“It was really fascinating because I think there’s such a disconnect, right? So, on one hand, we have the whole population of people that are criticizing women doing CrossFit while they’re pregnant. And it literally helps develop the natural– squatting, CrossFit, and doing it while you’re pregnant– develops the natural anatomical position for how people want to have babies, or how they have babies naturally. And then here, on the other hand, all these women that want to have a natural birth couldn’t get there. “ – Nicole Christensen
Nicole Christensen started CrossFit Roots out of her one-car garage in 2008. Since that time, she and her husband Eric have grown Roots into a 10,000 square foot facility with an accomplished team of full-time coaches and staff. She got her coaching start as a swim coach in the Northern Virginia Swim League. 10 years later when she found CrossFit, she knew that it combined her passion for coaching with her belief in a lifelong pursuit of fitness and health.
In 2009 she was hired to the CrossFit Seminar Staff, and for more than ten years Nicole has traveled around the world to teach and coach the CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Certificate Courses.
Nicole has an extensive competitive background and competed in five CrossFit Games Regionals, placing in the top ten four times. She is a well-known resource for women interested in continuing CrossFit throughout their pregnancies, drawing on her own personal experiences of training and competing while pregnant alongside her experiences coaching Roots athletes through own their pregnancies.
Nicole and I had the opportunity to chat at the 2019 CrossFit Games, and our conversation ran the gamut. In part a, we talk about her background, how her education as city planner influences the processes and systems that have helped grow CrossFit Roots into a thriving affiliate, and why she loves the community aspect of CrossFit. In part b, we do a deep dive on best practices for training while pregnant, to how she maintains her fire and love for CrossFit after 11 years in the business.
*Bio adapted from crossfitroots.com
In Part B of this episode we discuss:
- Her experience with CrossFit and pregnancy and the guidelines she uses when training others
- How CrossFit Roots accommodates pregnant and postpartum athletes
- How Nicole and her husband balance their work/life relationship
- The systems and planning she uses to streamline her business and personal life
- 3 things Nicole does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
- One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
- What a healthy life looks like to Nicole
- University of Delaware
- University of Colorado Boulder
- University of Pennsylvania City and Regional Planning Program
- SugarWOD Blog: Articles by Nicole Christensen
- CrossFit Old Town
- CrossFit Catacombs
- CrossFit 10 Year Affiliate Gathering
- Next Level Scaling: Previous Movement Rep Totals
- Pregnancy: A Practical Guide to Scaling
- Pregnancy: A Practical Guide for Scaling- Chart
- Ally Hall and the Community of Pregnant Athletes
- CrossFit and Pregnancy: Coaching and Scaling Tips
- You Need a Budget
- The Productivity Planner
- CrossFit Trident
- #800gram Challenge
- Ep 81 – Postpartum Training and the Road Back to the CrossFit Games with Lindsey Valenzuela
- Ep 82 – Training During Pregnancy and Healing Diastasis Recti with Lisa Ryan
- Ep 83 – Pelvic Floor Health for Athletes with Julie Wiebe, PT
- Ep 126a – Nicole Christensen on Growing a Thriving CrossFit Affiliate
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.