“The process of competing and getting to there is super stressful for me. But there is nothing that can… there are not a lot of things that can replace it. I feel like I would be okay with not competing because I have my son, but I’m not ready to hang that up. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I love the feeling that I get when I compete, and I don’t think I’m done competing yet. I don’t think I’m physically done competing or mentally. If something were to happen that I couldn’t compete, I would be okay with it, but I’m not ready to let it go in the sense that I want our son to see me, and I want him to see all the other women competing, too. I mean that would be a dream come true for him to see me just once at the Games.” – Lindsey Valenzuela
Lindsey Valenzuela has been an athlete all her life and played collegiate volleyball at California Lutheran University. During that time, she began Olympic Weightlifting to train for volleyball and quickly fell in love with the barbell. After her collegiate career was over, she began competing in Olympic Weightlifting and then found CrossFit. She has since become a seasoned CrossFit Games athlete, competing in 4 CrossFit Games, finishing as high as 2nd place in 2013 and most recently finishing in 7th place in 2015. She also represented Team USA in the CrossFit Invitational in Berlin in 2013. Lindsey has coached at several affiliates in Southern California and in August of 2015 fulfilled her dream to open her own affiliate, Autumo CrossFit, with her business partner and former NFL player James Townsend.
In 2016, Lindsey discovered she was pregnant and took the year away from competition. What followed was a difficult pregnancy, during which Lindsey developed pre-eclampsia, gained 90 pounds, spent 2 months on bed rest due to complications, and had a C-section delivery. Following the birth of her now nearly 2 year-old son, Arsenio, Jr., Lindsey slowly returned to training, focusing on healing her core and pelvic floor. With time and patience, she gradually built volume and intensity, ultimately returning to competition and placing an impressive 11th at the California Regional in 2017, less than one year after giving birth. With another year of training and recovery under her belt, Lindsey is poised to make another run at the CrossFit Games in 2018.
Lindsey and I sat down after week one of the 2018 CrossFit Open to chat about her approach to training during and after her pregnancy, how her life has changed since starting a family, why it’s important to her to return to competition, and what she hopes other coaches and pregnant athletes can learn from her experiences.
In this episode we discuss:
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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.