Are You Ready to be Woman Strong?
By Gilly Boyd
We live in a time where people are becoming increasingly aware of the relationship between fitness and nutrition with overall health and wellness. However, in our pursuit of fitness and health, many are forgetting one of the most fundamental pieces of being human. That is Human Connection.
I am aware of a rising number of studies exploring the concept of loneliness and how the closely related lack of human connection may in fact be contributing to the rising rate of chronic disease conditions. This includes obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression! As the rate of chronic disease is on the rise, and as more and more people feel alone or lack human connection, we see the potential for a person’s health to decline even further. This decline in turn may cause antisocial behavior, thus creating the potential for a vicious cycle of declining health and increasing isolation.
In ancient ancestral times, individuals were supported by the entire tribe. A woman who gave birth had an army of sisters, aunts, mothers, and grandmothers to help care for her and her child, to teach and to guide her on her path through motherhood. Modern tribes and cultures that have these practices in place today report experiencing fewer instances of postpartum depression and chronic disease.
“Amazing things happen when women help other women.” – Kasia Gospos
At CrossFit Novato, we are on a quest to create spaces where women can visit and participate in health focused activities including thoughtful workouts, with the support of other women free from all judgements and fears. These are spaces , indoors and outdoors, where women can talk freely about their struggles, their triumphs, their defeats, their fears, and their ever changing emotions. This one time “gym” community has evolved into a sacred place where people explore the concept of health, nutrition, and fitness without pressure or shame. A community where the core value is human connection; a place where people gather safely and are given the encouragement, support, tools, and a freedom to begin building relationships with themselves, their families, and others.
Phase I of our Women’s Health program was our Postpartum Return to Fitness class series. This class was designed to connect new moms with their new bodies, re-connect them to their core and pelvic floor through their breath and to gently explore fitness and strength again.
Participants ranged from 3 months postpartum to 18 months postpartum. We worked with first-time moms to moms of multiples, from women with little-to-no athletic background to women with years of experience in a gym.
The most beautiful aspect of this class had nothing to do with how much weight people lifted or even how hard they worked. Instead, we focused on building confidence and human connection. Several participants initially reported feeling overwhelmed and unsure of themselves. In the end, participants reported a feeling of believing in their own strength and finally having time and a program that was “theirs”.
Frankly, when I started teaching this class, I was completely unsure of myself, unsure of my ability to connect and help other women. I was lacking confidence in my abilities as a Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach. As the course came to a close, I felt a special bond and a connection to these women (we cried both tears of joy and tears of frustration together) and more confident than ever that I am on my best path.Thank you to these wonderful women who trusted me with their babies, with their fitness and recovery, and, most importantly, taught me more than I ever thought possible!
I am excited to announce the launch of our next Women’s Health Program: Woman Strong. Woman Strong is a female-only, female-coached strength and conditioning class open to women of all ages and abilities. The programming includes basic strength movements; you will learn how to squat, press, pick something up off the floor, and pull yourself up on rings or bars. You will be exposed to dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, barbells, sleds, and medballs. The conditioning pieces will be fun and non-competitive. The coach will work with you to make sure the weight and intensity you choose that day is appropriate. There are no prescribed weights, you get to choose how much to lift in a given day. All movements are coached with consideration for female anatomy, and core/pelvic floor health. The strength you will build in this class will give you more confidence and independence in your life outside of the gym.
This class is a great compliment to traditional cardio-based training such as Cycling classes, Zumba or running. It is a great strength-training program for women looking to preserve bone-density and lead an independent life as they age. This class is appropriate for pregnant women or postpartum women looking to return back to fitness.
The most important aspect of this class is the community of women it will build. Babies and toddlers are welcome to come with you to class and we are a breastfeeding-friendly facility. While there is no specific child-care provided, the women in the class and the coach work together to help care for each baby and child so that every mom gets the space and time to get a workout in. This isn’t a class to come in and beat yourself down with a crazy-hard workout. It’s a place to come in and discover your own strength, a place to wake up to your potential. Are you ready to be Woman Strong?
Our Woman Strong class will run on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:45am-11:45am at our Downtown location, starting on Wednesday September 5th. The class is open to all fitness-levels and abilities.
If you are new to our facility, please contact Head Coach Gilly Boyd at gilly@crossfitnovato or (831)234-3506 to come in and try a free class.