I frequent the 9:30am class at CrossFit Cove, which is full of mostly mothers of young children. There is something special about having ‘mama time’ at the gym. Everyone kicks ass and is super motivating during the workouts, and we often find ourselves talking about random non-fitness-related things like skin regimen or children’s odd behaviors or what kind of protein powder to buy (Ok… some things are fitness-related). Because I work from home and spend most of the day in front of a computer or with Sage, the hour that I spend at the Cove is my way of decompressing, plus it’s my social time. It’s the one chunk of the day where I can ‘turn off’ being motherly – where I can go lift heavy and break a sweat. As a new Mom, there are times when I find myself questioning my abilities and feeling more challenged than I ever have in my life. The gym is a place where I feel in control and capable, even when I feel the opposite at home. On days where I can’t get Sage to nap to save my life and I feel like I’m just doing things ‘wrong’, the gym is a sacred place for me.
I would say that 99% of the time, I wake up and crave the gym. Maybe it’s because I’ve found something that I truly enjoy, a way to exercise that never feels like a “chore”? I remember when I trained for my half-Ironman a few years back and would wake up at 4:45am to get to the pool to swim for an hour before work. That felt like a chore. As much as I love swimming and grew up a swimmer, going to the pool to train felt like something I had to do versus actually wanting to do. I get the impression that a lot of people view exercise in this way. Lifting / metabolic conditioning / CrossFit – or whatever you want to call it – never feels that way. I appreciate the variety in the programming . It keeps things interesting and allows me to push myself to try more challenging weight / options and not to ‘cherry-pick’ my workouts. I’ve been training this way for about 5 years and I can’t imagine going back to hour-long spin classes or strictly running every day. I owe it all to my dear friends over at Performance360 in San Diego – where I started this style of training. They taught me so much and I miss the coaches and community every day – I’m grateful for the foundation they laid for my future training. I knew when we were leaving San Diego that my gym would be one of the things I’d miss the most. It was a priority to find a similar community and place to train once we were back in Maryland and after I had been given clearance to start exercising again once Sage was born. I did most of my gym research online and though I never intended to join a CrossFit affiliate, I found exactly what I wanted in the Cove.
The gym is owned and operated by a couple in their 40s. They are parents who started CrossFit in their late 30s. You can learn more about their story, in this interview. They are both bad asses in the workouts, incredible coaches and amazing friends. I think their approach to opening a gym in Columbia (hello, Suburbia!) with on-site childcare was an incredibly smart move.
I started with the foundations classes about 3 months postpartum. While I was familiar with the movements, it was a really good refresher and that first month back really kicked my fitness into gear after having a baby. Now, I’m lifting heavier than I ever have before, I’m continuing to improve my form and my engine in running smoothly. Fitness has always been a part of my life and I feel fortunate to have found a community like the Cove in my ‘new’ home town.