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March 14, 2016 Comments (4) All Posts, Tips & Inspiration

When I See Pregnant Women Weightlifting…

Pregnant Weightlifting
"Training has helped me through so much of my pregnancy, it has helped me feel more prepared mentally and physically for what's to come while keeping me in a positive, healthy and happy state." Revie Jane of CrossFit Babes Miami

…I feel scared.

I love spending time with my 14 nieces and nephews. I started a company whose mission was to get kids more physically active. I’ve been coaching kids’ basketball since I was 14. I volunteer teaching kids how to cook healthy meals.  I’m not sure if that makes me less selfish, but felt like I needed to clear the air before admitting my seemingly shallow thoughts about pregnancy.

I am recently married, about 6 months ago now, and everyone knows what happens next. Or at least what’s supposed to happen next. Family and friends ask me all the time “what’s next” like something is supposed to happen next… “When are the kids are coming?” I have the same reaction to that question as I do about all of these images of pregnant women working out; fear.

Pregnancy is something that brings excitement, new life, a new love, new hope.  However, it also comes with the fear of losing something that feels vital to my being- training. I wanted to know if I’m alone in feeling this way when I see these images. I want to know if anyone else feels scared too.

PREGNANT TRAINING: MODIFYING MY PASSION

 

A video posted by Revie Jane Schulz (@reviejane) on


Revie Jane Shultz doing backsquats at 30 weeks pregnant. Featured Product: FASTLIFT 325 

I have identified as an athlete since as young as 8, and if you read my previous post you understand how important training is to me:

“Unfortunately, hard work doesn’t always translate directly to the results I want to see, whether it’s in my personal or professional life. I crave that feeling of control, and in our chaotic lives training is the hour or two where I dictate the results. How hard I work, directly correlates to the outcome; no one else has a say.”

Images of pregnant women enduring a CrossFit workout terrify me. Not because of the usual conversation about the safety of mother and baby, but for completely selfish reasons.  Making the decision to have a baby requires accepting that for at least the next 9 months, I will need to sacrifice my personal passion. It terrifies me in the way of thinking about spending almost a year “modifying” workouts. Will I feel the same satisfaction stepping up measuredly onto the box jump, or leaning against the wall to do a push up?

I see images of women pushing through a workout with an extra 30lbs on their front and I wonder if I will be able to push through whatever a pregnancy may throw at me. I’m scared the unpredictable, notorious hormonal changes will leave me without the energy to carry a baby around, let alone workout. How will my competitive nature handle it to watch others continue to do what I love doing and am not able to do?

 

A photo posted by Tamaryn Barber (@tazbarber) on

Who knows what pregnancy and childbirth will bring. All I can hope is that my training can make me a strong mom like many others such as Taz Barber, pictured.

THE RISK

At inov-8 we work with a lot of talented, competitive athletes. Having worked at inov-8 for almost four years now, I’ve watched as they grow and with some, their priorities slowly shifted.  I have seen five women and three male athletes make the conscious decision to put competition on hold in order to focus on starting and raising a family.  As a competitive athlete, the decision and sacrifice is even harder.  These years of your prime where you could have accomplished a new goal, won a dream race, or continued to improve your athletic performance, would be wasted. Not wasted; but having a baby may potentially set you back.    

A video posted by NaNa (@nana_health) on


@Nana_Health Working out with her kids

KNOWING THERE IS MORE

At some point, I know this rant sounds ridiculous.  I know that there is more to life than just training. It is something I enjoy doing, but it isn’t all I am.  I know I will be fine scaling back for a little bit.  Four time CrossFit Games athlete Lindsey Valenzuela just recently posted about completing 16.1 pregnant and scaling the workout.  In response, people tried comparing their pregnant score to her pregnant score- a new category in the Opens apparently… who is the fittest pregnant person in the world? No. That is not necessary- there is more to life than training and Lindsey did a great job addressing that. She knows that the health of her and her future son are much more important than a workout score.

My sister-in-law, Sheila Cordaro, mom of 2 and founder of award winning personal training company for mothers.

My sister-in-law, Sheila Cordaro, mom of 2 and founder of award winning personal training company for mothers.

REENVISIONED GOALS

Luckily, I am surrounded by women who’ve made it work.  I am continuously inspired by these women who not only continued their athletic pursuit after children, but they are continuously improving.   At inov-8, we have the privilege of working with and watching the inspiring Revie Jane who currently owns her own business, coaches, and has been working out through her pregnancy. Or Taz Barber who competed on Team NorCal in the CrossFit Games after having her son and just recently had their second son.  Or in my personal life, my sister in law – mother of two kids, owns a business as a personal trainer training moms and families to stay fit and healthy. And of course, my mom, who 30 years after giving birth to me is still competing- racing in Spartan Races with me and getting ready for her next challenge- a chance at the Masters National Track & Field championships.

So I guess what I should think of when I see these images is not fear, but instead to be inspired there are Women out there like me, who have made this possible.

4 Responses to When I See Pregnant Women Weightlifting…

  1. susie@susieg.com' Susie says:

    I understand your fear and it was one that I harboured before I got pregnant, and to an extent still do. However I am now 34 weeks into pregnancy so can offer a different perspective on it.

    Yes I have found that I have gradually had to scale back on the sports I enjoyed, but (perhaps to my surprise) I have found that I still get immense satisfaction from what I AM able to still do, perhaps even more so at times than pre pregnancy. You see, it becomes a whole new trial, a complete unknown, and as a competitive sporting type this is a very appealing challenge upon which to embark. You are dealing with big shifts to your body and, not unlike going into any big race or competition, you have no idea if you’ll succeed.

    So I am finding that the pregnant me gets that big buzz from things like summiting a hill on a run, or still being able to swim butterfly at 34 weeks pregnant! It’s the buzz I used to get but over the years had fizzled out to an extent because of the voice inside which always said that I should/could be pushing harder still. And to be clear, it’s not that my competitive mind set has changed and I am happy to just ‘accept’ current circumstances because that just isn’t me! It is more a genuine amazement and pride that my body can still achieve these physical feats.

    I am still maintaining a high level of physical activity at 34 weeks. Yes sometimes I get massively tired (and frustrated), but on the whole I am doing well and genuinely think that staying fit has helped massively during pregnancy- I’ve not suffered the aches and pains which various pregnancy literate and websites tells me I apparently ‘should’ at various stages, and most importantly I have been able to keep up my passion for sport to maintain my sanity. I feel as fit now as I did prior to pregnancy. Yes I am doing less in distance/intensity, but with 12kg extra weight the effort is comparable!

    I mentioned that to some extent I still harbour ‘the fear’. Up until now, a dose of luck, tenacity or whatever has allowed me to carry on with the sports I love. However I still have to come to terms with the fact that at some point, whether that be late pregnancy, birth or post-partum recovery, I am going to have to take a break to some extent. And then there is the small matter of small new human being relying on me! My hope is to restore a balance in my life with relative ease post birth, but this isn’t something I have any control over and that is quite frightening. Fingers crossed it will work out fine.

  2. lizzieborden@snet.net' Lizzie B says:

    What an honest and reflective piece – letting us know it is okay to have those “selfish” thoughts and putting it all in perspective. Thanks!

  3. yqxz9gl0j@gmail.com' Chiana says:

    Going to put this artilce to good use now.

  4. maxwellemily23@gmail.com' Emma says:

    I can completely understand your situation here. We all are passionate about something and other and sometimes life intervenes and asks us to make a choice, such difficult choice. Thanks for sharing such an honest article. All the best!

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