February 28, 2013
The Open While Pregnant: Megan Ellis
By 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?”