One Strong Momma

One Strong Momma

Inside the belly, lil Elizabeth was doing handstand pushups

Her name is Sara Mauk, we know her as the muscle hamster. Sara attended the very first kettlebell class..EVER. This was back at in January of 2010 when we were at the old place, even before there was a PSKC. In full disclosure, Sara and I have been good friends since our moms did Jazzercise together…old school!

This past Friday Sara and her husband Chris welcomed a beautiful and strong baby girl into the world, Elizabeth Ann. Congratulations you two, she is adorable!

So we’ve established that the Muscle Hamster was an original ass kicker. Don’t believe me? Check out the muscle hamster in action…fast forward to the 45: mark

She was one of the first females at PSKC who could regularly out lift some of the guys. She was the trail blazer and example setter for others to follow…

I still remember when she texted me and told me she was pregnant but we had to keep it a secret until she was ready to tell people. So our cover story was that she strained an abdominal muscle (clever I know). Her biggest concern was that she didn’t want to stop working out. I assured she didn’t have to, we would just have to modify and scale down things and that the intensity level she could ever get close to was 75%. We collaborated on some research and used as our guide.

Hitting up a 5K with the PSKC crew

Now, before you start freaking out. Sara wasn’t doing burpees, box jumps, or rope climbs. Safety was our number one priority. But we wanted her to maintain her strength especially in the hips and low back region. Admittedly from Sara it was tough to reign herself back in being the competitive person that she is. Additionally, when most fitness professionals would prescribe 20 minutes of “light cardio” we wanted her to continue to hit up the functional movements. Why? From the crossfit mom’s website:

Did you know?

Women who exercise during pregnancy: 
      Have reduced weight gain and fat deposition during pregnancy 
      Have fewer pregnancy discomforts 
      Report a more rapid physical and emotional recovery from delivery 
      Tend to have easier, shorter and less complicated labors 
      Have less need for pain relief during labor 
      Have more stamina during labor 
      Increase their aerobic capacity 
      Decrease their susceptibility to illness 
      Increase their energy level
Babies of exercising moms: 
      Have significantly lower heart rates than babies of non-exercising moms 
      Are better able to cope with the stress of birth 
      Have a greater ability to adapt to life outside the uterus 
      Are more healthy at birth 
      Are leaner at birth and tend to stay lean as they grow 
      Sleep through the night sooner 
      Are better able to self-calm 
      Score higher on tests of general intelligence and oral language skills 
      Have decreased risks of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases later in life 

As you can see, just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up working out. It will actually make your pregnancy/deliver easier on you. Plus, (one of Sara’s biggest concerns) is that it will limit the amount of time post-pregnancy to get back to full muscle hamster strength. And watch out, 2012 is the year of the Muscle Hamster!
It’s one thing to read about how exercising will make the pregnancy/delivery easier on the mom and baby. It’s another to experience it first hand. Here’s a text I received from the Muscle Hamster after she delivered the lil hamster:
“Kettlebell was the topic of discussion while I was pushing. Someone had shown my doc some of the pics from the gym. Thanks for letting me continue my regimen. My labor was 10 times easier this time!! Piece of cake!” 

Congrats you two from the whole PSKC family! Can’t wait until she’s climbing and swinging on the rings just like her big sister..
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