Babies are the reason my CrossFit journey started. Back in late 2012 I was overweight and unhappy with my life. I had previously been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at the age of 19. I knew that my chances of conceiving naturally were very low. My daughter, then 3, was conceived through fertility treatment and my husband and I had been trying, unsuccessfully, for baby number two. One morning in early October, I was having a bad start to the day. I had to get size 14 jeans out of my cupboard because nothing else fit. When I dropped my daughter to daycare, a little boy came up to me and asked if there was a baby in my belly. Blow number two for the day and it wasn’t even 0830 yet. That was it. I knew that if I wanted to see a change, I had to be the one to make it. My husband had just started running CrossFit classes and that afternoon I signed up.
Fast forward 18 months. With hard work, consistent training and a tidy diet, I am at the best fitness ability I have been in my adult life. I have dropped to a size 8/10 in my clothes and my confidence is at an all-time high. My husband has opened his own CrossFit Affiliate and this has bought a whole lot of new challenges to my life. We had been undergoing fertility treatment for a while but nothing was coming of it. I had all but giving up and started to put my focus in to new things when I discovered I was pregnant. After 3 years it had finally happened.
What did this mean for me and my training? I had made massive progress over the past 18 months. I had been doing the workouts as prescribed, not scaling movements for the last 12 months and competing in competitions during the last 6 months. I consulted with my coach (who had a vested interest in my condition) and we found articles on the CrossFit journal about CrossFitting while pregnant. We set a plan and started modifying my workouts. In the first trimester it is particularly important that you do not let your body overheat. That does not mean you avoid breaking into a sweat, it means not pushing yourself to the point of exertion. Most articles say that it is important that you are still able to hold a conversation while working out. My coach would come over during workouts and talk to me to make sure I wasn’t pushing too hard. Cardio has never been my strong point so this didn’t bother me at all.
The biggest challenge to this point wasn’t the scaling or my coaches, it was my competitiveness and pride. I am a super competitive person and I knew that I was physically able to do certain things but I had someone else to think about now. Let’s be honest, it took a long time for me to fall pregnant, I was very scared that it was too good to be true. As much as I wanted to wrap myself up in cotton wool, it wasn’t going to do me any good. I consulted with my doctors and midwives who said that it is good to keep working out while you are pregnant as it helps to have a smoother labor. So with their approval the training continued. Being pregnant didn’t change my training regime. I wasn’t going to stop because I had an excuse to. I was still training 4 -5 times a week, but instead of coming in the mornings (due to some queasiness), I was doing all my training at night. CrossFit to me isn’t just training, it is a big part of my social life and obviously my home life as well. I had a 5 year old who looks up to me and that loves being active. I wanted to show her that she is capable of anything.
My husband and I decided that we would wait until we had our 13 week scan before sharing our news with the world. This was Challenge number 2. I was so excited that I wanted to scream it to the world. So for that time my workout modifications were between me and my coaches and they were very discrete about it. I’m glad now that I continued with my training because now it has shown me what I am really capable of.
To be continued
By Emma Jane Erbacher