1. If you find Crossfit intimidating, now’s the time to try it: Many people find Crossfit intimidating. That’s normal. The best time to face that intimidation is when you are somewhat starting from scratch. You’ve got nothing to lose! You’re starting out as a new mom… it’s a great time to become a new Crossfit athlete too. Remember, you can always (and you should in the beginning) modify the WOD and skills. There are always ways to make adjustments to meet your needs and your current skill/strength level. If the heavy bar is too heavy, try the lighter one… if that’s too heavy, you can literally use a PVC pipe! Starting light is the best way to establish good form and good muscle memory. Also, remember…. No matter how advanced anyone else is… it’s a difficult workout for them too. We’re all just doing the best we can.
2. You have all the motivation you need: Your new little bundle of joy can be just the motivation you need to get through your WOD. For example:
- “This deadlift is soooo heavy…. But… if my little baby were stuck under this bar, could I lift it?!” Oh yes you could.
- “I don’t want to row another 30 calories! But…. if I were in a row boat with my baby and a crocodile were chasing us, I could totally row her to safety – even if it was more than 30 calories!” Go.
- “Pull-ups? You gotta be kidding me… my chin can’t get above that bar! But…. if baby’s most favorite lovey which ensures a good night’s sleep were up above that bar and it was almost nighttime… you bet your bottom dollar I would be able to pull myself up there!” Heave-Ho!
- “This is not running… this isn’t even jogging… this is… slowly trudging… but… if my husband came home and said, ‘why don’t you go run out and have a pedicure while I watch the baby?!’ I would sooooo be running a lot faster than this. Baby’s gonna need to eat in three hours!”
3. It’s great training for REAL LIFE: Remember that one time you were lugging the Pack-N-Play, the diaper bag, the baby’s car seat, two bags of groceries, and your car keys into your house. Well Crossfit is the perfect way to get STRONG so you can rock those pack-mule moments. Take a look at some of the things we do at Crossfit and how they relate to your everyday life:
- Farmer carry (holding a heavy dumbbell or plate in each hand and walking … somewhere) = carrying bags of baby formula and boxes of diapers through the Target parking lot.
- Burpee: on your belly “is the pacifier under the couch? No” -hop to your feet “where did my husband put it?” – jump up to look on top of the bookshelf “is it up here?” – clap your hands once “yes! Found it!”
- Russian twists: sitting on the floor next to your husband as he changes baby’s diaper. The wipes are on the opposite side of you… “wipes?” “Here you go.” “I need another.” “Here you go.” “And another.” “Here you go.”
- Squats: cranky baby loves to bounce? We OWN squats.
- GHD sit-ups: that awesome game when baby learns if she drops something you will pick it up… up and down. Up and down. Up and down.
- Cleans: Hoisting baby or baby gear from the floor so you can carry him/it anywhere.
- Push press: Getting those bulk boxes of diapers to the top shelf of the closet.
See! It’s all totally relevant to you!
4. Your new baby is in the right stage to sit in a car seat or stroller during the work out: Eventually, the little peanut is going to start moving! Then it will get a little trickier to keep him/her entertained if you haven’t already established a routine. I’ve seen little ones happily entertain themselves while Mama gets a workout in, because… well, because that’s what they’ve always done!
5. You will have one hour where you don’t have to think about diapers, feeding schedules, if you should be doing more (or less?) “tummy time” with little Junior: the bad thing about Crossfit is that the workouts are not a walk in the park. The good thing about Crossfit isthat the workouts are not a walk in the park. No matter you ability level, you will have to focus on your body and your form while you are working out. You get to escape, for approximately one hour, from the multi-tasking you do all day. While you are at your Crossfit box, you only need to concentrate on what you are doing at that moment. I can’t tell you how good it feels after a weekend of making mental lists, and second-guessing my mothering choices, to spend time mentally checked out of Betsy “the mom” and checked in as Betsy “the athlete.”
6. A boost to your confidence can be incredibly beneficial to you during this stage of your life: the beginning of motherhood is an extraordinary complicated season. You are adjusting to taking care of another human being, you’re sleep-deprived, you’re hormonal, you’re figuring out who this new “you” is and what she’s all about. Your days are filled with repetitive routines, where, generally speaking, it’s hard to get a real feeling of accomplishment. Add a little Crossfit and you instantly have concrete goals in front of you. Finishing a WOD, improving a strength movement, increasing mobility… and so much more… give you an additional source of confidence that can carry you through some of those tough days of motherhood. You will know that you are making healthy choices that your baby will grow up seeing and mimicking. You can be a strong, healthy and proud mama!
7. It’s not just a work out program, it’s a community: Now hear this…. You can interact with grown ADULTS! Imagine! You can carry on a conversation with a human being who is actually speaking understandable English! An added bonus is that not everyone who goes to your class will be a mom, so you can talk about non-mom things too! You might even find some great babysitters at your local Crossfit box too.
So there you have it. I can honestly say, Crossfit has made me a better mom…. Stronger, self-assured, and sane!
*please contact your physician before starting a workout regime… especially post-partum.