May’s athlete of the month is Machteld Gamble! Known to most members as simply “Mac”, Mac recently gave birth to her second son, Hudson. We would like to congratulate you and your family, and we hope you are all doing well and enjoying life together.
You were in the gym with your fellow nooners quite late into your last trimester. We want to giv
e you the opportunity to share some of your experiences of exercising while pregnant, but first of all, tell us a little bit about yourself—where are you from, what do you do outside of the time you spend here—work, hobbies, fun facts, etc. anything goes! The more the better! What would you like people to know about you?
Born and raised in Mississauga, but my parents moved here from Belgium just before I was born, hence the European name Machteld. I am the youngest of 3 children with 2 older brothers.
Most of my days prior to maternity leave were spent working as a pharmaceutical sales rep, taking care of Logan (now Logan and Hudson), my boxer Gryphon and spending the few moments left in a day with my husband Brett. Weekends included trying to spend some quality time with friends, summer concerts, patios etc.
As mentioned earlier, you worked out until a few weeks before giving birth. How did you manage to continue doing this? What were the biggest challenges?
– With my first pregnancy I worked out until I was 39 weeks. With this pregnancy I was actually still in the gym Wednesday and Hudson was born Saturday. I guess it’s really all about commitment. Commitment I have made to myself to continue to stay fit and healthy to ultimately be able to keep up with my boys in the future. I know I have to take 6 weeks off after birth so I figure the longer I work out in the pregnancy means the less time off overall.
The way I managed to do this was simple, if it feels good – keep going, if something hurts, doesn’t feel right or is too exhausting gear it back. I figured near the end it was better to be moving even if that meant scaling all the movements vs not moving at all. I also knew I was preparing my body for one of the hardest WODs of my life when delivering a baby. The strength and endurance definitely comes in handy!
Did you also continue to work out while you were pregnant with your first son, Logan? Were there any noticeable differences this time around? Did you feel significant differences within your body in terms of ability, recovery, energy levels, etc.?
– Yes absolutely this time around was very different. Like I mentioned above I worked out pretty late into both pregnancies
which contrary to what a lot of people would think, coming to the gym made me feel better. All the aches and pains seemed to disappear after being at the gym. It’s like it reminded my body what it is capable of.
This pregnancy I felt a lot more exhausted simply due to the fact that there was less time to relax and put my feet up once I was home. Coming home after work to a toddler can be quite demanding and some days felt like second workout.
Unfortunately, the topic of exercising while pregnant remains shrouded in misinformation and misunderstanding. Did you encounter any hesitancy or resistance from loved ones or medical professionals for continuing to exercise as late into your pregnancy as you did?
– Most of my friends and family know the level of commitment I have to crossfit and my health, so it didn’t surprise them that I wanted to continue to workout through the pregnancies. However I did sometimes post pictures on social media and I would often get asked if it was safe, or if I was nervous I would harm the baby. To these questions I would simply responded that I was cleared to workout as long as I felt good by my doctor and it would be harder on my body to stop working out instead of continuing. A happy and healthy mom creates a happy and healthy baby,
Tell us a little bit about your fitness history. What were you doing before you joined CrossFit 416?
– Before I joined Crossfit 416, I lived out in Mississauga and worked in an office. I was fortunate enough that another gentleman working in the office was passionate about Crossfit (He know runs his own gym in Saskatchewan) and he would put together workouts for us. Obviously equipment was a limiting factor however it was enough to get me hooked. As soon as I moved to Toronto I knew I had to keep up with Crossfit and quickly found myself at 416.
What do you love most about being a part of the community here at CrossFit 416. What keeps you motivated and coming back to the gym on a daily basis?
– The people and the coaches hands down. As I type this I have not been to the gym in about 2 weeks and I can’t begin to describe how much I miss the place, the people, the workouts, the coaches. It’s such a friendly inviting amazing group of people that you look forward to seeing on a daily basis.
If you could go back to your first ever CrossFit class and give yourself some advice based on what you know and understand now, what would it be?
– Go slow, and don’t focus on the weight but more so perfecting the movement before starting to think about adding weight. Crossfit members are naturally very competitive people who like to compete with themselves. Sometimes we get focused on the numbers instead of perfecting the movements. The coaches have done a fantastic job at reminding us of this and keeping the weight in perspective.
What is the thing you’re most proud of accomplishing in life thus far?
– My 2 beautiful boys would definitely have to be my greatest accomplishments. Seeing them grow and develop everyday is so rewarding. Every time they learn something new you can’t help but be so proud.
Who or what inspires you on a personal level?
– Again as cliché as this sounds my sons inspire me. I am outnumbered in the household, husband, 2 boys and my dog is a boy. I know that I have to stay in top shape to keep up with them as they grow up. I want that, I want them to look at their mom as someone who can play sports and keep up with them. It motivates me every day.
Coach Robyn recently wrote a great article on organizing your kitchen and fridge. What are three things that can always be found in your fridge?
– I am proud to say that my fridge is filled with a lot of produce (as a family we love salads and eat them with dinner every day), we also have a lot of fruit as well – Logan is addicted to berries, grapes and peaches so never a shortage there. We also have a lot of condiments – chili oils, hot sauce, mustard etc. Finally you will always find almond milk and chocolate milk in my fridge – this is usually incorporated into a protein shake after workouts!
What is your favourite cheat meal/food?
– I would have to say Pizza!! However I prefer to make my own pizza at home that way I know exactly what is going into the sauce etc. We also load the pizza with veggies. The only room for improvement would be in the dough, I’m waiting on a cauliflower dough recipe to try that out!
What was the strangest craving or food combination you discovered/craved throughout your pregnancy?
– With Logan it was cereal at 4am – Honey Nut Cheerios or Frosted Flakes. Healthy I know. With Hudson I couldn’t consume enough chocolate milk, it was actually crazy and some days slightly alarming the amount of chocolate milk I would crave. Strange thing is the cravings literally stop as soon as the babies arrive.
Tell us something about yourself no one might ever guess about you.
– I am an equestrian at heart. I rode horses for about 22 years and competed a lot all summer for 10 years. I owned 2 of my own horses and this was quite a commitment, riding them every day and taking care of them – all while going to University and completing an undergrad degree in Animal biology and master degree in Toxicology. Time management was the biggest factor. I feel like this set me up for success when it comes to finding time for those things really important to me – Like Crossfit with 2 kids. If you really want something you will figure out how to make it work! Hopefully this means you will be seeing me back in the gym soon, with Hudson in tow!