Christine “Mama” Meara
1. Tell us a little about yourself?
Well I’m a new mom, Brooke is 8 months old now! She’s the light in our eyes! It has been an absolute blast. I’m amazed at how quickly she changes each day. I never thought I could be so easily entertained by watching her play, eat, sleep…. I could seriously sit there and watch her hair grow. It took having a baby to really GET why parents snap a million pics/videos. I’ve also discovered a lot about myself, like finding patience and energy I never thought I had. Billy and I look back and wonder — gee what the heck did we do before her?! Ahhh go out a lot and maybe sleep? HA!
My husband and I moved down here from Southie about a year ago and after a year of house-hunting and we’re finally getting settled in our new home here in Hingham, MA. I was born and raised here in MA, northwest of the city… I’m still getting acclimated to all that the south shore has to offer. So far so good! Outside of trying to unpack and trying to locate my pants, I’m really enjoying working on a variety of house-projects. I should clarify that… I’m not handy (yet! it’s a learning process) and I am technically challenged — but I like working on the design aspect and using the creative side of my brain is fun. Something I don’t get to use very often with my job. We bought an older home, so there’s a lot of character which makes it lots of fun. Although sometimes I feel like we live on the Funny Farm. I only wish I could take off a few months to focus 100% on it! As far as work goes, I’m an advertising sales manager for KAYAK (yes, the travel website!). I’m so fortunate that I get to work for such a fun, innovative company. Being able to work-from-home is an added perk, the tradeoff is that I do have travel. That can be challenging, but it gets me out of my yoga pants 😉 It’s been a crazy year so far, but also the BEST.
2. Tell us your CrossFit story (where were you before RCFBC and where are you now?)
It all began last March I believe, I was about 4 1/2ish months pregnant with Brooke and we had just moved down here to the Shipyard. I was really bummed to be away from my beloved boxing gym – Peter Welch’s in Southie. I was use to doing high-intensitiy workouts and knew I wanted to keep it up through my pregnancy. Doc said it was ok, so I figured why the heck not. I had made it through the first trimester queazies and was ready to get back into the game. I heard a lot about CrossFit and was curious. That’s what brought me in! I’ve always been active and into fitness. You could say I was a bit of a gym-snob. l did the whole group exercise/core fusion/spinning/pilates/yoga/ running… and oh yeah boxing — that was my fave. When I got into the boxing, I thought it was so refreshing. You’re in a smelly filthy gym, wearing scrappy clothes and pounding away at a bag. No one gives a hoot if you’re wearing the latest Lulu’s, just if you could nail that left hook. LOVED IT. When I walked into RCFBC I got that same tingle. If I happened to walk into a traditional gym now, it seems so bizarre to me to see these people working out in front of mirrors. Ugh it’s so depressing! But that was me a few years ago. I can’t do it now! I’ve tried to work out in the hotel gym when I travel, but it feels like torture to me. If I do anything I usually opt to do a WOD in my room or outside. Anything to avoid that hamster wheel.
Looking back further, the road traveled to get here wasn’t always a healthy one. Years ago I struggled with body image issues and that whole bit. It took a long time to get into the right frame of mind and build up a healthy esteem. And I’ve gotta tell you, finding healthy outlets like CrossFit that encourage strength over skinny is incredibly important. Had I not been in the right place mentally, I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle my changing body during and after pregnancy. I am so grateful to have reached the point in my life to embrace these changes and be proud of what my body is capable of. I love everything that CrossFit stands for — which is all about challenging yourself (in a healthy way!) to new heights and experiencing the rewards of breaking through plateaus. I am committed to leading healthy example for my daughter. I will teach her that being strong is beautiful, food is fuel and FUN not the enemy. We are blessed to have this one body in our lives, treat it well. It’s never going to be about fitting into a certain size in this house!
3. What does being part of RCFBC community mean to you?
I was taken aback by the camaraderie at first, I really wasn’t expecting it! I may even thought it was a little hokey. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be for me. Well it is! And the energy from the community is electrifying. I am so inspired by all of these wonderful people. You could be working out alongside someone in theirs 60s who has overcome illness or a pro athlete. I find them all motivating! Also working from home can be isolating and coming in to see everyone is such a treat. While they probably don’t realize it, these people help push me out of my comfort zone and accomplish things I never thought possible. I was never much of an athlete growing up, gee what a long way from being that shy/awkward kid in gym class! But I regress… RCFBC is much more than coming in to get your sweat on. It’s about working together as a team and supporting each other both in and out of the box. I’m also blown away by the outreach RCFBC has in the south shore community — it’s pretty cool that they have kids and teens classes. I’ve seen the young ladies from HHS power through a WOD and man, they can give the boys on the football team a run for their money –AMAZING. I wish I had this growing up!
4. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Maintaining my health/fitness while pregnant is a big deal to me. In order to do that I really had to be aware and honest to myself about the way I was feeling… knowing when to scale it back was important but I also didn’t wuss out. I don’t have any war stories to share about childbirth and I swear CrossFit had a lot to do with it. I did a little 21-15-9 action the night before Brooke was born. It helped move things along 😉 Recently, I am psyched that I finally got my double unders. It took 14.1 to make that happen! But let’s just say jumping rope ain’t the same after baby — am I right ladies?!?! Also, getting my 20″ box jumps was also pretty exciting because they always freaked me out.
5. What are your challenges and goals going forward?
There’s a lot, but right now I really want to practice getting a handstand / HSPU. I’ve gotta get over the mental hurdle of being upside down. Focusing on rebuilding strength in my core and back is another thing. I’ve had to lighten up on few movements like the deadlifts because of this. I have to remember to be patient and that it will come with time.
6. Continuing to do CrossFit while pregnant is controversial to some. Mostly from people who have never done CrossFit. What advice would you give some of the moms-to-be or current mom’s about working out? Also, how to find a balance between both once the baby is born?
Ahhh yes, the controversy. Overall found that people who are active in Crossfit or into fitness were very supportive. But you’re right… there are some who are more conservative and would describe working out or doing CrossFit while pregnant as selfish. It’s funny, when you’re pregnant everyone seems to have something to say!! My advice is this — get clearance from your doc first. If you have a high-risk pregnancy then this is obviously not something that you should probably do. Keep in mind that each OB / midwife is different, some are more traditional than others. Bottom line is that it’s likely you know your body better than anyone else. Trust your instincts. If you feel good then go for it! But pace yourself and don’t be an idiot. Take breaks and drink plenty of water and EAT WELL. If it’s 90 degrees outside and your 8 months along don’t go sprinting around outside, that’s just stupid. Towards the end I definitely wasn’t breaking any PRs and scaled back significantly. But that was good for me. I found all of our coaches at the box very helpful and knowledgeable on scaling options– it’s so important to listen to them. Especially Mike — couldn’t have done it without him 🙂
As far as balancing goes– all I’ve got to say is WHAT BALANCE? HA! I’ve given up on trying to seek this so-called balance. I’m learning to go with with flow more. Sure I wish I could get in there more often. But the reality is that I can’t some days. On any given day the baby could be sick and I’m on deadline at work… it is what it is. I try my best and that’s all I can do. And sometimes it comes down to choosing between sleep or a WOD. Sleep tends to win these days. But thank goodness for travel WODS and good weather. I know that I need this outlet — it makes me a better mom too. In fact just this past Friday Brooke and I had the day off and Brooke was home with me. She came to her first WOD and chilled in her stroller the entire time. That’s multi-tasking at it’s best. It helped that she was so content! I got lucky.
Christine’s life has changed in so many ways over the past year in a great way! From giving birth to a beautiful little girl, to moving into a new home and re-modeling! She is a pro at multitasking! We are very lucky to have her apart of our community. She brings a positive, energizing vibe to the box! We can’t wait for Brooke to make another appearance at the box to watch her mom kick butt in the gym! Brooke has an amazing women to look up to and can’t wait to see her grow.