“Makena Ryan”-A nine month WOD
My CrossFit journey through pregnancy, labor and postpartum.
February 25, 2013
By Jackie Mountain
I was like any other CrossFitter. Tried it once, drank the Kool Aid and became addicted. Words like “WOD, PR, Paleo, and Fran” all became part of my everyday vocabulary.
Before I began CrossFit, I was your typical woman always trying to get into a size zero and looking like the girls on the magazine cover. I was a gym rat and yo-yo dieter for years, but nothing really changed in my body and mind until I began CrossFit. Since high school, I struggled with weight, body image and eating issues and it continued on into my late twenties.
After finding CrossFit, my whole mind set of beauty and fitness changed. It went from trying to fit into a certain size jeans to trying to PR on my clean and jerk. After beginning CrossFit in June of 2012, I was getting stronger and stronger. My body changed drastically and I was able to do things I never thought I could. After my doctor told me it would be hard to get pregnant if I was doing high intensity workouts, my husband and I decided to start trying, figuring it would take some time. My doctor told me this in the beginning of April and on May 28th I got a positive test. I laughed to myself because the month before I was doing “Murph” with a 10lb vest and pushing through WOD’s like I had never done before. Obviously this baby wanted to be here! When I found out I was pregnant, I was elated, but had an inner struggle with the fear of gaining weight, losing strength and being on a hormonal roller coaster. I was in the best shape I had ever been in in my life and was afraid that my previous mind set would come back. In addition, my doctor told me not to get my heart rate over 120 bpm so immediately I thought I had to stop doing CrossFit.
My husband talked me into changing doctors and after I did, I was told to continue doing what I had been doing before and to just listen to my body. In the first three months I was careful and didn’t overdo any of the workouts (I was obviously not trying to PR on any lifts). During this time, I struggled with the fact that I couldn’t go as fast as the other girls and it was a mental battle for me every time I showed up at the box to WOD.
Over time, with the support and encouragement of my coaches, husband and fellow CrossFitters, I got used to not being able to do as much and took pride in the fact that I was showing up every day giving 100% to my workouts. During the 9 months I focused on staying healthy, fit and strong. By the time 7 months rolled around, my belly was bigger and some lifts and movements became difficult, but I just modified as necessary. My burpees and push-ups became belly to the floor not chest to the floor. There were definitely days that I was exhausted and moody, but I still showed up and ended up leaving the box feeling much better. I had a great pregnancy and was still working out 2 days before my daughter was born.
The night before she was born, my husband was coaching a class and I decided to go with him to hang out and sit on a therapy ball since I had been having contractions all day. While I was at the box in labor, I found comfort in the support of my friends. That night I went into the hospital and did not have my daughter until 12:37 the next day. It was a long 17 hour labor -with 3 hours of pushing. I was very close to having a C-Section, but since the baby was making progress, my doctor let me continue to push. Makena was born “sunny side up”, which means her face was facing upright which is why my labor and pushing was so long. Everyone assumed I would have a short, easy labor since I was in great shape before and during pregnancy, but this baby wanted to come the way she did! I strongly believe I would not have been able to go through this and push as long as I did if I had not been doing CrossFit my entire pregnancy. It gave me the physical strength to push and the mental strength to not get discouraged.
One week postpartum, I decided I could not sit around anymore and do nothing. So since I was feeling good, I started doing short WOD’s on my back patio to get moving. It was tough. I had lost strength and endurance and wanted to give up. I felt like a blob with a belly that looked as if I was 6 months pregnant and was battling with my previous issues about my body image and weight. The next week I went back to our box and started doing WOD’s. I needed to see my friends and be in a place of support, encouragement and positivity. Once again, I felt weak and winded, but continued to move through the motions and complete the WOD’s. I was one of the last to finish when I used to be one of the first. This was mentally challenging for me, but I pushed through those feelings and knew that by doing that it would make me stronger in the long run. Now, one month postpartum, I am feeling like myself again, slowly gaining strength and stamina back. Between nursing, burping and diaper changing, I manage to bring Makena to the box and get my workout finished. She is what keeps me motivated and positive. She and I had a long, tough journey to get her into this world and I owe it to her to be a strong mom and teach her to never lose faith, be confident in who you are and always pursue your goals.
Here I am 7 months post partum, reading this and cannot believe how far I have come since writing this. There were many times I wanted to give up and quit CrossFit, but my friends at the box continued to encourage me to come. I cried during and after working out because I felt so weak, but managed to push through that mental barrier and always finish not matter how long it took. Many days I would come in sleep deprived, hormonal and overwhelmed with new responsibilities, but always left feeling good about what I accomplished. I competed in 2 competitions and was proud no matter what place I finished. I am still learning to accept the new person I am and to continue to get stronger mentally, physically and emotionally every day. Just when you think you cannot go on, dig deep within and you will find the strength. I love seeing all of you working hard and giving 100%. I love the encouragement and support you give one another and I am proud to be part of this community.
WORKOUTEMOM 20 minutesOdd: 3 Back SquatsEven: 3 Pull-upsModifications
- Pick a weight that you can do 4-5 reps in a row.
- Pull-ups can be rings, bent over rows, or even rope pulls (1) from the ground.