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Getting back to Exercise After Pregnancy….Ouch

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Week one of training – Done.

Ego – Bruised.

Body – Told me to go to hell not even an hour later.

Mental state – Alive. I mean that literally as well as figuratively, every muscle in my body is reminding me that it’s there.

Hey again, it’s me, your ‘put your ego aside’ cheerleader. Remember that advice? That good ol’ hoorah I give so well?? Well, I should have mentioned and maybe I did, but these days I’m lucky if I remember to eat, oh and that sound piece of advice is sometimes way easier said then done. Let’s recap this week shall we? I told you I unofficially started my work out routine 4 weeks post partum. I didn’t feel ready and therefore took it easy, like a good girl should. Fast forward to this past Tuesday. I am 7 weeks and 3 days PP, (hell that’s a good amount of time eh?) I am feeling awesome (remember confident not cocky? cocky showed up and I didn’t tell it to piss off) and I am PUMPED to get back in the gym. That my friends, was the beginning of the end. A perfect recipe for disaster if you will. I want to begin this by saying I’m not looking for sympathy or words

of encouragement, they are always welcome but this was a lesson hard learned as sometimes we have to and an experience I want to share. I think it’s important not just for a former pregnant chick returning to work out but any athlete (yes even you, you that only worked out for a month or whatever, you are an athlete) that is getting back into a routine after taking time off.

Let’s paint the picture first.

*Warm up 50 burpees.
I’ve not only become pretty damn efficient at burpees before pregnancy but I grew to absolutely love them. I wasn’t the quickest but I could string them together pretty well and my breathing stayed nice and controlled throughout. This day I walked in EXCITED to do these 50. I did 25 unbroken, broke. 8, broke. 8, broke… you get the picture. I still in my head thought I wasn’t doing too badly on time. That is until I looked up

after I finished and the rest of the class of about 12 people were already getting into their lift session. Last one done on burpees huh? That was different, but to be expected I guess? OK, swallow that, moving on.

*Strength portion: Sumo Deadlift 6 X 3 increasing load.
Ok. I’m going to give you numbers here and I know it can be a tad douchey to shout out what you lift but I don’t care, I need you to understand where my head was at. Maybe you’ll still think I’m a jackass but so be it. I looked at the lift and thought back to my 8th month of pregnancy. My old deadlift 1 rep was 260 lbs , my sumo (which I did during pregnancy for belly squatting reasons) was still around 208 at this time (8 months preggo).

Today, I told myself, you know what Shonda, back it up. Let’s take 50% of your old 1 RM and just rep the sets of 3. 133 lbs for 6 sets of 3, cake work.

I was using 133 for clean drills a few months ago. That weight for a deadlift ,was something I was totally comfortable with.
First set.
Well, that’s unusually heavy, I’m not warmed up. Carlo says to me, your ass is high when you lift that, I’m thinking IS ITTTT?? YOU BASTARD!? I’M HAVING A MENTAL SHOWDOWN WITH MY FORMER SELF RIGHT NOW!!! Lol, No no , I wasn’t THAT crazy (not out loud anyway) but I was struggling and my response was, “it’s not heavy I just can’t….” and then I stopped, it WAS heavy. I was gonna give some BS excuse on why I can’t keep my form where it needed to be and guess what, it was because that weight, no matter how light I remembered it, had become heavy. They weren’t heavy enough to put me in a bad position and I did warm up some after a few but, they were heavy enough that I could have lowered the weight and been just fine. They were heavy enough to mess with my head nice and sneakily. They were heavy enough that I, with my heart a little sunk, said well, I may have to back this up even further next class.

Sometimes you have to go backwards to move forward. Not gonna lie, it BLOWS but it’s the truth. Until next time deadlift…until next time.

*Met Con: Tabata

Pull ups
Hang cleans (my favorite lift ever)

Air squats
Lunge switches

Tabata , for those of you who don’t know, is a 16 minute workout (well this day it was). It consisted of these four movements. 20 seconds you will do the movement and 10 seconds you will rest for a total period of 4 minutes then you will move directly move to the next movement and do the same.

Tabatas are always killer. They’re fun but sneaky and really make you push yourself. I was nervous but, not too much I mean, I’ll just do what I can right? Do what I can. What is it I can do? I’m 30 pounds lighter from when had the baby and had to give up pull ups, could I jump up and do them again? I tried and yea!! There they were! Not too many in a row but I still got it! Hang cleans at 65 lbs, that is ma shitttttttt, not even questioning, I’m all over it. Air squats, pfffft… got it. Lunge switches, while I find them horrible regardless of what state I’m in, I was determined to get a few in.

So in this workout only your lowest rep count for the 4 minutes is scored. It’s designed that way so you continue to push yourself to chase your best

number.
Mine went something like this.
3,2,1, GO
Ok I’m doing pull ups. Well, I’m doing some. I’m resting, I’m resting. I’m doing one, GET ONE FOR CHRIST SAKE!
That was pretty much my mind set the entire 16 minutes. My scores looked like this.
0
4
9
0
190 Total reps
1,000,000,000 % ass kicked and I knew it.

Normally you feel a workout a couple of days later, I’m familiar with that. I’ve become accustomed to a little bit of soreness when a workout was harder than I expected. My soreness however, started as soon as I got

home. I joked about coming home, kneeling down to kiss the baby and had a feeling of my legs giving out. I joked about it because I knew I was in for some serious grit your teeth stuff the next couple days. Couple days, I did say only a couple days right? I’m not THAT de-conditioned. I can deal with soreness for a couple days. Well people, let me just tell you. It was a

goddamn fight for my balance EVERY. SINGLE. step/ squat/ sit stand/ toilet encounter/ baby pick up/ baby put down/ walk to the mailbox , you get the idea. I’d be ecstatic to tell you that just my legs were quitting on me. Nope, my arms said buh bye as well. They didn’t want to put shirts over my head or hook my bras, this was ridiculous! And guess what, I did this. I threw every piece of my own perfectly good and sound advice out the window. I was so excited to be back that I got cocky, there I said it!! I came , I saw,

I didn’t listen and there I was biting my lip as I fell into the couch instead of using my legs to lower me lol.

Thursday came and it was barbell class. I had to go. The less you move in times like that the worse you feel. I went. I once again was bitchslapped with weights I once deemed “feather weights” but this time I listened. I used the light weight and I just moved. Turns out that can be pretty fulfilling… for now. I’m still me and want to lift heavy, that’s my happy in the gym but for now I will focus on where I am and embrace it.

I’m asked to write these blogs and when it comes to writing I only really know one way, that is to write as if I’m talking to you. You, whoever you are. I want you to know that whether you’re coming back from injury or pregnancy or just starting out I know it can be tough. I was transported back to my first weeks of CrossFit this past week. I remembered that feeling of ouch (even though this time around I pushed WAY too hard because I was trying to be the me 10 months ago.) I know what its like to feel defeated or like where you want to be is very far off. Know what else
I know? I know that regardless of the struggle, the failed attempts, the sore EVERYTHING… I had a hell of a time and I’ll be back ; )

Whatever you do and however you do it, keep moving. It’s good for the mind as well as the body.

Till next time -Shonda