CrossFit Fitness

Peeing During Workouts? How Six Physical Therapy Sessions Solved My Humiliating Problem


Spoiler alert:  I’m about to get really personal with everyone, and if you’re a guy- might I suggest reading this post, or this post, or this post instead?  If you’re a woman, keep reading because this post might just be for you…

I’m getting ready to admit to the interwebs something that I’ve felt really embarrassed about for a while now—well, for the past 2 years and 8 months to be exact. Almost three years ago, I was lucky enough to give birth to my son, all 8 lbs. and 15 oz. of him. I had a vaginal water birth and I pushed for about two hours because my little guy didn’t want to come out! Motherhood has been the most incredible experience of my life, but with the good also comes some bad. There are all sorts of articles about what to expect after giving birth, but until you experience things like the extreme hair loss that happens about 4 months postpartum, there’s no way to really know. A couple of changes to my body seemed to be permanent…the stretch marks on my thighs, my cute innie belly button being replaced by an outie, and crossing my legs when I sneeze. “Crossing your legs when you sneeze” you might ask? Yes. And it’s not because becoming a mother made me more lady-like when I had a head cold. Crossing my legs was necessary so I didn’t pee my pants. It seems that by exerting so much force in an effort to bring my son into the world, I had done some serious damage to my nether regions. If crossing my legs when I sneezed ended up being the only burden I had to endure, I may have just lived with it, but because CrossFit and working out is such a big part of my life there was something else that this little problem prevented me from doing– double unders. If you’re not familiar with this movement, a double under is when someone jumps rope, but instead of the rope passing underneath their feet once, it passes underneath twice for every jump. As a result, you have to jump higher and exert more force.   IMG_2303 Double unders are one of those skills that you have to practice a lot. It’s not like riding a bike where one day you get it and the ability is there for the rest of your life. I could do double unders before I had my baby, but after I came back to CrossFit it took a really long time before I got them back because my practice was always interrupted by… you guessed it– me peeing my pants! So, I started to rely on a stock of maxi pads that I kept at the gym, and I would run to the bathroom before workouts programmed with double unders. With protection in place, I got increasingly better at the skill, but pads are bulky and uncomfortable.     Last year, I competed on a team at the Pensacola Beach Brawl CrossFit competition. My team chose tight, stretchy shorts to all wear for our uniform. When we found out double unders were in the first workout, I asked everyone if we could switch to different shorts so I didn’t look like I was wearing a diaper beneath the spandex. Did anyone notice the wardrobe change?

I finally decided that enough was enough when I had to leave the gym mid workout because my protection failed and I didn’t have a change of shorts with me. It was mortifying. I didn’t tell anyone that I was leaving; I just left as fast as I possibly could. I reached out to Dr. Whitney Braswell, a physical therapist at Therapydia Nola who specializes in women’s health, to see if my condition could be treated, and I was so happy when I was informed that my problem was common and fixable.   Was it just kegels?   Yes, kegel exercises were involved in my treatment, but the extent of the exercises didn’t end there. Whitney said that many women don’t do kegel exercises properly, so first she made sure that I was engaging the correct muscles. She also gave me breathing exercises because she explained that diaphragmatic breath work helps to increase strength and control of the pelvic floor. My favorite part of the therapy was when I was hooked up to a biofeedback monitor that responded to muscle contractions. Basically I stuck electrodes to my body that were attached to a handheld computer, and I would see a number on the screen every time I contracted or relaxed. The higher the number, the more effective I was during the contraction. I loved seeing a score applied to my exercises, and it was helpful that I was able to quantify my improvement after each appointment. Over the span of 6 appointments over 2 months, Whitney gave me the necessary education and exercises to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles. That’s all it took!  6 appointments and I was cured of my embarrassing problem. I almost cried when I did 300 double unders with no issues and no pad!   Why didn’t I do this sooner? Well, because I honestly didn’t know treatment like this existed. If I had known that it was relatively quick and entirely painless to correct such a humiliating problem, I wouldn’t have waited almost three years to get help! As I said before, issues like these are pretty common, even among women who don’t have children, so there is no need to feel shame or embarrassment about getting help.   If you’re in the New Orleans area and you’re having similar issues, I highly recommend contacting Whitney for treatment. She offers individualized care for women experiencing urinary incontinence, pelvic pain syndromes, and pre- and post-partum dysfunction.  


Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored by Therapydia Nola.
Never in my life did I think I’d get therapy for my hoo-ha as a blog perk!
All opinions are my own.    
CrossFit Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Celeste Haar


If I had to describe Celeste in one word, it would be “involved”.  She is involved with her family and the people she cares about, involved with her business, and, lucky for us, involved with her gym.  Whether it’s grilling meat for our next get together or spending an afternoon building a pull-up rig, both her and her husband Dennis are always willing to help.  The Haar’s are part of the reason we have such an incredible community of people at CrossFit Roux, and Bradley and I are so appreciative of everything they do to support Roux.  They even open their house every Sunday to host a supper club!  Celeste blows me away with her strength.  I remember the day she surprised herself when she pulled a 155 lb deadlift off the ground!  She comes in day after day and does her best with a smile on her face!  Last year she had a serious health scare, and she credits the lifestyle changes she made with her diet and exercise for saving her life.  We’re so grateful that Celeste is apart of our gym!    Tell us about yourself. I’m an aquarius.  I love babies and I hate long walks on the beach…  Just kidding except about the beach.  I HATE SAND.   I just made 40.  I am a wife, mom of 3 (2 teens and a toddler), a business owner, and an avid CrossFitter!   How long have you been a member of CrossFit Roux and why did you start? My husband and I have been members since November 2014.  Back in September 2014 my dad had a really bad health event and I made a deal with God.  My deal was that I would get serious about my health and get healthy if He just gave my dad ONE MORE CHANCE to try to get it right.  Coach Missy is part of our family and I started talking to her about my concerns and she started The Butcher Shop, where a bunch of us worked out in her driveway twice a week.  That’s where my love for Crossfit started.  My first box jump sealed it for me.  I failed miserably and then succeeded. When Missy became a coach at Roux we all transitioned over thanks to Bradley reaching out to us.  It was the best decision we ever made.   What is the biggest change in your body, mindset, and/or life that you’ve noticed since starting CrossFit? There have been so many.  First of all I think has been my confidence.  I am up for so many more challenges in my life ever since.  My weekends used to be full of “Shouldas” – We shoulda done something this weekend but we wasted it.  Now it’s always on the go and usually I am trying to FIND downtime. My body is so strong and I’ve shed tons of inches!     I’ve also made soo many incredible friends and rekindled and strengthened old friendships. My “Crossfit friends”, as my family refers to them, are some of my closest friends.  Without them we wouldn’t have Sunday Supper Club.    What is the biggest take-away that you learned from doing the Challenges? Being conscious of your food to fuel your body is important – every single day.  Trash in, trash out.  I have learned SOO much about nutrition, how it works for MY body and what doesn’t work.  I also now am a Dave Asprey stalker and bulletproof coffee drinker.  I love that stuff. 11738042_10152595129102824_1798903457674990840_n What are 3 specific fitness goals that you have for the coming year? This is really hard for me.   On October 1, 2015 I had a very normal day.  I went to the 5:30 am class at Roux, I worked and had my usual day.  I was not feeling great, but thought nothing of it.  I went to bed like usual around 9.  At about 11:30 I woke up feeling like I had to cough pretty badly.  I felt like I was wheezing and my chest was tight.  I thought maybe I was catching a cold.  I shrugged it off and tried to go back to sleep.  For the next two hours, I was up and down and my breathing was getting worse and worse.  I finally couldn’t lay down AT ALL.  I couldn’t seem to catch my breath- I was drowning.  I got dressed and woke up my husband.  He thought I was having a panic attack but it was getting worse.  We made a trip to the emergency room where they immediately started to try to get my sky high blood pressure under control.  I had JUST been able to eliminate blood pressure meds from my life about 30 days before, working with my doctor, of course.  So I was being brushed off by the doctors as not taking my meds, but it was worse.  Much worse.  I went to ICU, and then to a regular room where I finally met a cardiologist.  Dr. Mailander sat in my room and in front of my husband and kids told me that I was in congestive heart failure from a virus. Believe it or not, my first question to her was if I was going to be able to CrossFit again!  Just the thought of having to give up something that was such a part of my identity was crushing, but the reality is that I have had big changes.  I take a LOT of medication.  I had to wear a defibrillator 24/7 for a couple of months.  My heart function has had some improvement but I’m still sick.  Sometimes I forget and then my body reminds me.  In December I was able to start working Roux back into my life a couple of days a week with my doctor’s clearance.  Now I am back 4-5 days a week. I religiously wear my Fitbit Charge HR that monitors my heart rate to keep it under 130, where my doctor still wants me.   I’m not as strong as I used to be.  Some movements are way too much for me, I row slow, I am up to running 100m at a light jog, and I have to stop some WODs and wait for my heart to slow down a little and sometimes I have to stop altogether.  For a type A personality like me, this has been a life changing experience.   So this year I would like to just keep moving and do what I can and to push that limit but learn to LISTEN to myself.   What is your favorite Roux memory? The Open last year – whatever WOD had push presses. I didn’t think I could keep going and my lovely husband was “yelling” at me to pick it up over and over!  I cracked my chin with the bar on like the second rep and bit my tongue.  I just wanted to drop it and cry.  But he just kept yelling so I did, over and over and over.  I actually wound up beating HIS score that workout.   This ties with Mardi Gras with the Roux Krewe – Schneller style.  You have changed Mardi Gras for my family forever and we are forever grateful.   DSC07083 What is your favorite cheat meal? A REALLY good meal at a fabulous restaurant.  I want it to REALLY be worth it.   What is your favorite and least favorite CrossFit movement/lift? Favorite – back squat because I can go pretty heavy.   Least Favorite – Everyone’s least favorite – SNATCH!  It’s like unnatural. Tell us something that only people who know you really well know about you. I’m pretty much an open book.  If you ask I’ll tell you.  I do have a REALLY bad temper, though.   What do you think is the biggest myth about CrossFit that non-CrossFitters believe? That you have to be “in shape” to do it.  Guess what, FAT IS A SHAPE, a messy, blobby one.  CrossFit is for everyone.   Anything else you’d like to add? CrossFit has saved my life.  I know, dramatic, right?  Not just the workouts, but the challenges and the education about food in general, and the friendships I have.  It helped me make my heart healthy so that the VIRUS that attacked my heart and caused my heart failure didn’t kill me.  I had an angiogram – my arteries are “crystal clear” – that’s what the doctor said.  Nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  It has also strengthened my marriage.  My favorite workout partner is my husband, as long as I don’t have to BE his partner.  We are stronger than ever, and after almost 22 years that’s a lot (and he’s SOO HOT!).  Our date nights often include a WOD and maybe a drink at River Shack.   CrossFit Roux is my Church.  I schedule my time there.  I schedule my life AROUND it.  I don’t work if I’m not working out.  Thank you, Bradley and Emily for what you created.  I’m crying again.   11080517_10152397990032824_11140295251022387_o


Why Every CrossFitter should compete in the CrossFit Open


Why Every CrossFitter Should Compete in the CrossFit Open-2It’s that time of year again—time for the CrossFit Open!  In less than a week, Dave Castro, who I lovingly refer to as the Head Gamemaker, will be announcing 16.1, the first of five tests of strength and endurance in which CrossFitters around the world will be competing. The Open is the launch of the journey to crown the fittest on earth at the annual CrossFit Games.  Are you on the fence about signing up?  Just do it already!  I promise you won’t regret it, and here’s why:

You should compete even if you don’t have a shot at advancing

Competing doesn’t have to be about winning!  It should be about pushing yourself to be better than you were. Have you ever trained for a 10K or a half marathon?  I’m willing to bet most of you didn’t expect to win. Think about your daily time at the gym like conditioning yourself to run, and the Open is like the day of the race!  Since competition tends to bring a rush of adrenaline, I’ll be willing to bet you’ll surprise yourself by what you can accomplish!

It gives you a chance to measure yourself against the rest of the world

This can be humbling if you’re typically the person who scores the most reps or lifts the most weight at your box, or this can be a huge boost of confidence!  We have a masters athlete at our gym who does WODs every day with a bunch of people younger and stronger than her.  She’s used to coming in last, so imagine her surprise when she competed in the Open and scored second in the state for her age group!  On the flip side, have you ever wondered how you stack up against your favorite athletes?  Well, competing in the CrossFit Open gives you a chance to see how you compare to the Rich Fronings and Annie Thorisdottirs of the world!  I remember during 14.5 (which was a LONG combination of thrusters and over the bar burpees with no time limit), my judge yelled out in the middle of the workout, “This is where Rich Froning finished!”  I was about a third of the way into my reps!  That sure was a reality check!

“I got my first ____ during the open!”

Are you the type of person who “can’t do” double unders so you just scale to singles during every WOD?  My friend Nanci was that person until she competed in The Open.  She had been CrossFitting for 5 months and had just mastered single jumps, let alone attempting double unders. When she discovered the first movement of 14.1 just happened to be double unders, she brcrossfit openoke down.  I’m sure it wasn’t a good feeling to put yourself out there for it to begin with a sense of failure. Her goal was to try. Her goal was to get one. She spent the first minute of the workout whipping her arm with failed attempts.  Each time the rope made contact with her skin was another disappointment.  Her judge told her to calm down, catch her breath and try again.  Nanci ended up completing 53 double unders before time was called.  She not only achieved her goal, she crushed it! When 15.3 was announced last year, CrossFitters around the world were outraged because of the 7 muscle ups right out of the gate!  If you couldn’t do muscle ups, you either had to spend the time attempting them and risk scoring zero for the workout, or you had to drop down to the scaled division.  A lot of people thought it was unfair, but my social media accounts were filled with countless videos of people getting their first muscle up during that workout. There’s just something about competing that brings out the best in people!

Be a part of the community!

I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again– the biggest thing that sets CrossFit apart from other fitness experiences is the sense of community. You’ll get out of it what you put into it, so why not go all in?    Some of the greatest moments I’ve witnessed at our gym have been during the Open. During 15.5 last year, we had a teen competitor almost give up. His mom could see the look of defeat on his face… he wanted to quit!  So, she picked up the barbell directly in front of her son and she talked him through completing the workout, doing two thrusters at a time with him until he finished. When she dropped her bar and pulled her soCrossFit openn in for a hug, the whole gym was in tears as the emotions of the experience exploded to the surface. He had done it when he knew he couldn’t just moments before!  All of us watching could relate to that feeling. We all knew what it was like to want to put the barbell down and quit, but it’s the people around us that keep us going. It’s the person shouting “You’ve got this” or “One more rep.” It’s the person beating you by 5 reps that you’re trying to catch. It’s the person who gets up after they’ve completed the WOD and runs along side you so you’re not working to finish alone. This community is what makes us different.  It’s what makes us special.  Be a part of it!      

Did I convince you?  Sign up here!



All I Want for Christmas is Roux


We had our third annual CrossFit Roux holiday party last weekend, and a festive time was had by all! On the drive to the party Bradley looked at me and said, “Um, I think I’m wearing the same outfit I wore last year.”  And he was– haha!  I think he needs more clothes besides workout attire!   Our CrossFit family has changed significantly in the past 3 years.  We’ve added a lot of people and lost a few, but Bradley and I are grateful every day for everyone who have been apart of this special gym– new and old!  Can you spot the seven people who are in all three pictures?   Roux Holiday Party 2013: 1412340_1932322976908604_696734840_o Roux Holiday Party 2014: 10847514_2074928152648085_4582104631709526174_o Roux Holiday Party 2015: IMG_0167 Our coaches are not only talented CrossFitters, but they are knowledgeable, encouraging, and truly care about every member!  We feel incredibly lucky to not only have them on our team, but to also have them as our friends.   IMG_0198 Knowing that Bradley and I are huge foodies, they all gave us a gift certificate to Shaya, a NOLA restaurant who’s chef received the 2015 James Beard award for Best Chef South. Yum! So, who wants to volunteer to babysit Brennan for date night?  IMG_0194 Our coaches received personalized Contigo travel mugs which are THE BEST travel mugs!  I drink my bulletproof coffee in one every morning!   IMG_0162 IMG_0163 I’m used to seeing everyone in sweaty gym clothes, but everyone cleans up so well!  We train some beautiful people!  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the night:  IMG_0286 IMG_0115 IMG_0223 IMG_0250 Claire was missing the fan at the gym!IMG_0193 IMG_0188 IMG_0164 IMG_0156 IMG_0119 IMG_0122 IMG_0141 IMG_0137 Thanks again to our party planner extraordinaire, Janna!     I can’t wait to see what the New Year has in store! Happy holidays!    

CrossFit Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Nicole Whitaker

NicoleMember spotlight time!  Nicole joined the Roux Krewe about eight months ago, and she has become a regular member of our 5:30 AM class!  She’s a busy mom of two boys, and I admire her dedication to her morning workouts so she can spend the evenings with her family.  We’re so glad that she ditched the running and found something that she actually enjoys doing for exercise!  
Why did you decide to start CrossFit?
I decided to join CrossFit because I really wanted THAT change. I can remember driving home from work one day and seeing a group of people on the levee doing lunges. I thought to myself, wow..that’s what I would love to do! Not that lunges are my favorite thing, but you get the point. Little did I know that it was CrossFit Roux.
What would you say to someone who is intimidated of trying CrossFit?
I have the memory of being so scared in the beginning! Scared to step out of my comfort zone and afraid that I was going to fail. I realized that as much as my body ached the weeks after, I didn’t die and that instead of failing I had gotten stronger. Strong is the new skinny for me.  
What did you do for fitness before joining the Roux Krewe?
I had really gotten into jogging. It’s the craziest thing because if you were to ask anyone, it’s the one thing that I do not enjoy doing! Right at a point where I was doing well, a family emergency pretty much stopped me in my tracks. So it took me 10 months and a 25 lb weight gain to finally say enough is enough I have to do something.
What has been in the biggest change in your body that you’ve noticed since starting CrossFit?
The biggest change I would have to say is that I feel so much stronger. Of course the truth is…I AM! I actually like when I’m sore. Am I the only one that feels that way? 
What motivates you? What gets you out of bed in the morning to go to 5:30am CrossFit?
IT’S SO EARLY! Being able to share in my kids football games and making dinner for my family is what motivates me to get up in the morning. Feeling great while doing it makes me want to do it all over again the next day. 
What’s your favorite cheat meal? 
A big hamburger with everything on it! 
What’s your favorite clean eat? 
I love scrambled eggs with guacamole. It’s my go to. 
What’s your go to clean eating snack?
What is your favorite and least favorite movements/lift?
My least favorite would have to be burpees! My favorite is the clean and jerk and push jerk.
What 3 specific fitness goals are you next hoping to achieve? 
My first goal is to get my eating right so I can torch these unwanted pounds, the right way. The second is to continue to get stronger mentally so that I have the courage to take on different movements and weights. The third is to just get a kipping pull up one day. Those pullups look so bad ass to me!