So this week we have a special edition of Hot Mom Check-in. Fellow fitness/lifestyle blogger Brittany from www.mymamajourney.org is here to tell us how she managed to balance it all and even how she got to participate in a race in Dubai!
1. Start out with a little bio about yourself. Tell us about your family, job, any community programs or anything else you are involved with.
I wear many different hats: wife, mom, daughter, sister and aunt (to two cute little boys and three furry animals). Professionally, I am a trade policy analyst who focuses on trade issues (an area that I am quite passionate about). Lately, I have been soul searching for something that will challenge me in a new one, but yet help me to pursue Something on the side that I have always been passionate about: fitness and health. As an active individual, I want to be able to help others find the joy in health and fitness as much as I do, I want to be able to help them find ways that to make long lasting changes to their wellbeing.
Identifying this moment is a bit difficult for me. It isn’t because I have always been perfect in my fitness and health routine, but rather I have always been active. My journey goes back a long way, back to my childhood and the hours and hours my siblings and I would spend outside with our parents; playing baseball, swimming, cross-country skiing, to name a few. I think that it wasn’t until high school or maybe even University that I realized the importance of exercise, that I realized how to tone and that reaching my weight and fitness goals had to do with a lot more than just going to the gym. Over the years, including during my pregnancy/postpartum stage, I have realized that finding a balance in your life is the key.
Balance, balance, balance… that seems to be a common theme throughout this series, have you noticed?
3. What are your favorite fitness activities?
I love challenging myself and trying all sorts of new and exciting fitness activities. I feel like at some point I have tried it all, from cardio kickboxing to kettle bell to Ultimate Frisbee to Pilates. Some I was better than others and others I loved but I wasn’t really that good (it’s fun to discover new exercise activities and to see what responds to your needs the best). Some of my favorite activities however include: running and circuit training. Both of these activities really challenge me physically and mentally. No two days ever feel the same.
4. How do you fit your work outs into your everyday routine?
We live a very busy lifestyle! Between our own activities and making sure our little one gets to her swimming classes and gymnastics can make setting time aside for work outs tough. But we both for the most part succeed at this. Personally, I schedule PT sessions first thing in the morning, or I attend fitness classes at a local gym during lunch time. In the summer, I usually run outside (5km loop); it’s a beautiful city to run around. I also have some fun work outs or online bootcamps that I will occasionally do at night.
5. How do you stay so hot? What are your favorite fitness apps, equipment or class that you absolutely love and cannot live without?
I have always loved my Nike + chip, it always accurately timed and recorded my progress. However, I must admit I love trying out new apps on my android phone! There are so many new and cool ones out there it’s hard to pick a favorite.
The Couch to 5km was really my starting point back in 2010! This is seriously one amazing podcast that motivated me to give running a chance and low and behold I loved the sport.
6. Since you have become a mom, what is your proudest fitness accomplishment?
I had been struggling with getting back into running after having my daughter (I would attend ‘strollercise’ regularly, and would run with some close friends a short loop, but it just wasn’t the same). I was really BIG into it before finding out that I was pregnant. I was training regularly for my first 1/w marathon but decided not to run for fear that something could go wrong. Looking back would have been fine, but being that it was my first time pregnant I decided not to take any chances.
We decided to visit my in-laws while I was on maternity leave in January 2014 (they live in Dubai), and just a couple of weeks before our big trip my husband learned that it was during the same time as the Dubai Marathon. I didn’t know if I could do it, but I figured “how cool would it be to say that I ran a 10km race in Dubai!” (have the chance to run near the Madinat Jumeirah and in the shadow of the iconic Burj Al Arab). So I signed up, nervous, excited and feeling like this was it! This race would mean that I am back (this feeling of being back is a hard one to explain, it really symbolized the ending of a wonderful year off, a new point in my life, coming to terms with the physical changes of pregnancy and childbirth).
I remember running the race, and just as I am jumping out of the car to navigate to the start of the race, my husband saying “Remember just don’t be the last person to cross the line”. He said that as a joke, but also because he knows how competitive I can become while running. Those comments are what motivate me. You know like having secret races with the people around me (and them not being aware of this). So I thought, I won’t and I can’t be the last person to cross the line. While running, I enjoyed the moment, the experience, and being baby free (pushing a stroller is hard work!). As I neared the 9km mark, there were these sprinklers set up to cool of the runners (keeping in mind it was like 20+ degrees and only 9am). The last three hundred meters, I decided to sprint, push myself, run across the finish line as a pro (I became very teary eyed, and emotional – it was a bittersweet ending to this “new chapter” and the beginning of another). As I looked up I saw my time, 1 hour 13 minutes!! (Not my PR, but pretty good for not really running for 2 years!).
That sounds like an awesome experience. I think If I were in your shoes I would have found a way to run in that race as well! Great job on finishing strong!
I have decided that I need to complete the goal that I put on hold in September 2012 – my first half marathon. So I just signed up to run the same half that I was training for when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. For me, she is now my driving force for accomplishing this goal and perhaps achieving the time that I have set for myself as a goal. I can’t imagine anything more exciting than her smiling face (and my hubby’s) at the finish line! I also turn 30 this year and thought that this was a reasonable and realistic goal to accomplish in my 30th year!
I am also in the process of becoming a certified group instructor and would love to branch out with my own fitness business. How this can happen, still to be determined!
Brittany thank you so much for sharing your story with us! If you want to read more about Brittany be sure to pop on over to her blog and see what she is up to! Good luck as you train for your goal half marathon! We know you will do great!