Your Coach Got You to the Games BUT THEY ARE MISSING THE POINT
You made it to the CrossFit Games or USA Nationals. Hell, maybe you made it to the Olympics. You’re fit as fuck and/or a professional athlete. The whole world knows. You identify as an athlete.
What got you to the Olympic stage? Who was with you along the journey? Were you alone, or did you have a support team? Did it involve daily, rigorous practice and sometimes two-a-days? What about mindset drills and visualizations? Did you miss out on parties to make sure you got your 8-9 hours of sleep? I’m sure you were diligent about your nutrition, supplements, and everything you put in and on your body.
In my opinion, being pregnant and preparing for birth (a great unknown) should be no different. You are either all in – preparing mind, body, and soul for birth – or you are not. You’re either choosing to be BIRTHFIT or you are not. Working out during your pregnancy without any focus on the big picture of what these 40(ish) weeks are all about isn’t BIRTHFIT. It doesn’t hurt my feelings; that’s your choice. I’m just putting it into perspective for you.
A little about me: part of my chiropractic internship days were spent at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego. Some of my best friends and clients have competed in USA Nationals, Indoor World Championships, and the Olympics. As a doctor of chiropractic, I had the opportunity to work on the best athletes and action actors in the business. My life and the athlete mentality culture were integrated.
As someone who was hired specifically to oversee performance and rehab for a world class athlete or actor, I wanted their undivided attention, dedication, and integrity. I expected to work as a team with their coaches and support crew because at this level it took a team for one person to succeed. I wanted them listening to their jump coach, throwing coach, or sprint coach. I wanted them studying fight scenes and practicing jumping out of a window at least a hundred times before we actually did it. I was in constant conversation with them, their coaches, and/or their private chef about their nutrition and meals. I expected this particular human working with the best in the business to successfully train for their specific sport or prepare for their specific stunt.
Everyone on the team was in alignment for the same goal. When someone shifted out of alignment, they communicated and everyone moved forward. For example, if the sprint coach got another, better job offer, this was communicated and we made immediate adjustments. If the stunt director had to miss a day or week because of a family emergency, then we all, as a team, adjusted. If the chef could not get prepared meals to my client, then I drove out of the way to make it happen. We were all in alignment for the same end goal.
This brings me back to the Motherhood Transition. Why on earth would you still use the same (often times, male*) coach – that was specific for a different chapter of your life – to coach you through the Motherhood Transition? Sure, you most likely adore your coach and have a close relationship with them. You should honor that relationship; you don’t have to let it go.
It’s like Michael Jordan keeping Phil Jackson (one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time) as his coach when he transitioned for a brief period into baseball. It’s like Trey Hardee (greatest decathlete of all time) using his javelin coach for his pole vault or hurdles events. It’s like me using a business coach that specializes in how to come up with a great idea when I really need a financial coach. You get the idea.
You’re a pregnant, female, professional athlete. Your brilliant (likely male*) coach is doing the best he can with what he has. However, this is a different chapter of your life which requires a different lens and perhaps some new tools. Writing a watered-down training program that is supposedly tailored to you, the athlete, is missing the GLOBAL point and end-goal of training for birth.
You’re most likely creating shitty habits if you’re still oly lifting with a barbell, broad jumping, or running because, let’s face it, our intuition will demand that we protect our bump before anything else. As a pregnant athlete, you’re most likely still training with the intention to get back to the Games or the field or the court when, in reality, we have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow.
Once you’re pregnant, you are fully pregnant. There’s no halfass or dipping-your-toes-in-to-see-if-you-like-it pregnant. As the BIRTHFIT CEO, a doula, coach and athlete consultant, I’d prefer we go all in or I will choose to not take you on as a client.
If you’re a professional athlete, let’s go all in. A BIRTHFIT Regional Director or BIRTHFIT Coach can support you intentionally through one of the greatest “fitness” events of your life. Superbowl of your lifetime: the Motherhood Transition.
Lindsey Mathews, CEO BIRTHFIT@lindsey_k_mathews @BIRTHFIT
*There are some stellar male BIRTHFIT RDs and BIRTHFIT Coaches. However, statistically speaking, most males are not well versed in anything related to female training, ESPECIALLY as it relates to the Motherhood Transition.