Nine months of “weighted” CrossFit with Mindy Nicoll


IMG_8479 When I joined CrossFit, almost 3 years ago,  it was a big ego check for me. I have played Division I college soccer and been athletic all of my life, so when people told me it was intense, I said to myself, "Yea right, they never had to made it through a two week pre-season". Well, I handled the intensity of the workouts fine, it was swallowing my pride that I had a hard time with. Having to use the 15 pound bar for snatches or using the thick green band for pull-ups was not in my previous vocab. It had been 10 years since I graduated college and I had failed to keep up the intensity of my own workouts and got soft. Sure I tried to do pull-ups at my previous gym but they were hard and I never stuck with it. I just kept telling myself things like "Don't worry about it it's not like you have to pass a fitness test anymore " or "I hit my athletic prime years ago".  So I continued with what I was good at and skated by until I came here. Working out in a class with people and instructors holding you accountable was exactly what I needed to light a fire under my ass. I was never the person who cheated on reps or cut my workout short and I wasn't about to start here. I was by far not the most skilled soccer player on my team in college but I worked my ass off in the weight room and on the track to be the strongest and fastest on the team. I might not have been the most skilled which I cannot control but I could control my training and prided myself on it. When I started CrossFit, I was at the bottom of the barrel which was new to me and I hated it. So I made the commitment to finish each work out as hard as I could modified or not and chip-away at meeting my goals of doing a pull up and getting my ass up that rope.  I knew that if I didn't put the work in I was never going to do it on my own. After about a year and a half I was well on my way of rope climbing and pull-ups without a band and RX-ing most of my workouts and it felt great. I look the best I had in years, fit into clothes I hadn't worn in a long time, but most importantly felt like an athlete again. Just when I had all my ducks in a row I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I only go to CrossFit three days a week Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I found out I was pregnant on a Tuesday and was right back to the gym on Thursday. Honestly I didn't even entertain the idea of not continuing CrossFit and I sure as hell wasn't going to lose the ability to do a pull-up on my own which took me a year and a half to conquer. I will say that I probably had one of the easiest pregnancies ever which made it a lot easier to get to the gym and work out. I was never sick and I only gained 21 pounds from start to finish which I accredit all to CrossFit. Like most pregnant ladies I was super tired in the beginning so I would take a nap after work before I came to work out. Sure there are plenty of days that I would rather saw off my arm off then get out of bed and go to class but I knew it was a slippery slope and if I missed one class it would be easier and easier to not go back. So I made myself go three times a week with no excuses and as time passed I got more and more energy. By my second trimester I felt like a superhero and couldn't wait to go work out each day. I remember going to my 14 week appointment and the nurse asked me what I was doing for exercise. She assumed I was only walking and I told her I was doing CrossFit and she had a look of horror on her face and said "Not anymore!" I had never seen this nurse before and she had me all nervous that I was doing something horribly wrong.  When it was time to see my doctor she had already told her I was going to CrossFit and the cat was out of the bag. My doctor and I discussed it and since my body was already used to doing CrossFit it was fine. She told me to modify the weight I was lifting, which I had already done and to use common sense, and "For the love of God don't climb the rope," which luckily was not part of our workouts the rest of my pregnancy. I was able to work out my entire pregnancy up to eight months and some change when I decided to take the last two weeks off and just walk. Good thing I did because my daughter was born two weeks early. My labor was short, I only pushed for 10 minutes and my beautiful baby was born quick and perfectly healthy. CrossFit not only helped with my speedy delivery but also really helped keep my weight in check.  I did allow myself to eat whatever I wanted within moderation of course, however I would be lying if my husband didn't want to take stock up in Dairy Queen Blizzards and Brookland Pizza. The instructors were really supportive and help me modify things I was unable to do with my huge belly like burpees ( I was so heartbroken about not doing these… yea right) so I felt like I wasn't missing out on anything during the work out. Honestly my biggest challenge of working out while pregnant was finding clothes that fit and trying not to pee during the workouts. Once Vaile was born my body was pretty beat up the first two weeks but by week number three I had turned a corner and want to try to make it through a class. So after three weeks I was back and was a little nervous but I made it through the work out which was a lot harder then, when I was pregnant. I'm not sure if it was the three weeks off or the lack of sleep but it was way harder than I remember. But just as I told myself while I was pregnant if you take a day off is a slippery slope, and you didn't use his baby as an excuse before so don't now. I'm happy to report that by week number four Vaile and her mom were both back to our fighting weight, and I kept my ability to do a pull-up on my own. CrossFit not only helped me feel like an athlete again it is been a huge part of me being able to live a healthy life. When I leave class where I just busted my ass the last thing I wanted do is go home and eat a bunch of crap and undo all the hard work I just did. I would like to thank not only the staff but all of my fellow classmates for all of the words of encouragement before, during, and after my pregnancy. You all motivate me each day more than you'll ever know. Two months later my workouts are getting better and better and I have less and less modifications...except double under’s my bladder has not bounced back enough for these...