When I first found out I was pregnant in March 2015, I was in the best shape of my life. We’d moved to Australia a couple of months before and I was in the lucky predicament of being able to focus on my fitness. I trained twice daily – mainly Crossfit and swimming. Various competitions were planned and I couldn’t wait to achieve my goals. So when I first took the test, I was really unsure of whether I could/ should continue with Crossfit. I certainly waved goodbye to getting my first muscle-up!
Training got hard real quick. Morning sickness was shitty and I just wanted to sleep. I panicked over double unders, handstands and box jumps. Each session I’d worry over whether I’d overdone it or not done enough.
Thankfully the Internet, particularly Instagram, saved me from throwing in the towel and eating cake for the entire pregnancy. Seeing women own it and train throughout was so inspiring. I was also lucky to stumble upon BirthFit early on. I wanted to be exactly like the women I saw, so I started to chart my photo journey. Plus, if I could inspire just one woman to continue training, then that would be a major win.
Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an easy journey. I’d previously had preeclampsia and I was monitored carefully. I had to watch my blood pressure too which seemed to swing between too high or too low through the weeks. Lots of modifications were needed and no two days strung together felt the same. Still, I got through by listening to my body. I never pushed too hard or ignored any warning signs. If all I did was sleep some days then that was exactly what I needed.
At first, training was fairly normal: I could still keep up with the class and didn’t feel hindered. I was even managing pull-ups well into the third trimester. People were either impressed or horrified whenever I posted. Interestingly enough, it was largely friends on Facebook who had the biggest issue with my fitness journey. But for every ‘concerned’ comment I had, I was able to provide scientific evidence as to why I was doing the best thing for me and baby.
During trimester two, things got tough. My growing bump was impacting my balance, plus I was concerned I’d knock myself performing snatch and cleans. At this point, I was happy enough to do my own modifications but I was also getting less guidance from my coach. I wasn’t getting many suggestions on how to adapt my training which left me demotivated. My Crossfit mojo was slowly dwindling. On reflection, I just don’t think my coach had the knowledge or confidence to continue training me.
By 34 weeks and much soul-searching, I decided to go it alone. Adapting entire sessions myself made it hardly worth paying $160 for. I desperately needed direction and the reassurance I was lifting correctly. For a few weeks I had a complete rest from Crossfit based training, focusing instead on swimming and yoga. The break was well needed, but I was also gutted to leave the sport I so loved. I almost felt like I’d lost my identity and frantically planned challenges I could do post- pregnancy to console myself.
Eventually I called on the help of an awesome female trainer who had experience in guiding crossfitters through pregnancy. I followed her program right up until birth and I cannot wait to resume training with her over the next few weeks. I only wish I’d made the move much sooner!
Overall, training whilst pregnant kept me sane and gave focus to my days. I also strongly believe that it prevented me from re-developing preeclampsia as well as allowing me to have the birth I always wanted.