I always assumed I’d keep doing Crossfit up until week 39. It wasn’t until my RE told me that I would have to stop lifting entirely that I even considered an alternative. Mostly, I just ignored him because at that point I didn’t think we would ever get there.
Then I got the BFP and within the week I was down the rabbit hole of researching exercise and pregnancy. Did you know that pregnant ladies should only walk and do yoga? Only not yoga, because you can easily overstretch, so mostly just walking. Only not walking, because you can easily overheat, so maybe you should just sit pretty on that couch. Only don’t sit pretty, because then you’ll get gestational diabetes, so maybe you should lift. Only don’t lift, because weights are scary and you don’t know what you’re doing, so maybe just take the stairs at work. Only don’t take the stairs, because then your heart rate might go above 140bpm, so just take the elevator –
Jesus Mary and Joseph. I was ready to go run a marathon out of spite after reading all the conflicting sources out there, and I hate distance running. Thankfully, I was able to chill my heels, take a breath, and look again after a few days, which is when I realized that most of the advice for only walking/yogaing is based off of research from the 80’s and 90’s, and more recent research is a whole lot more accommodating. And simple.
In fact it boils down to two basic rules:
1) Listen to your body and
2) Don’t push yourself.
There are some sub-rules, like don’t train for and run a marathon (phew, dodged that bullet), avoid high impact and contact sports (no rugby), and drink a shit ton of water. Yes, your body is flooded with relaxin and your ligaments are getting all smooshy, but mostly this just means don’t try to max out your squats and, again, listen.
So after briefly worrying I’d be barred from Crossfit and lifting, I became even more convinced to continue. Granted, with some small changes that will become bigger changes over time. From week 5, I could already feel my ability to push hard waning. Now at week 7, I’m the slowest in the class, hitting a wall really quickly and having to simply take more breaks and work at a lower intensity. I actually tried to push through this (because I’m smart) and was rewarded with a small mouthful of barf. Okay then, body, I hear you loud and clear.
Honestly, that’s the hardest part for me, the mental game of listening. Crossfit teaches you how to push through the I can’t signals your body is throwing at you and finish strong. But now I really need to listen to those signals and be okay with finishing last. I was really proud that I was one of the ones who could do 95% of the workouts as prescribed (as they were written, ie not scaled down) and still finish strong. Now everything is scaled and I’m still finishing last and it’s… it’s hard.
It definitely helps now that all of my coaches know. I should have told them as soon as I started feeling my endurance wane, but I didn’t want to jynx it. But it’s very important – I absolutely do not need encouragement to go faster or push harder and I don’t need them batting an eye when I’m lifting far less than usual.
I’m also looking forward to when I have a visible excuse for being the slowest, although I hear 2nd trimester is when your energy and endurance pick back up again.
Aand of course I can’t wait to wear something like this: