Well here it is- my first competition (read: test) after giving birth to the most beautiful 10 pound 5 ounce blessing.
The 2013 CrossFit Open started on precisely the four month mark post birth. I wasn’t incredibly excited for the Open for my individual performance, however, I was PUMPED to see how my fellow Arxies and team would do.
Going into 13.1 I was going over in my mind the “coulda’s” and “what if’s” had I not spent the last year of my life cooking the next NY Giant in the womb, trying to build a honest and supportive community, developing athletes into the best versions of themselves possible and definitely NOT training.
All my life I followed the theory that if you train as hard as you can every day, when you toe the line on race day, no doubts can cross your mind because the work has been done. There are no worries, only confidence. The proverbial hay is in the barn.
With that being said, when it came time to begin the Open, all there was, was doubt. But something strange happened. 3-2-1 Go!. And when the seventeen minutes had elapsed, I had a decent score. Anything to get excited over ? No. Could I have done better if I redid it and tried a different strategy? Probably. Could I have done better had the last year of my life been spent putting in the hours in the box? Most definitely. But I didn’t suck. It wasn’t embarrassing. My mom might not even disown me. Hmm..
I spent days going over it in my head. “I just got lucky”, I told myself as well as anyone who said good job. How I got lucky, I am not sure. Yes, I love snatches, especially heavier ones. However, burpees? Not my forte. Seventeen minutes? A little long for me. Nevertheless, it MUST have just been luck. After childbirth women are broken right? We have pounds to lose. Sleep to catch up on. Babies (and husbands) to feed, clothe, clean.. We aren’t our former selves and we shouldn’t expect to reclaim our previous selves for years if not ever.
There was NO WAY I just plain preformed well. Couldn’t be. That’s not what we have always been told about pregnancy, child birth and postpartum.
Instead of redo’ing 13.1, Arx completed Fran and with loving eyes of my son on me, I not only did Fran but wrecked my old personal record from before I gave birth by over thirty seconds. None of it made sense. How could this be? How could I be better after all this time off? After such little training? After giving birth to a child four months prior ? I must have gotten lucky again. Nothing else really seemed plausible.
The Open continued week by week. 13.2 was announced and as I received loving messages of best wishes and luck, I made sure to let everyone know that I had just gotten lucky and not to expect very much out of me from here on out. Heaven forbid I let anyone down, one thing I absolutely hate the most.
3-2-1 Go! came again and at the end of the workout, the weirdest thing happened. I had a decent score. Over the next few weeks, this continued and I worked my way into the 41st spot in the region out of 0ver 5095 women, at the conclusion of 4 weeks of competition. As each workout came and went I started to feel a bit of my old self come back and bit of my confidence with it.
Tonight Jacob and I celebrate the fifth month of life of our beloved son. Tomorrow, I will take on the 2013 CrossFit Open for the last time. I will fight hard and give everything I have like each one of my fellow competitors have. The outcome at this point is not very important. What I have gotten back during this Open means everything.
What I have learned is maybe we were lied to growing up. Maybe recent child birth should not hold us back but push us forward. We should not hide behind it, but proudly stand before it! We don’t have to be broken just because we gave birth. I believe that we are in fact stronger. We are better. We are even more alive. The only limitations are those that we place on ourselves.
Once you join motherhood, your life will be what you make it. Make your journey one you want to tell your children about one day. Your story will need a hero.