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CrossFit is a loaded word in the world of fitness. People either obsessively love it or completely hate it. I sat through many conversations with fellow gym-goers who thoroughly enjoy giving me an earful about all the reasons why they don't like or do CrossFit.Here's my stance... I love CrossFit and it's OK if you don't.
You're never going to catch me going to Zumba or Yoga, but that doesn't mean that I look down on you if you do. Those things just aren't my cup of tea... and that's OK. I'm not going to corner you and belittle you for enjoying those style or workouts and going to those classes. I'm just happy you have found something that keeps you moving and keeps you in a healthy lifestyle. GO YOU!Now, back to CrossFit...
When I was pregnant and during my early maternity leave, I lost A LOT of muscle, which is something that has never happened to me before in my life. I had always been in shape due to being an athlete or being a fitness instructor, and it was tough to accept my postpartum body that was weak, jiggly, and not stong at all. But the option of being weak with a new little baby to take care of was not an option, so after my doctor cleared me at 6 weeks to return back to exercise, I had to focus on gaining back my muscle, not only to lose the pregnancy weight, but to get stronger to be the best Mom I could be.Pre-Baby, my workouts were fairly random. I lifted and did CrossFit workouts, but never had any structure to my workout plan. But, again, I was much more fit and in shape back then. It didn't take much to maintain what I had had my entire life. Working out after pregnancy was much different and deserved a little more thought and diligence. In order to focus on putting muscle back on, I created a plan with two upper and two lower body days. Sets varied between 3-5 and reps anywhere from 6-12. Now, you're probably thinking, that isn't CrossFit. Yes. I know this. At this time, I had to be more conscious about my form, proper technique, and making sure that I was using the right amount of weight. I needed to build a foundation of muscle for myself. I continued this until I was 6 months postpartum. During this time, I was also learning how to be a new mother. Every day is different with a baby... you honestly never know what your day will bring until you wake up and get going. This is why I only dedicated myself to working out 4 days a week (and on those days I only lifted, no cardio!). If I got in more than 4 days, great, if I only got in 4 days, then that was great too. My focus was on being a new mom to my new little man.
After 6 months, I felt like I hit a groove. I was getting stronger and shedding the pregnancy weight, Little man was getting into more of a routine and a little bit sturdier himself, and I was feeling a lot more confident overall in most aspects of my life. This is when I decided to bring CrossFit back into my training schedule.
I decided to add a day to my training schedule, so rather than dedicating myself to 4 days a week, I was going to get in 5. I kept my 2-2 upper and lower body training split for the first part of the week and put my CrossFit workout on the last day. In this CrossFit workout, I throw in a little bit of everything... snatches, cleans, dumbbells, tires, kettlebells, handstands, etc. These are absolutely my favorite workouts of the week and seem to be a reflection of my everyday life. My traditional weightlifting sessions are very routine and methodical, yet my CrossFit workouts are random and constantly challenging, very much like being a mother. Each day I wake up is something different... no two days are ever the same. Some days it's a struggle to push through until the end, but there's no other option. The day must be finished. CrossFit workouts teach you just that. Sometimes when you look at the workout, the only thing you can do is cry and laugh a little on the inside, but you know you're going to do the workout and you're going to get it done. There is no other option. These workouts teach perseverance and that getting through the workout is more rewarding that not doing it at all. There are so many days as a mother that you just don't know how you will get through, but you do it anyways, because your family is worth it. Worth all the blood, sweat and tears. When I walk in for my CrossFit workout on the last training day of my week, I'm tired, I'm sore, and I'm ready for a break. Similar to how I am typically feeling at the end of my week as a mother! I try to use this workout to reflect on all aspects of my week, including how truly blessed I am. I'm healthy, my son is healthy, and we have so many things to be thankful for in our lives. No matter how exhausted or how defeated I may feel at times, I know I am strong and I will find a way to get through things. There is a lot to be thankful in life, and a tough workout or a tough day of parenting is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.