No second thoughts

What an honor!  Today my story about the upcoming journey and experience through the CrossFit Open as a mom-to-be with twins was shared by CrossFit media.

Deep appreciation to the CrossFit media team who found value in telling this story and to our amazing coaches, trainers, and fellow crossfitters at CrossFit New Albany who encourage me day in and out and make sure me and the babies are kept very safe. The CFNA crew has become family. And most importantly thank you to my family who support this journey and help keep me lifted on the tough days! Our little Itsy and Bitsy are coming into a very special and loving family!

Visit the CrossFit Game site and read many, many other amazing stories and keep updated with games news! CROSSFIT GAMES


Published on Thu, 2013-02-28 06:00
Cindy Young

“Before I was pregnant, you tend to not listen to that moment where your body tells you that you need to stop. But now, I have learned to listen.”

Last year, Megan Ellis scored an invitation to the Central East Regional. When the workouts were announced, panic set in as she became aware of the 70-lb. dumbbell snatches in Event 4.

“From the moment I read that WOD (and saw) 70-lb. dumbbell snatches, mentally I was gone,” she recalls. “I got completely off track with training and started overtraining and going downhill.”

Under the lights of the Ohio State Fairgrounds, she faltered. When she finished the round of 21 deadlifts on Diane, she moved on to the 21 handstand push-ups. There, she got no-repped as her heels pulled away from the wall. At the time cap, she hadn’t completed the minimum amount of work and didn’t go any further in the competition.

At first, she wasn’t sure how to deal with her Regional experience.

“I literally had to teach myself how to make what I could only see as failure, work for me,” she says.

Then she remembered the Open. The weekly workouts were something she enjoyed. She decided she’d sign up for the Open again in 2013.

Soon after, she learned she was pregnant with twins.

Throughout the offseason, she has been training with a growing “weight vest” and a couple weeks ago, she met her promise by signing up for the Open — at 26 weeks pregnant.

“For me, there wasn’t even a second thought to whether I would still register and compete,” she says. “I can’t express enough how awesome it feels to be in the Open atmosphere. To submit your scores and see where you are in the world. It’s just amazing and I don’t want to not have those moments just because I won’t be at the level I was last year.”

The body awareness she has learned through CrossFit training is one tool she’ll use when gauging how hard she can push in each Open Workout.

“CrossFit has helped me so much with understanding what works for my body and the limits of my body,” she says. “Now, being pregnant, I use that knowledge to my advantage. Before I was pregnant, you tend to not listen to that moment where your body tells you that you need to stop. But now, I have learned to listen. There is nothing I do in CrossFit that myself or my trainers haven’t made sure is good to go for the babies.”

The other tool is her community of trainers and doctors.

Due to the risks that come along with being pregnant with twins, such as early delivery and insuring proper growth of each baby, Ellis visits her doctors at least once every two weeks. She keeps her doctors informed about all of her CrossFit plans.

“My doctors ask me, ‘What are you up to at CrossFit these days?’” she says. “They know that it is something that I want to do. My doctors, along with the trainers at CrossFit New Albany, keep an eye on me and keep me in check. The babies are my first priorities, so I always make sure that I am safe.”

She wants to get out there, do the workouts and tell her story so others will try the workouts, too.

“If this mama and her two babies can do it, then why wouldn’t you give it a shot?”


Love Life… Be Brave

love life
be brave

Love Life… Be Brave

OR would you say…

Be Brave, Love Life?

Over a year ago I was given a goodbye gift from a dear friend and co-worker.  It was a simple bracelet with a very small silver charm that read, Love Life. It is perfect, classic and simple but oh so powerful. I don’t wear it all that often but whenever I see it in my jewelry box I remember this friend’s powerful words and I’m reminded to Love Life… every part of it.

When I put the bracelet on this morning I knew I wanted to share its message – maybe even more so, I wanted to put it  into words so I remembered how important the statement is and how we can all be reminded to love life.  I really wanted to take an artsy picture of the bracelet to accompany this post… which ended up being a disaster as it’s so small you’d really only see a blurry blue and silver line… not attractive.  BUT as I gave up and started to put the bracelet back on my wrist I flipped it over on accident revealing the back of the silver charm I had long ago forgotten was there. The back says, “Be Brave.”

What a message and how fitting that the order of these two statements can be interchangeable.  Perhaps sometimes in life  you need it to read… Love Life, Be Brave!!! And sometimes maybe you need a little more bravery in your life and it’s more fitting to read… Be Brave, Love Life.

Be as philosophical as you want but bottom line… Go ahead – Be Brave! Love your Life… all of it – the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We take the sweet with the sour and the sweet can’t taste as good without the sour.

It takes some guts and bravery… but we all have it in us.

Be Brave, Love Life!

Love Life, Be Brave! 

Competing for Three: Compete Every Day

It was an absolute honor to be asked to be a guest writer for Compete Every Day.  The company’s mission and values are more than statements they are a way of life:

“I encourage you to compete. To chase after the people, the dreams, the values you hold so dear. Don’t let them wither away from neglect.” – Chief Encouragement Officer and Founder Jake Thompson


Compete Every Day’s statement of purpose that we should all Compete Every Day for our Faith, Work, Health, Dreams, and Relationships spoke to the very core of me and what I feel TRUE Strength is all about.

I am honored to be associated with such an amazing brand, company, and value system.

This is the article I wrote for CED.  Please go visit their website and read the other fantastic stories from amazing, awe-inspiring athletes.  The site is full of life lessons, motivation, and kick ass gear!

When the CrossFit Games Open begins I will be 26 weeks pregnant with twins… and I will be competing.

Now, please keep in mind, at this time “competing” doesn’t mean what it used to even a year ago to me but it does mean I’ll give it my all and will have fun with my CrossFit New Albany family and teammates.

You may be thinking… one of two things… WHY, WHY, WHY do the Open while pregnant OR – big deal there are plenty of CrossFit moms-to-be who are also competing in the Open.  I understand both thoughts.  Let me reply to the second one first… I applaud all the moms-to-be, all the women who just recently had babies, all the dads who’s wives just recently had babies… to be honest… I applaud ALL of us who are taking on the Open – no matter what your level, talent, experience or skills are.  GOOD FOR YOU (and US!)  It’s because we all are taking this step into an exciting and sometimes scary challenge that we are paving the way for a healthier, stronger, and happier community and future.

Now for the first thought… I understand your concern, but trust me, with a strong team of incredibly supportive family members, coaches and fellow CrossFitters around me these babies are the safest they can possibly be. Day in and out, I work closely with my coaches at CFNA to understand when I need to modify a movement and I will certainly be going slower than I would have been last year when I was competing for a spot as an individual competitor.  My goal this year is to submit a score for each wod; it may be a low one, but at least enter something each week.  Who knows though… there may come a wod that I physically cannot perform rx’ed and that will be ok because I’ll do the modifications and still give it my all.

Fit and healthy parents lead to fit and healthy children and families.  Whether fitness mattered to you before you were pregnant or not, it can and should matter to you while you are pregnant and beyond. I know it matters to me.

I’m not letting any excuses stop me from what I love; I’m not intimidated to give The Open a try… why would you let anything stop you?  Take on The Open has a personal challenge… what can you compete for? You don’t have to be shooting for The Games to crush your own goals for The Open.

This year, I’m not competing for a spot in the top 60 women or for a team to qualify.  I’m competing for me and my babies.  Competing for a strong, healthy life and pregnancy and to become a strong and healthy role model for my soon to arrive babies.  I’m competing for every ounce of self doubt I have let hold me back and competing for the new perspective this time as a mom-to-be has blessed me with.

I’ll be Competing Every Day.

Strong is sexy