MORE

Feeling the Love!                  Welcome to MORE: The Retreat

As #parentpreneurs, it’s easy and natural to want MORE. More time, more energy, more peace, more chances to slow down and soak in the moment.

We got just that and MORE this weekend at MORE: The Retreat. Held at the Dove Mountain Ritz Carlton, the retreat is the brainchild of Amber and Kai Anderson, who wanted to create a space for entrepreneurial parents who need time to strategize and enjoy their families.

We spent the weekend with several families savoring MORE. It was the perfect way for us to celebrate our wedding anniversary and spend good time with the bebes. Our weekend was filled with hiking, pool time, work time, nap time, delicious food and new friends seeking the same in life. 💜 We often get swept up in the running around, staring at our phones, glazing over in front of the tv. But this weekend, we actually relaxed and rejuvenated. We spent time talking about the big picture and resetting our goals. We played and played and played with our littles. The important stuff for marriage, for work, for parenting, for self-care.

If this sounds like something you’re down for, do yourself a favor and follow @newmoreco. And then save the date for August 18 for the #milkbeerwine happy hour to get started on your adventure for MORE. Tickets for #milkbeerwine available here.

Thank you for MORE, Amber & Kai!

xoxo, Team Leatherman

Team Leatherman || Doing MORE {I just love seeing my Littles holding hands!}

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Pregnancy: Weeks 19-26

Phew. I am worn out. Hence my dramatic, lengthy absence from the blogging-sphere.

It all started with work. I’ve been working two jobs and try to work in a third whenever I can find time (which hasn’t been often lately). Some days, I work both jobs. Week 19 was a mess of hours, which left no time for WODs, yoga or blogging. All I managed to squeeze in was walking the pooch. At least I have pooch to get my heart rate up a bit!

All that rolled right into the hectic holidays. This was the first time we didn’t travel, but that didn’t mean we weren’t running around town seeing family, friends, and holiday spectacles. It was a great time. Pooch was completely into unwrapping gifts; that will be fun next year when we also have an eight-month-old!

Since then, my window for WOD opportunity has been narrow, and typically sleeps wins over working out. I’m definitely not proud of this. In fact, I’m extremely disappointed in myself. I’m trying to self correct by attempting for at least one yoga session, two CrossFit WODs, and a very long walk or hike with pooch a week (in addition to our daily 20-30 minute neighborhood walks). It’s improving with time. It also helps that I have another CrossFit preggy friend meeting me in the box – all about accountability!

I do miss having the bar in my hands and the power of lifting. It’s definitely not lost on me that I need to maximize my time while I have it.

Highlights:

  • Leslie gave birth to a healthy baby boy during my 19th week. They are adjusting well and Les is working her way back into the box. She’s definitely an inspiration!
  • Baby L started moving Dec. 22 and hasn’t really stopped. It’s one active kid!
  • Baby L is most active when we go to church, do yoga, or pooch is snuggled next to me. I think I’m growing a world peace advocate!
  • All the ultrasounds have been reassuring – we counted 10 toes, 10 fingers, saw the inside of the cranium, saw multiple organs and watched it move.
  • Food has balanced out. And now, during week 26, I am much more focused on paleo again. Still definitely need carbs, but haven’t had as many cravings.
  • Now that I’ve truly popped, the best clothes were acquired at H&M. Fashionable and cost-effective; what’s not to love?! I also found some great dresses from Gap and Nordstrom; J.Crew also launched its maternity pant line, which helps for work-wear. Still trying to work in as much of my regular wardrobe as possible.
  • We set up our registries at Target and on Amazon. Thanks to valuable input from a number of my mommy-friends, this task was still daunting, but we had awesome direction. We’re using the KISS methodology and trying to focus on the absolute necessities.
  • As I mentioned above, I got back into yoga and it feels amazing. I’m sticking with gentle yoga or centered yoga. As much as I love power yoga classes, the rooms tend to get too hot and at this point, I couldn’t keep up.
  • I’ve had to scale back my make heart rate during the metcon. Instead of pushing 165-170, I’m keeping more in the 150-160 range.
  • When I do get to the box, I’m still able to lift quite a bit of weight. Yay!
  • The chiropractor has kept my overall health and wellness stable. As I’ve grown, it’s been nice to have bi-weekly and now weekly adjustments to reduce tension and ease my joints. Highly recommend!

Progress pictures:

Ring dips with Baby L; 19 weeks

Ring dips with Baby L; 19 weeks

The awesome Coach Melissa

The awesome Coach Melissa

20 Weeks

20 Weeks

21 Weeks

21 Weeks

22 Weeks

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

23 Weeks

24 Weeks

24 Weeks

 

25 Weeks, with Poppa after he finished the Phoenix Rock n' Roll Half Marathon

25 Weeks, with Poppa after he finished the Phoenix Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

 

 

 

 

 

Athlete Profile: Leslie Spector

Leslie, Meghan and their bumps

Leslie, Meghan and their bumps

When I first started writing this blog, one of the first women I reached to was my friend Leslie. We met at our current affiliate and she was more than willing to share her experience. I’m so impressed by her dedication to CrossFit, while balancing being a wife, mommy to a toddler, full-time educator, and preparing for baby #2. And you guys, she looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I hope I look this fit when I’m 30+ weeks into pregnancy.

Leslie: 30+ weeks and lifting strong, while looking amazing!

Leslie: 30+ weeks and lifting strong, while looking amazing!

Leslie’s story:

Leslie pre-pregnancies

Leslie pre-pregnancies

Phoenix, Ariz., native Leslie Spector began her CrossFit journey September 2010 in an effort to train for Ragnar 2011, a 200-mile team relay race and to medicate her recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder, naturally (i.e. sans drugs). CrossFit, in combination with paleo eating, did the trick, shaving more than two minutes off her mile time and balancing her moods like never before.

“Unfortunately, I suffered a hip flexor injury during the race, earning me three months of physical therapy and rehab,” said Leslie. “Shortly after this I became pregnant, exercising very moderately. Despite being healthy and active, my body decided it needed a reset and after only a few weeks, I miscarried.”

Following the devastating loss, Leslie suffered some depression (understandably!) and self-medicated with “laziness in combination with deliciously gross food.” She became pregnant again almost immediately and was terrified of everything this time. The result? A sedentary pregnancy and a total of 70 lbs gained.

Leslie & Sophie

Leslie & Sophie

After an emotional roller coaster of a pregnancy (she chose to go without medication for her bipolar disorder) and the somewhat traumatic birth of her daughter, she was determined to get healthy again. And Leslie wasn’t merely focused on her physical health; she wanted the full mind, body, spirit health. After walking, then running, then a round of Insanity, she craved more and found Back Alley CrossFit, a Central Phoenix Box, in October 2012. She was able to shed those 70 pounds with CrossFitting Rx, until pregnancy #2 happened.

Now, at the end of her second pregnancy, Leslie has maintained her CrossFit and paleo lifestyle, feeling better than ever and more relaxed for baby Spector #2 to arrive.

30+ weeks pregnant

30+ weeks pregnant

More on Leslie:

Other exercise practices:  When I am not CrossFitting I love to hike, run, and do yoga.

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is:  My first pregnancy was less than healthy and resulted in major weight gain and crazy mood fluctuations. My goal this time around is to continue to CrossFit since it is truly my medication. My goal is not only to make healthy weight gains, but to also maintain a healthy mental balance.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? I love my doctor! He is very liberal as far as doctors are concerned.  He seems to follow the latest research and keeps his recommendations up to date. I have been totally honest with him about how active I am and he fully supportive. At my very first visit this pregnancy he began rooting me on as far as exercise and CrossFit goes. He has continued to be supportive even through my own fears when things feel off. His best advice has been to listen to my body and I do it every minute of every day and especially in the box!

CrossFit and pregnant: Leslie

CrossFit and pregnant: Leslie

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? I have a friend who CrossFitted through her pregnancy and she was the first call I made. She sent me to CrossFit Mom and there was lots of great information there. I also lean on my own coaches, CrossFit buddies, and of course the amazing, Dr. Harris.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration? I work out with some amazingly fit women. I find inspiration every time I step foot into Back Alley. I know the more I do while pregnant and the more consistent I am the faster I will be able to catch back up to everyone else I am ogling during my slow, paced WODS now.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: That exercise of any kind is even more mental than I thought prior to doing it pregnant. There are times when body can do way more than mind will let it and there are times when mind wants to keep pushing through and my body is screaming slow down. When I can control the mental side of CrossFit, I find the most success.

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: Hands down, my biggest challenge has been slowing down and scaling back. I am competitive by nature and strive to always beat my own best. Being pregnant, the recommendation from around the CrossFit world and the mainstream is to slow down. The easiest way to do this is the “talk test.” I should be able to maintain a conversation throughout the WOD.This is not a time for getting better or pushing toward PRs, but rather a time to maintain. It has taken great mental dedication to follow this recommendation, I mean, when is the last time you could carry on a conversation during a WOD?!

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? As far as eating during pregnancy my goal is balance. Nothing has been eliminated, but we definitely lean towards a paleo-ish diet…with ice cream. We definitely indulge in ice cream!

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Just show up!  You can scale and modify any WOD to make it work for your ever-changing body. Throw expectations out the window and listen to your body.

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: I have proven to myself with this pregnancy that no matter how much exercise and diet balance I maintain, my body will gain weight to support my pregnancy. However, CrossFitting while pregnant has given me energy and mental balance, which in my situation is far more priceless than hot preggie bod.

Favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Ghandi

Favorite girl WOD: Honestly, none stood out and I had to look them all up to pick a fave. Kelly is fun one; I like when running is incorporated.

Three words that describe me: Dedicated, neurotic, fun

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: At home with the fam!  They are my world!!!

The bump, getting pumped!

The bump, getting pumped!

If you have a CrossFit and pregnant story to share, email meghan@backalleycrossfit.com.

Pregnancy: Week 11

So, I’m finally caught up to myself on the blog! Yippee! And I’m heading into my second trimester which will bring more of a reveal to who I am. While we’ve enjoyed sharing our special news with family and friends in person, it’s just not possible for everyone in our lives given the great geographic differences. Once we’ve shared with everyone, I’ll share more about me with you. Thanks for your patience!

This was a really tough week for exhaustion and pain. Especially the pain. Eleven years ago, I had a breast reduction, going from an almost E cup size to a B. I am so happy with that decision because it brought me much relief in back pain, trips to the chiropractor and the ability to shed my ugly, huge, expensive bras for the much cuter and more economical alternatives. However, in these 11 weeks, my chest has grown rapidly in preparation. My bras are barely fitting and there are days where the tenderness is overwhelming. To top it off, this week, my back felt the brunt of the growth. And it was very uncomfortable to sleep, hence the exhaustion.

I got a chiropractor appointment on Friday morning. Not only did that provide me instant relief, she also gave me a few tips for sleeping and a scapula brace to help with my posture. After my appointment, I napped most of the day!

My stomach is also beginning to pooch, but instead of the cute bump, I just look like a fat kid. Looking forward to the cute bump! This is not a fun phase since I  have worked so hard to not have a tummy the last 3+ years.

As a result of the back pain, I laid off CrossFit so I wouldn’t hurt myself further. I did make it to one WOD, but the rest of the week, I just took our dog on really long walks.

Week Eleven WODS:

Oct. 8 Warm up row for 3 minutes

Strength/skill: 400 m run (2:18/166 rpm for heart rate) + 500m row (2:13/163 rpm)

Metcon: Three Rounds for time – weighted run (45/25), 30 weighted sit ups, 20 ground to overhead, 15 box jumps (24/20) – 16:55/168 rpm. I ditched the weights for the first two movements because of my back + pregnancy. I really had to slow myself down with everything to better keep my heart rate in check. Wasn’t easy since I’m so stinking competitive!

Oct. 13 2.15 mile run with the pooch. Took about 25 minutes (had some potty stops with pooch) and heart rate reached 164 rpm. Felt great to have running weather again!

Food: This week was much easier to get back into cooking. The hubs was praising Jesus and all that’s holy. While I managed some cooking, I also had some crazy cravings – Cheez Its, Fruity Peebles (yes, seriously!), Barbara’s peanut butter Puffins and popsicles.

Breakfast has been really difficult and making sure I’m getting enough veggies is equally challenging. Today I made ham and egg cups to help the both problems. Super simple and paleo –  preheat oven to 350 degrees; saute 1/2 cup of onion and 1/2 cup of mushrooms; spray muffin tin with olive oil spray and place ham slices in cups; spoon in mushroom and onion mix; crack individual eggs into ham cups; bake for 15 minutes or until ham edges are crisp. Enjoy!

Balanced breakfast

Balanced breakfast

Pregnancy: Week Eight

We had an appointment with our OB/GYN this week. He was awesome about everything – especially my CrossFit. He specifically said, “Everything you were doing prior to the pregnancy, you can continue. Just monitor your heart rate.”

SCORE!

He did mention that moving into the next trimesters, I will want to be careful with lifting too much because as my body and muscles expand to prepare for the birth, I can hurt myself/over-do. I won’t hurt the baby by lifting though.

This news and information made both the hubs and I much more comfortable with my CrossFit routine and what to prepare for.

Biggest changes are in my boobs. They are suddenly huge and very painful.

Week Eight WODS:

Sept. 16 Warm up 500m row

Strength/skill: weighted push ups (5×3) Got to 30#

Metcon: For time: 400m run, 50 push ups, 50 sit ups, 200m run, 40 push ups, 40 sit ups, 200m run, 30 push ups, 30 sit ups, 200m run, 20 push ups, 20 sit ups – 19:46

Sept. 17 Warm up

Strength/skill: front squats (10-8-6-4-2) Got to 115#

Metcon: 12 min amrap: 6 wall ball clean & throw (20/14), 8 box jumps (24’/20′), 6 KBS (1.5/1 pood) – 6 + 12

Heart rate: maintained around 160

Sept. 20 Warm up: core work

Metcon: “Helen” 3 rounds – 400m run (I rowed), 21 kbs, 12 pull ups – 13:46 Heart rate was 162

Food: I had an aversion to cooking this week. Poor hubs. I’ll eat anything put in front of me, but cooking/handling meat is completely unappealing.

Pregnany: Week Seven

My weekly goal is to CrossFit at least three times a week. During week seven, I met that goal. Overall, I’m feeling great. I have days of extreme exhaustion, but that’s easily cured with a nap or some mindless t.v. I have been very lucky to have had no morning sickness or nausea; I really think that has to do with CrossFit and constantly moving.

The hubs did buy me a Polar heart rate monitor this week. The nurse told me to keep my rate around 140, but according to Fit Pregnancy:

For a more precise heart-rate measurement, the Fit Pregnancy website recommends pregnant women use target heart ranges. Unfit, sedentary or overweight women ages 20 to 29 should aim for 129 to 144 beats per minute; those 30 to 39 should stay within 128 to 144. Active women ages 20 to 29 should aim for 132 to 152 BPM; those 30 to 39, 129 to 148 BPM. A range of 145 to 160 BPM is recommended for fit women ages 20 to 29, and 140 to 156 for ages 30 to 39.

I’ve been focusing more on how I feel during the WODs and the heart rate monitor helps me determine where I’m at during the workouts.

Week Seven WODs:

Sept. 9 Warm up

Strength/skill: 3 rep max OHS: 70# PR

Metcon: “Jess” 28 reps of: pullups, thrusters (75/45), KBS, box jumps, weighted sit ups (45/25 – I did without the weights), walking lunges (45/25) – 10:27

Sept. 10 Warm up: 500m row

Strength/skill: snatch balance 3×6, worked up to 75#

Metcon: 16 min amrap 10 reps of: slam balls, push press (95/65), air squats – 7 + 10

Sept. 11 Warm up

Strength/skill: 1 rep max of bench (110# not a PR) / back squat (145# PR!) / deadlift (200# PR!)

Metcon: 8 min amrap, 4 reps of: pull ups, burpees, box jumps – 11 rounds with modified burpees; subbed in push ups and jumping jacks instead of burpees. I tend to slam my belly on burpees, so it’s not worth the risk!

Food: eating whatever sounds good. Paleo-shmaleo is the mindset right now. Mac & cheese and ice cream? Yes, please!

Pregnancy: Week Six

We got an appointment this week to confirm the pregnancy. According to the nurse practitioner, I’m six weeks along. After seeing the baby on the ultrasound, she gave me a bunch of advice – amount of water to drink, what to eat, vitamins to take, medicines to take/avoid, and exercise. With exercise, her advice was, “exercise for 20 minutes, three days a week.” I had to refrain from snorting in laughter.

I said, “I’m a CrossFitter and am used to lifting significant weight.”

Her response sent me into a tizzy …

“Well, you shouldn’t be lifting more than 25#.”

Um, lady, you have no idea what I’m capable of, I thought to myself.

Online, I was reading all sorts of great articles about women CrossFitting while pregnant, but nothing was really adding up. That’s when this blog dawned on me. Maybe if I started documenting my experiences, it would help others. Worth a shot.

Week Six WODs:

So, I was feeling the first trimester exhaustion and squeaked in one measly WOD:

Sept. 4 Warm up

Strength/skill: double unders; 15 minute time cap; increase reps by 5 every minute. So, I suck at double unders and haven’t mastered even one. I did a ton of singles and broke a sweat.

Metcon: 6 rounds for time – 200m run, 10 deadlift (225/155; I did 135), 10 wall balls, 10 ground to overhead (45/25 plates) Time: 25:27, which was consistent with the athletes I workout with regularly. Felt good during and after.

Food: craving salty foods this week. Our box is in the final weeks of a six week paleo challenge, so all week, I ate some salami with cucumbers and added banana peppers to just about everything.