*Disclaimer- neither I nor Haley are affiliates with CrossFit. Nor do we own the name CrossFit. This article is based on our own opinions and has nothing to do with CrossFit HQ. Also, if you are struggling overcoming Postpartum Depression, please do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor for help! This post should not be construed as medical advice. If you want to learn more about CrossFit, please visit CrossFit.com.
Racing mind. Sweaty palms. Not feeling good enough. Bizarre thoughts that have never entered your head before. Feeling alone. Disliking yourself.
These were all things that I struggled with during my phase of postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is no joke. And, overcoming postpartum depression is an even bigger task.
Overcoming postpartum depression tends to be a cliché subject and nobody ever talks about it. Whenever I was going through postpartum, I felt alone and that nobody understood.
Sounds mellow dramatic, right?
Well, that’s how it is when you’re in the world of postpartum depression.
It was two years ago almost to the month that my postpartum depression hit me like a truck. I was rocking along just fine when all of the sudden I didn’t know what was going on with me.
I had dark thoughts and weird dreams and felt completely disconnected with my body.
Even though I was running and was loosing weight, I needed something more. My body needed to be pushed in a different way. Then I talked to my doctor and she confirmed my fears; I did have postpartum depression.
I however, didn’t want to take medicine.
Overcoming postpartum depression was something that I was determined to get through as naturally as possible.
To make a really long story short, I started going to CrossFit classes at a local box (CrossFit term for gym). Not only did lifting heavy things help my postpartum, I started to see some killer changes in my body.
And while I no longer “practice CrossFit” per say, I do attribute my getting over my postpartum to CrossFit and keeping up with my running schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to lift and weight train and I do three times a week, I just don’t go to CrossFit classes anymore.
Funny enough, I am not the only one that needed help overcoming postpartum depression and turned to CrossFit for a more natural remedy. Meet Haley, who I interviewed and take a listen to how she too worked on overcoming postpartum depression by using CrossFit.
“What is your name?
What is your C.F. Coaching Level?
Level 1, looking for level 2 in a couple years.
How long have you done CrossFit and how long have you been a coach?
CrossFit: 5 years
Coach: 1 yr and a couple months.
How do you explain to someone what CrossFit is that doesn’t know anything about it?
Functional movement (squats, deadlifts, burpees) and everything is scalable. Keep things simple because I never want to scare you off. Scaring you off takes away your potential.
How is CrossFit different from other exercise programs?
Head coach creates programming and every single day is different. The executed movements help with daily life. Example: You don’t see people doing bicep curls unless they’re eating. But you do see someone sitting on a toilet, walking stairs, and moving furniture (squat, deadlift, push press, etc.)
What made you decide to do CrossFit?
Postpartum depression. I’ve been an athlete since age 5, almost going a year of no fitness or being too sick to workout messed with my head and self worth. Walking into a gym with Aaron Burks (owner of Refine CrossFit) working out, playing “Strong Tower” by Kutless and I knew I was where I needed to be.
What is the hardest thing about CrossFit?
Eating right. New skills are hard but it’s fun so the eating right is the hardest.
What is the easiest/best thing?
Easiest: Talking about CrossFit
Best: seeing someone “get it”. Seeing someone understand the movement, a skill that they’ve struggled with, and then doing really well. Best feeling as a coach. ((Secret: when I see it, I shed a few happy tears))
Did you have specific goals you wanted to meet when you started CrossFit?
I just wanted to feel normal. Never cared for the celebrity athletes, that was never my thing. But I needed a challenge. So my goal is to always get better. Now, it’s control my eating, get better at my skills, and be the best coach I can be. I have a long way to go, but again, it’s a challenge that I love.
What have been your results from doing CrossFit?
Best shape of my life. Or I at least see what I can be and I know the steps to take….I just have to do it.
A lot of folks say that CrossFit is just a great way to get hurt. What do you say to this?
That’s the coaches, honestly. If you get hurt it’s because
1)the coach didn’t instruct the movement correctly
2)they didn’t make sure you understood the movement
3)they weren’t watching the class during the movement
4)you didn’t listen
5)you weren’t ready and the coach pushed too hard. You put your health and safety into a coach’s hand every time you take a CF class.
Our bodies are amazing, but they’re breakable. They have to be taught, stretched, and ready. If not, that leaves people unprotected. Good coaches are paramount.
There are lots of stories about people getting hurt in CrossFit. What is your opinion on why this happened?
The Coach or they got a big head. Pride can not exist in a CrossFit gym and my answer of the coach is further explained in the above question.
How do people know that CrossFit isn’t just “another exercise fad”?
People are saving their lives inside boxes EVERY SINGLE DAY. Diabetes, gone. Pain, gone. Depression, gone.
Do you think CrossFit is for everyone? Why or Why not?
Yes. I don’t care if you have triple knee, hip, shoulder replacement surgeries. You still need to be able to get off the toilet and the ground when you’re 80. Everything we do in CrossFit is scalable.
What would you say to someone that is considering doing Crossfit?
Please try it. The hardest part is walking through that door. I’ve done it for 5 years, it’s still hard. Don’t give up before you start. You’ll be thankful when you’re 90 and can still be able to play with grand kids.
If a person does decide to try CrossFit, what is their very first step to ensure safety and good experiences?
Talk to the coach and tell them your goals, fears injuries and hang ups of CF and sign your waiver because that protects everyone.
Know your limits, know when something is a injury/pain or just a muscle burn and find a friend at the gym. It’s hard being the newbie. I’ve been at a few gyms now and being the new guy isn’t fun. Give it time, introduce yourself.”
Pretty cool, huh?
Am I saying that you have to do CrossFit? Of course not. I am however a huge fan of using exercise to overcome depression and anxiety. I’ve done it, I’ve got clients that have done it, and there are many other women in this world that have done it.
Again, I’m not a doctor and it really is a good idea to talk things through with your doc, especially when it comes to postpartum because it is a dangerous slope.
The bottom line is this… You are not alone and overcoming postpartum depression is possible. You are a fantastic mother and these feelings of inadequacy that you have are false. Your babies love you SO much and there is a reason that God gave them you as their mother.
Take care of yourself, mama. Your body and your family will thank you for it.