Name: Anne “Annemal” Maldonado
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
CrossFitting Since: September 2008
Favorite WOD or Movement: Overhead Squats, Murph, Hidalgo, Helen, Nancy
Least Favorite WOD or Movement: Thrusters, Front Squats, Karen
What is your fitness background? What were you doing before CrossFit? I played tennis, volleyball and softball in high school and club tennis in college. I also did my first triathlon while in college and never stopped! After a number of Olympic distance and half Ironman races, I decided to take on Ironman Lake Placid in July 2008. Right around that time, my husband had discovered CrossFit. A few months after the race, I tried my first class at CFSBK and loved the challenge and variety. It’s been fun to mix the endurance sports and CrossFit.
How have you changed since starting CrossFit Virtuosity? I think CrossFit has made me a more well-rounded athlete, more aware of nutrition and definitely more resilient to injury. I also wear a lot more Lululemon and own more tall socks than I ever thought I would.
How, if at all, has your pregnancy affected your training? Do you still go as frequently? Is there anything you can’t do? I continued to CrossFit 2-3 times per week while pregnant, same as before. I didn’t change much in the early weeks, but I did focus more on keeping my breathing under control. Around 3 months, I stopped doing any movements that required me to lie on my back or go upside down. Eventually, I wasn’t able to do cleans, snatches or regular deadlifts because my belly was in the way. I started using dumbbells when I had to, sumo deadlifts, “mama burpees” with mats and back squats became box squats to avoid straining my knees.
What made you decide to continue CrossFitting while pregnant? Being active and healthy has always been important to me, and that didn’t change when I became pregnant. There are so many changes that go on when you are pregnant, so it was really nice for me to keep workouts as a consistent part of my schedule. I also played tennis and ran, but I eventually felt uncomfortable doing both of those things. CrossFit was something that I could scale and adapt as my pregnancy progressed (with a little creative help from Coach Blanco!).
What would advice do you have for other women considering continuing CrossFit while pregnant? The baby’s health and development is the number one priority, so listen to your doctor and listen to your body. There isn’t a ton of research out there about CrossFitting while pregnant, so you really have to trust yourself to know what is best to be able to maintain your fitness…and enjoy it! I have loved it.
What has “pregnant CrossFit” taught you? I am a competitive person at heart, so it was tough for me to scale back and complete the workouts at a steady pace. I also really had to keep an eye on my technique and logged all of the weights I used. Because your body is changing so much, something that felt perfectly fine one week might not feel the same the next.
Any best CFV stories? Just a lot of great times with a great group of people!
Any other advice for people just starting, people considering starting, etc? Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to scale, use chalk, the rips on your hands will eventually heal, burpees aren’t that bad, sign up for a competition and compete with Team CFV and have fun!
I also just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of the CFV coaches that made me feel so comfortable attending and participating in classes, especially Blanco (and the 6am crew!), Elizabeth, Joey, Gregg, Sam and Keith. Your advice and support was appreciated. I look forward to introducing you to Baby Maldonado!