Long before I became pregnant, I had this vision of myself as one of those crazy hardcore CrossFit chicks: my huge pregnant belly kicking ass, setting personal and gym records, and beating all the boys on a daily basis. Of course, I would also be following a strict Paleo diet with no diversions and no cheats, and generally being the paragon of a healthy pregnancy.
At least, that was the fantasy; the reality thus far has been a little bit different.
First of all, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer exhaustion of the first trimester. Granted, I was in the middle of some major life changes — a very stressful move, planning for a new business, taking a course with frequent and tight deadlines — but I don’t think I have ever been so exhausted as I was throughout December and January.
Before I knew I was pregnant, I’d already started sucking at the gym (admittedly, by my own standards) — missing classes (mostly due to my epic two-hour naps), feeling winded with minimal exertion, falling short of my established weightlifting records, and taking two to three times as long as the fastest person to finish a workout, where I had previously often been that fastest person. It was frustrating, to say the least, but in retrospect I am actually proud that I had the good sense to listen to my body and take it easier during that critical period of fetal development.
Because of the move, my course work and the holiday season (oh, and not knowing I was pregnant), my eating habits also fell very much by the wayside for a few weeks. I think we actually ate at restaurants for an entire week’s worth of meals before we got our kitchen sufficiently unpacked to be marginally functional!
The end result of all this was that my first trimester diet and fitness routine most certainly did not even resemble my pre-conceived notions of the hardcore CrossFit Paleo chick I’d always imagined I’d be. And so what? The most important thing of all is that I made it through the first trimester with a healthy fetus. And while I wish I could have been “perfect” — could have eaten less chocolate and more green vegetables, could have made it to the gym more often, could have had fewer coffees and none of those glasses of wine — I know deep down that my standard of “less than optimal” nutrition and exercise is still vastly better than the norm, and that despite my transgressions, I have done a heck of a good job staying fit and healthy under trying circumstances.
Moving right along, I’ve tightened up my diet once again, am napping much less frequently, and am attending the gym on a fairly regular basis, but I’ve noticed that the hardcore competitive side of me has relaxed considerably. While I have every intention of keeping myself in exceptional shape throughout my pregnancy, I have also come to realize that pregnancy is not a time to push my limits; rather, it is a time to listen carefully to my body.
I plan to continue doing CrossFit classes for as long as I can manage, with appropriate modifications as my body changes. In the next couple of weeks, I will switch from time-priority to work-priority workouts, with set amounts of work to be accomplished in whatever amount of time it takes, and with as many breaks as necessary (I will elaborate on this later, when I discuss the “don’t let your heart rate go above 140 beats per minute” rule).
But for now, I take comfort in knowing that despite not living up to my fantasy of perfection, I am indeed “hardcore enough” 😉
This week’s workouts:
50 double-unders, 10 burpees
40 double-unders, 10 burpees
30 double-unders, 10 burpees
20 double-unders, 10 burpees
10 double-unders, 10 burpees
What should have taken me five minutes took almost 13. Lately, I just can’t seem to coordinate double-unders, even though I’d previously been quite good at them. I don’t know if it’s a result of hormones, or just some sort of mental block, but I have made a commitment to spend five minutes a day on double-unders until I nail them again.
“CrossFit Total” – 1 rep max of each: back squat + shoulder press + deadlift
Score: 195 lbs + 105 lbs + 235 lbs (previous bests: 210 lb back squat, 110 lb shoulder press and 260 lb deadlift)
I didn’t hit any of my PRs, but I’m okay with this. The uber-heavy squatting is going to stop soon anyway, since the combination of physiological changes to the pelvic area and the pregnancy hormone relaxin (which compromises joint stability) will make it dangerous to be doing such heavy, deep squats. This will be a good time to put some serious effort into improving my shoulder press, which is perfectly safe during pregnancy. (As an aside, although I was off my deadlift PR by 25 lbs, I think my midwife would absolutely shit a brick if she knew I was still deadlifting more than 200 lbs in the second trimester! 😀 )
WEDNESDAY – rest day
Barbell sumo deadlift high pulls (45 lbs)
Time: 9 min 20 sec