Hi, I am Sarah, the person behind Mums Fitness Time. I’m also known as Mum, Mamma, and ‘My Personal Trainer’. I am a wife to Simon although I have to say I’ve never wanted to be a wife rather I wanted to be the ‘the friend chosen for life’. We met in London had an absolutely fantastic time and did a heap of travelling before moving to Melbourne, Australia where are still based with our son Harvey and daughter Harper. My Mum and Dad live in New Zealand where I grew up and my friends seem to be scattered everywhere.
I became pregnant with my first child in February 2009. The baby was Harvey. Harvey decided send me into labour on my birthday, but graciously arrived the day after, saving my birthday for me and securing the next day for himself.
18 months later I was pregnant with, Harper-Rose Harper and gave birth to her in the car on the way to hospital. It was the most incredible and beautiful experience delivering our own baby and finding out for myself I had a little girl.
I used Calm Birthing for both my births. It’s a method which uses no pain relief, instead you focusing on calming the mind and working with the body to get baby out naturally. I highly recommend it.
I breast-fed Harvey for over a year and Harper for 9 months when she simply refused the boob and I got sick of fighting against her. There is 2 years and 3 months difference between them, which made it crazy busy at the start but now I think the gap is perfect.
I love being a Mum and I still don’t like being a wife but I like being part of a team and our little family has become a really good team supporting each other wherever we can. Simon and I do it mostly on our own as we have no support close by but I believe it’s forced us to manage the parenting responsibility together and to become a close knit, fully self-sufficient and independent family. There has to be some plus’s in it…right!? We are an active family and spend a lot of our spare time doing some sort of active activity. Being a Kiwi from New Zealand I am a big fan of the outdoors. Sometimes, actually most the time, the big city gets to me, so we escape it quite regularly and go camping in our camper trailer. We believe in and I think we do a pretty good job of living a rather grounded and balanced life.
I’m the mother who loves being with her children and I am fortunate enough to have found it relatively easy so far. I’m calm and I have a lot of tolerance which really helps. I feel guilty when I’m not there for my children so I chose to be there more often than I’m not. Without family and close friends around, it means the children are almost always with one of us but we have learnt to work around it and we have structured our life accordingly.
The only pit fall for me is that I have this enduring desire to fit a lot into my life and it’s very hard to do that whilst raising a family as there simply isn’t enough time. So its just going to take me a lot longer to get through my list.
Like I mentioned earlier we are all about balance and whilst I have immersed myself into the children’s worlds, I still have my own. I work as a Project Manager 3 days per week, I run my Personal Training business, exercise 5 – 6 days per week, and I study and train for events from time to time. I manage my time extremely well – I have to in order to achieve what I want to in a day. The biggest area of our life where our balance is totally out of whack is Simon and my time together. It hardly ever happens. It’s certainly been difficult for our relationship and I wouldn’t recommend it. Occasionally on a very rare occasion where do have a date night, we totally lap it up and enjoy every single minute of it. I love it when we get to be the old us again.
My Life of Fitness
I’ve always loved fitness. I remember Dad had a bench press in his garage when I was young and it intrigued me. When he went for a run I would tag along with him on my bike. Growing up I was into athletics and cross-country. I haven’t won a lot of things in my life but I did win running events. Where I lived when I went to high school, everyone caught the bus to school, but not me, I rode my bike. In fact I’ve used my bike as a form of commuting, my whole life since school, even in London.
As soon as I had my first job and had some cash I joined the gym and not long after joining I started teaching group fitness classes and competing in aerobic competitions. Whenever I had a spare minute I would be practicing my routines. Not because I wanted perfection but because I simply loved it. When I moved to Christchurch I was given a Friday 5.30pm pump class to teach at Les Mills, it was a massive room and a dying class but I turned that class around and was getting maximum numbers in no time. I loved inspiring people on, and revving them up and down depending on the music tempo, I would yee ha and they would yee ha back. Firing people up and getting them motivated, fired up my adrenaline and was the most amazing feeling.
I moved to London and qualified over there as a personal trainer. I worked in a gym in the evening and weekends but always maintained my office job to. It was around this time I met Simon, we travelled extensively, partied and danced and all weekend long.
We travelled for six months through India and I got into Yoga in a big way, getting up every single morning to complete my 90 minute yoga routine before our day started. We moved to Melbourne, and I worked full time, went to University, started running half marathons and completed a mini triathlon. If I had any spare time I’d be doing something physical.
My Fitness Journey As a Mum
Of course, it goes without saying I exercised throughout both my pregnancies. I had a personal trainer for my gym sessions, I’d run before work (until the obstetrician said no more), I continued to commute to work on my bike 22km each way, I walked and later in the pregnancy I swam in the outdoor pools. I never had one single aliment during neither of my pregnancies, I gained 13 kilos and I put this down to staying active.
After I had Harvey I was back exercising after the 6 week period. Life wasn’t quite so free anymore so I had to find new ways to exercise with a baby by my side and it had to be done in the morning when I had my most energy. I walked with the pram a lot, like almost everywhere. It’s no wonder my pram is so worn out. Sometimes I’d be out for three to four hours, stopping to feed baby on the way. I loved the opportunity to be outside and out of the house, I felt free, and it made me feel energised. Winter didn’t stop us, we we’d just put on some more layers and head outside for the morning. My gym had a crèche and I used that two to three times per week to. Every second day I would do sprints (intervals training) up and down our long drive way, coming in to see baby during the rest periods.
It was difficult with my second baby as my husband’s job was less flexible, I had two children under three, and this time I wasn’t getting paid maternity pay so money was restricted. Managing two sleeps plus feeding times around the hours of the gym crèche was difficult plus the added creche fees made it less appealing. Life was a lot busier and there was less time to walk the pram but we still walked most days. We just walked for less duration so to make it more intense I would find these massive hills to walk the double pram up and down. Boy it was tough, not even sure I could handle that now which makes me realise how determined I was to get fit and to get my body back. To include some strength work I started to do mini circuits at home and at the park with whatever equipment I had around.
I returned to work after six months and at nine months completed a half marathon. How I even found the time or energy I don’t know because second time around I was even more tired, the night feeds felt way harder than first time around, plus I was running around after a very energetic toddler and didn’t have the time for day sleeps.
Anyway, somehow I found the energy and I ran another couple of half marathons and then decided that I would now train and run a full marathon. The freedom of long distance running, being outdoors and having something of my own to focus on was liberating. So we went to New York for my 40th birthday and I ran the New York Marathon.
After the new York Marathon I came back with a heap of injuries and had to have two years off running. I missed it dreadfully. I couldn’t even run five minutes so I had to discover other ways of being outside and keeping fit and that’s when I really got into my outdoor fitness sessions. I’d take the kids to the park, they would play and I’d train. Where there is a will there is a way.
Exercise has been extremely good to me since being a Mum. It allows me to be a better mother because each time I exercise I know I am doing something for myself which helps me cope with the family demands, and it allows me to be a calm and somewhat rationale Mum. It is also the only time I have for myself and I really notice it when I don’t get my daily dose of me time. Exercise has also allowed me to feel good about myself and believe it or not, it does give me more energy. It is like a miracle pill.
Introducing Mums Fitness Time
Through pregnancy, post baby number one, post baby number two and now as a school age Mum I have found it gets harder and harder to keep fit and healthy but it becomes more and more necessary. Through each stage I’ve had this burning desire to share with other Mums the beauty of fitness as a Mum. Yes I want to help Mums with their fitness, but there is so much more to it than that.
I want to work with fit Mums and ensure they don’t miss out on their daily dose of fitness due to family barriers and I want to show other Mums who struggle with being active that they don’t have to settle for accepting what may have become. I want Mums to learn that no matter how busy you are, or what your limitations are, there is a way around it and I’m here to help with that.
I want our children to see their Mums exercising and living an active and healthy life. I want the next generation of techno kids to have inbred into them the value of exercise and so on and so on. I want more Mums to be happy with themselves and I want more children to be brought up in a healthy active environment.
And so this is why Mums Fitness Time was born. To support, encourage and inspire other Mums with their fitness goals, and to make them feel good about themselves. Because as they say a happy wife is a happy life.