The OPEN

games.crossfit.com

games.crossfit.com

I officially registered for the 2016 CrossFit Games Open and got this cool badge to prove it. I’m wanting to make a comeback in my CrossFit journey … and hoping I survive.

Join me!

Registration is $20. You can sign up with an affiliate or video yourself doing the WODs at home. And there are all levels of performance: Teen, Master, Veteran, Rookie, Military, Six-in-Row (aka badass!), SCALED, First Responder.

The Open is a fun time to see where you stack up. Yes, you can absolutely get crazy competitive and shoot for Regionals. But the vast majority of us sign up for the camaraderie, the commitment, the fun. Looking forward to pushing myself on the competition floor with my fellow CrossFit Full Strength friends starting February 25.

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Hitting the reset button

After a long break from CrossFit {and blogging!}, I reentered the box last week. While I’m struggling to sit down after three intense days, I’m thrilled to be back.

Team Leatherman at Thanksgiving, 2015

Team Leatherman at Thanksgiving, 2015

While I wasn’t CrossFitting, I did manage to get back to my happy weight. It took 16 months and I finally managed to shed that weight thanks to the 21-Fix program. The combination of at-home workouts (that were actually breath-taking) with the easy-to-follow nutrition guidelines were exactly what I needed to get my body back. {I didn’t do the shakes – just portion control and the 30-minute WODs.} It was also nice to do something different and that fit into my schedule.

But I did miss CrossFit!

Check out CFFS!

Check out CFFS!

To get back to CrossFit, I recently signed up for CrossFit Full Strength‘s all-women six week challenge. CrossFit Full Strength is one of the oldest affiliates in Phoenix and it recently expanded into a new space. Everyone I’ve met is friendly, approachable and supportive. And the coaches are killer; they have a combined 30+ certs. Exactly what you should expect when joining a CrossFit affiliate!

The six week challenge is a collection of women at ALL fitness levels and includes an information-packed paleo challenge. Four time Regional competitor and owner of CrossFit Full Strength Gayle Shalloo-Davenport understands that many women don’t love working out with men – especially in such a perceived competitive environment. She’s found the groups provide the perfect foundation for CrossFit. The box also offers all-men challenges, too.

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CrossFit Full Strength

CrossFit Full Strength

First Week of WODs:

Baseline – 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 pull ups (I used the green band): 7:08

Second WOD – 10 to 1 deadlifts (85#) + pike burpees: 7:29

Third WOD – 3 rounds 250m row, 10 thrusters (55#), 2 min. rest in between rounds: 12:45

***

On another note, I have a number of athlete profiles in the pipeline. Stay tuned! Thanks again for your continued following and sharing.

xo

Athlete Profile (update): Leslie Spector

Hiking

Hiking with her babies (photo courtesy of Leslie)

A year ago, we featured Phoenix, Ariz., native Leslie Spector, who was pregnant with baby #2, and an advocate for CrossFitting while pregnant. Today, Leslie is rocking a hot bod thanks to hard work and participating in a Back Alley CrossFit paleo challenge. “I had hit a plateau with my weight loss after Sean,” said Leslie. “The paleo challenge was the nudge of motivation I needed.”

Her results speak volumes:

  • 15lbs gone forever
  • 16 inches gone forever
  • Reduced performance times by at least a minute

Leslie advises that it’s more than just the box and paleo (or any diet tweaks) to get that weight off. “If the kiddos are losing their minds and you can’t make it in, you need to have a back-up plan.” She recommends having a list of at-home WODs, DVDs, or getting outside. “Anything is better than nothing!”

Balance is a struggle for this full time working mom of two. Now having two kiddos to manage and a husband with a fire fighter’s schedule, getting into the box can be tricky, but making the commitment is key.

Double unders! (photo courtesy of Back Alley CF)

Double unders! (photo courtesy of Back Alley CF)

“My best advice is to have a solid routine and stick with it,” said Leslie. “On days when your heart is tugging more toward baby than the box, listen! Those feelings happen for a reason. I love Elizabeth Akinwale’s quote about always having inches to lose and gains to make, but our babies are only babies once. That got me through last week having two sick babies and only working out twice. I really try to be in tune with my needs. If it’s respite, I find someone else to love my babies for the hour I’m working out. If I miss my babes, but know for my own well-being my butt needs to be at the gym, they come along and I work out with the annoying interruptions because that’s better than not seeing them.”

Team WOD (photo courtesy of Back Alley CF)

Team WOD (photo courtesy of Back Alley CF)

When her kiddos do join her in the box, she leverages technology and food. For her toddler, some tablet time is key, since WOD time is some of the only time she sees technology. Her baby’s distractions shift from food, to other people, to his big sissy, to the various toys in the box. “To be honest, the awesome community at Back Alley is what gets me through if he is there,” Leslie said.

Leslie’s focus on a paleo lifestyle helped with the weight loss, but she suggests finding something that works for you and your family. “Dial in the diet, but make it realistic so it works for you instead of being destined to fail. If it’s not realistic, you’ll fail. If you fail, it’s an excuse to go off the rails. At least it is for me.” Having the support of a spouse/partner or the entire family definitely helps. For other moms considering paleo, she offers this advice, “It seems more complicated than it is. Once you know the basics, and carve out prep time, it’s easy.” She turns to Paleo Grubs for recipe inspiration. “I make a spicy chicken recipe at least once a week. I also, have bacon and steak wrapped asparagus in the weekly rotation.” YUM!

Leslie didn’t CrossFit during her first pregnancy, but was a huge advocate for it when she became pregnant with her second baby. Leslie isn’t only focused on her physical health through CrossFit; she uses it for full mind, body, and spiritual health.

Endurance training with Coach Melissa (photo courtesy of Leslie)

Endurance training with Coach Melissa (photo courtesy of Leslie)

“CrossFit is my medicine! Literally, I use it to naturally treat my bipolar disorder,” said Leslie. “Chemicals freak me out and Back Alley makes it possible for me to maintain balance without having to pop pills. If I go more than a couple days without my daily dose of BACF, it’s obvious. I love being dependent on exercise and friends…the support and friendships I have built are priceless!”

How’s that for CrossFit and pregnant success?

More on Leslie:

Biggest CrossFit challenge she’s faced: Front rack lifts, due to a nagging wrist injury that won’t go away.

Greatest CrossFit accomplishment: I can see back muscles after a super successful paleo challenge!

Favorite girl WOD: I like Fran for the challenge. My best time 4:47, but that is a light and scaled version. I did it in 5:53 a little heavier, still a bit scaled too.

Biggest value in CrossFitting while pregnant?: My mental well being and there is less work on the back-end. During my first pregnancy, I gained 70# (sans CrossFit). With number two, it was only about 26# – enough said!

Favorite mom resources? (book, blog, website, toy for baby, etc.): Friends are number one. Support group is number two. I joined one specific to Nursing. Google is another favorite. When my babies were tiny, ‘Baby Wise’ was my go to book. Now I frequently delve into ‘Love and Logic.’

How much time did you take off after your pregnancy before you got back to CF?: I took the recommended six weeks and then I went really slow. CrossFitting while pregnant was much easier than after baby.