You’re a Manimal!

Earlier this summer, Manimal asked if I’d be interested in testing out some of their wrist wraps. Not going to lie, I’m a sucker for anything red, white and blue, so I happily accepted the free wraps.

So in exchange for {this} review, I got a cool package with a Manimal t-shirt, some stickers, and wrist wraps. It appears that when you place an order for wraps, you get the shirt and stickers as a bonus – pretty smart marketing!

In addition to the packaging and bonus items, I was pleasantly surprised by the sturdiness and legitimacy of the wraps. I have received other {flimsy} wraps as chum from events – and there’s no support in these. For years, I have worn my Rogue wraps for most of my lifts to provide extra support and stability.

With nursing and baby carrying, my right side, especially my right wrist and elbow are tender and tweaked {the DUDE is heavy!}; so it’s required me to modify some of my movements to the point that I’m wearing the wraps outside of Olympic lifting. And since I received the Manimal wraps arrived around the time of the pain increasing, the Manimal wraps are what I’ve been wearing.

Getting back into heavy deadlifts, thanks to Manimals!

Here’s what I think:

The Old Glory’s are providing GLORY. I have less discomfort and I’m able to increase the weight steadily and strategically. They are firm and embrace my wrists so I can endure more. Love the colors {duh} and the ability to tighten to my needed stability and support. And the big bonus of Old Glory’s is the philanthropic piece:

MANIMAL donates 20% of the proceeds from Old Glory Wrist Wraps sales to the Boys and Girls Club of America. An organization that promotes and enhances the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.

So, I might sport these outside Chuckwalla, too! Lots of baby carrying WODs these days!

So, if you’re in the market for wraps, I strongly recommend Manimal’s – particularly the Old Glory’s. Thanks for the chance to try the wraps and share my experience, Manimals!

xoxo

Cute shirt to boot!

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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!

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!**

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:

PR_Email copy

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!

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.

The 2016 CrossFit Games | Quick Thoughts

CFGlogo

The CrossFit Games never fail to entertain or inspire. We spent all week and weekend glued to the AppleTV taking delight in the constantly changing leader board to see who would come out on top.

{@fikowski Instagram}

{@fikowski Instagram}

  • Loved all the rookie appearances, but was most impressed with Canadian, Brent Fikowski. He came out of nowhere!
Amen.

                                 Amen.

  • The Dottirs are amazing. What incredible role models for young women worldwide – not only with their athletic prowess, but also with their positive attitudes and work ethic. Congrats to Katrin, Sara, and Annie, most especially for always smiling!
CrossFit Mayhem Freedome {games.crossfit.com}

CrossFit Mayhem Freedome {games.crossfit.com}

Lucas Parker {@toqueluc on Twitter}

Lucas Parker {@toqueluc on Twitter}

  • FG is now a super fan of Lucas Parker, just like her momma. How can you resist the beard?!
games.crossfit.com {pictured: Heber Canon, CrossFit Media}

games.crossfit.com {pictured: Heber Canon, CrossFit Media}

  • Mad props to the CrossFit Media team. Man that crew can haul booty … almost as well as the ranked athletes. The Facebook Live footage gave such a cool “behind the scenes” feel.
games.crossfit.com

games.crossfit.com {deadlift ladder}

  • A return to The Ranch was epic.

Even some of the commercials inspired … especially this one:

Does #CrossFit make women look too bulky?

A post shared by CrossFit (@crossfit) on

I’m with Brooke Ence, what are we supposed to look like?!

What were your Games takeaways? Share in comments!