they were seven months pregnant. Becoming a parent is such a jarring experience and I think moms especially struggle with wanting to go back to feeling like their old selves and embracing this new role. I think staying active and passionate with a sport is key to helping bridge that divide.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: Your body is capable of so much and when you’re working out and carrying a child you are so much more in tune with your body.

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: Knowing when I should push more. I think I often played it safe and I probably sacrificed some strength as a result.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? Not really. We cook 90% of our meals at home. We mostly eat meat and vegetables out of convenience; but I never denied myself if I wanted carbs or dessert — it just had to be homemade. So I totally ate cookies and brownies, but because it was kind of pain to bake everything from scratch, it wasn’t super often.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: I always loved feeling my babies go wild after my workouts. I think I lulled them to sleep while I worked out and about 30 minutes after I stopped they would just have a dance party. That was a cool feeling.

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: It lets you retain a piece of  your old self when so much is changing and out of your control.

Deep squats at 34 weeks pregnant

Modifications you’d like to share with others: Widen your squat stance as your belly grows to adjust for a shifting center of gravity

Lessons learned: There’s a huge community of CrossFitters and lifters who are going through similar experiences. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these groups for support or advice. I wish I would have done this instead of kind of existing in my own bubble for so long.

If you could do it all again, you would: Come up with a programming plan and adjust as necessary instead of “seeing how I feel” when I get to the gym.

Favorite quote: The days are long, but the years are short.

Favorite girl WOD: I don’t remember these, but my favorite lifts are squats and deadlifts – my bread and butter

Three words that describe me: Stubborn, spunky, determined

Postpartum

How was your delivery? Both of my deliveries were textbook. My water broke at 37 weeks and 2 days (for both girls), I labored without drugs (I have scoliosis and wanted to avoid an epidural at all costs), and pushed for about 10 minutes and they were out. My first was born in Frisco, Colorado, at an elevation of 9,000+ feet and, despite being on the earlier side, she didn’t need oxygen (about 50% of babies who are born up there do).

Anything noteworthy your first six weeks? I was cleared to workout with my first two weeks after giving birth. I was cleared at six weeks with my second, although I began doing easy workouts (walking, Turkish get-ups, light squats) sooner.

Are you back to working out? How’s it going? Yes! This recovery has been so much better than my first. I think a lot has to do with hormones, but I’m way more motivated to be at the gym this time around and I’m training for my first Olympic lifting competition, which will take place June 17 (at almost 5 months post-partum).

Any advice you want to share? Do not beat yourself up if the desire to return to the gym isn’t there. I phoned it in for months after my first was born and it wasn’t until I was done breastfeeding that my hormones leveled out and I felt a true desire to get back to it.

Be sure to follow mamalifts:

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing your story, Andrea! xoxo

Shout Out to All the DADS!

#CrossFitandPregnant wouldn’t exist without the dads (because duh, biology). So on this Father’s Day, we wanted to recognize the guys behind the barbells. Some of our athletes had their partner/hubs share what it was like to watch their lady, CrossFit while pregnant, go through birth and triumph post partum. Here’s what they had to share –

Dr. Leon Chang

Leon and I go back to my original days of CrossFit. He was part owner of CrossFit Elysium {now CrossFit 858 – Uptown} and is married to Dr. Alessandra Wall. They have two sons, Luca (8) and Rhys (5).

What was it like watching your spouse/partner CrossFit while pregnant? Inspiring. Doing “metcons” was always incredibly painful for me- I can’t imagine doing them with a gravid uterus just sucking blood flow and oxygen that your muscles desperately need! In addition, bodyweight movements have always been one of my strengths, and watching Alessandra’s gymnastics ability rapidly take a hit due to the pregnancies would have been more of a ego-blow than I could bear.

Leon & Alessandra

Since my spouse/partner CrossFitted while pregnant, I’ve learned: the human body is an amazing piece of machinery. Sure, women can and should take their foot off the gas pedal a bit during pregnancy, and will have to modify movements. But that doesn’t mean all movement has to stop altogether, and some degree of intensity can still be tolerated.

Advice you’d like to share with other new #crossfitandpregnant dads: As long as the facility and/or coach understands the demands of pregnancy and can scale work outs appropriately, there’s nothing you need to worry about. Just get out of the way, let the mom do her thing and be supportive! Oh, and don’t cry if she continues to crush you in the WODs.

Any advice you want to share? As a former coach, I’d advise pregnant women to just enjoy the journey. Yes, you will lose some capacity but you can gain it back rapidly. Don’t worry about “losing your muscle up” or anything like that- all of those challenges will still be there. Just recognize that you’ll have to scale, you won’t be “as fit” as you were pre-pregnancy, but you’ll get it back! Jason Koemans

Jason has only recently come into our lives and his wife Lauren’s profile is in my queue (stay tuned – Lauren is one of the awesome coaches at Chuckwalla CrossFit).

Three words that describe your spouse/partner: tough, persistent & beautiful

How do you support your spouse/partner in “getting her body back”? By allowing her time to recover before we have another baby 😉 Talking positively about her body and supporting her in the exercise she desires.

Advice you’d like to share with other new #crossfitandpregnant dads: A pregnant woman can feel her limits, don’t push her farther than she should go.

Chad Leatherman

Big shout to the Poppa of #TeamLeatherman – CHAD. “Watching Meghan during our first pregnancy was nerve racking and equally inspiring. I loved how bad-ass she was (is). We received a lot of recognition and kudos from other athletes. And any time Meghan PR’d, which was often during her pregnancy with Florie, I couldn’t help but think, ‘Oh, hell yeah!'”

His advice to other dads: don’t be scared, be involved. Encourage baby momma to listen to her body and scale accordingly.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to these three encouraging men and for all the Dads who stand beside their parenthood partners. Wishing you a year of active and healthy fatherhood!

xoxo

 

 

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!

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:

IMG_2675

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.

IMG_2503

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.

IMG_1351

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.