Dolores has been a CFTC member since 2015, and we've been fortunate to see her grow through milestones of engagement, marriage and now the start of a family. Dolores and her husband (and fellow CFTC member) Denis welcomed Lukas into the world in March after CrossFitting through her pregnancy up until her 38th week.
Committing to CrossFit throughout her pregnancy, Dolores took the advice of active moms before her, with her number one rule being to listen to her body. She let our coaches know of moves particular to her pregnancy which should would not be comfortable with and CFTC followed the guidelines of several articles detailing how to scale workouts during pregnancy. Dolores primarily focused on maintaining her form and just trying to move in ways that were comfortable during her pregnancy. In general, she tried to work at a level where she could have a conversation and maintain her composure during workouts.
"When I found out I was pregnant, I took it easy and did 50% less weight than I would usually do. Once I passed the first trimester, I went 75 - 100% of what I had done previously depending on the movement. Gradually I switched things out - trading step-ups for box jumps, and doing movements where I felt comfortable."
However, it was the mental toughness that CrossFit truly helped her to develop which made the delivery of Lukas manageable. A week past the due date, Dolores went into labor and after being in labor for over 24 hours, the doctors made the decision to induce the C-section procedure. The surprise of the surgery after having a birth plan in place required quick adjustments and the ability to remain positive. Lukas was born at 9.5 pounds, much larger than expected. However, the weeks of hard workouts leading up to and during her pregnancy contributed to Dolores knowing that her body was strong, capable and adaptable to deliver a healthy baby boy.
We are all inspired by Dolores and have been glad to see her back at CFTC after about two months away. Her advice for CrossFitting moms is to continue to work out in some way during your pregnancy. Workout as long as possible, because the mental aspect of keeping your body strong is important.
"I wouldn't have been able to get through that 24 hour labor if I hadn't come to CrossFit."
As Dolores transitions back to working out, she's committing to coming 2-3 times per week, re-committing to form by going slow, adjusting to a different body shape, and restoring flexibility. Dolores, Denis and Lukas are doing wellsupported by friends and family in the area and Denis preparing to be a federal police officer . Say hi to Lukas the next time he visits the gym!
Drew credits his success in weight loss to two things: 1) his doctors and 2) the CFTC coaches and community. We will say from the start that Drew's transformation includes bariatric surgery - the sleeve. This surgery is not the easy way to weight loss. It requires a lifestyle change, personal commitment and a support structure and is a serious medical decision. Finding himself above 300 pounds and sedentary after a knee surgery, Drew chose this option but it is not the path for everyone.
A collegiate lacrosse athlete, Drew came to CFTC in 2015 after seeing a deterioration in his physical abilities. He came in with a good attitude and progressed in each class, building to a serious amount of strength and capacity. However, after aggravating his hip in daily life activities, Drew had to undergo surgery. Like a lot of injuries, there was no one event that caused it - Drew lifted the day before his injury occurred with no issues - the next day was unable to get out of bed.
Between an increasingly inactive lifestyle and the slow path back from surgery, the fitness Drew developed from 2015 - 2016 deteriorated further, resulting in a weight that got up to 330 pounds and an unsustainable lifestyle. With the injury, Drew entered a spiral of not eating well, feeling bad about not being active to work it off, and cycling between those two states. The point when he stepped on the scale and was north of 300 was the point Drew knew he had to make a change.
"I knew I had to change my lifestyle, and I knew I wanted CrossFit to be a part of that. The group here is fantastic - being able to connect with people, being able to do stuff I actually enjoy doing, that's why I came back."
In 2017, Drew returned to CFTC, with a heightened attitude of humility and the knowledge that the path to surpassing his previous levels of fitness would be a long one.
Drew committed to coming 3 days per week for several months. He did not rush to get to his previous strength numbers or workout times. He was consistent, persistent and dedicated. The days went by and his body adapted, leading to the day in May 2018 where he reached a milestone of being under 200 pounds for the first time since early high school.
"I had to realize there was certain things I could do and certain things I couldn't do coming back. Before my break I was squatting 340, and when I returned I know I would be starting back in the low 200s."
Drew will be the first to tell you that although he turned his life around with the help of surgery, the vigilance he now has to have for nutrition is something he will need to keep for the rest of his life. He must maintain a regimented way of eating, and with or without surgery, this will be true for everyone.
"For people intimidated by CrossFit, don't look at other people in terms of weights. Find what you can do - if it's on the bar, if it's only a ten point plate, that's fine. Don't psych yourself out and say you can't do it. Just go in and do it."
These days, Drew is surprising himself every day with what is now possible. Even through college, pull-ups were not possible, and with the Open in 2018, he was able to get more than 30 in 18.5. He keeps coming back because of the people and how much the athletes and coaches want you to succeed.