By Bruce Overstreet
The visibly pregnant woman next to me was lifting and dropping her 100-plus pound weight set like it was a jar of pickles that she just couldn’t get enough of. She then stepped up to the pull-up bar and cranked out her sets of nine, seven, and five ‘Pull-Ups to Chest’ reps with the ease of an expectant mom chomping down on that glass of ice she is craving.
As I desperately tried to keep pace with the mom during the WorkOut of the Day this past Friday, my admiration for what she was doing at the beginning of her third trimester grew with every pull-up. Here I was completing this WOD with significantly less weight on my barbell and no child in my belly along — with the aid of an elastic band which made those ‘Pull-Ups to Chest’ much easier. And I could barely match her effort for effort.
It’s worth noting that Stephanie Swobody, the six-months pregnant gal, was doing her 21 pull-ups with no elastic band to propel her body upward. Something tells me she is going to be physically ready for the birth of her second child.
Something also tells me that we will see that little Swobody newborn in the CrossFit Marysville gym within a couple of weeks after mom gives birth. Because mom will be back into her routine. And most likely she will be recovering quite nicely, thank you very much.
Of course, Stephanie Swobody is the other half of the very fit couple that is leaving its legacy on the local CrossFit community. Her husband, Ryan, is one of the best CrossFit competitors in the world.
And, by the way, Ryan was taking care of their 2-year-old daughter, Ari, in the gym this past Friday night as mom was pushing through her tough workout. It looks as if Dad Swobody is a pretty good father, as well.
Workout over, time to be dad.
What the Swobodys are doing is pretty much the norm at CrossFit Marysville, with this past Thursday going down as epic.
Thursday was the day that Shawna Pester, the wife of the other member of the dynamic duo that operates CFM, Noah Pester, gave birth to their third child, only eight hours after doing her daily workout at CFM, going to work as a hair stylist, and then delivering their third child in the evening.
Talk about a statement! Abdomen work on the rowing machine at 9:30 a.m. prepares Mom Pester for the labor pains on the delivery bed at 5:40 p.m.
One day later, a tired Noah couldn’t have been more proud — as well as a little exhausted — as he spent time in CFM with his two other kids, ages 7 and 4, while mom rested in the hospital. Dad got his workout in and was tossing the football around with his son, Treyton, at CFM just before heading back to the hospital.
Family and fitness mixed together in a perfect pyramid of priorities. Could it get any better than this? That’s what CFM is all about.
While the Pesters and the Swobodys embody the healthy mix of good health and good times, they are not alone. It is quite common to see a whole slew of young kids spending an hour in the enclosed designated play area having a good time while mom or dad gets the day’s workout in.
What a great example these parents are setting for their kids. “You can find the time to make physical exercise a priority, junior. Just look at those Swobodys and Pesters.”
On Friday, Stephanie Swobody was wearing a CrossFit New England Championship T-shirt that I assume is from the recent competition her husband and Noah were in. On the back, in caps, it said “ATHLETE.” Something tells me that if Stephanie had really made competing in the CFNE Championships her highest priority, it would have happened. But she has a bigger purpose. We’ll see the results of that purpose for years to come at CFM, as the newest Swobody is sprinting around the place while mom and dad complete their WOD.
If the Pester and Swobody kids pick up anything from their parents, it will be the understanding that staying physically fit is the foundation for a great life. If their kids learn anything, it’s that you can balance fitness with family. It’s like the Ford campaign: Who wants “either sweet OR sour pork?” Let’s have both!
What a great example for all of us. In fact, I’ll do my WorkOut of the Day AND have that Budweiser!