Strong, as a Mother.
They say that you never really know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice. But what does strength really mean?
Strength is as much about the spirit and soul as it is muscles. Strength is being weak and persevering in the face of adversity. Strength is vulnerability and having the courage to show it. In my last blog “Why every mum deserves to cry after exercise” I talk about how the ‘Motherhood Transition’ brought me to my knees after my first baby. And it’s there I found my strength. Rising strong is Mother Nature’s gift to all women. Through birth and beyond it is through our pain we discover our strength.
As a Personal Trainer you would naturally assume that my gig is just physical strength. And it is but motherhood has taught me about change, adaption, rebuilding, patience, awareness, modifying and ultimately finding a new normal. I have come to learn that there are no rules to strength and fitness and it looks differently for each of us.
There are, of course, basic strength foundations that you cannot escape (seeing a Women’s Health Physio & then working with a trainer that understands the female body after birthing babies, is a no brainer) but beyond the basics it’s about whatever works in your life - for you and your family. Learning to meet your body exactly where it is today is the key as what is right for another may not be right for you.
I didn’t have to think much about exercise or movement in my life until it was restricted around the activities, habits and routines of small people. I am often asked about what exercise to do if you only have 15mins OR how to train when you have little energy and/or lack motivation. The thing is that as mothers we are in a unique position denied to many an office worker. We have a golden opportunity to build great strength everyday because we often don’t stop moving! And as such we can,
practice breathing deeper every time we inhale
work on stability and mobility as we walk, lie, roll, squat, lunge, sit, push, pull, rock, sway every day with our small humans
discover more optimal movement patterns that assist and support our pelvic floor and core unit by working with professionals who know their stuff
Don’t underestimate the power of the small actions done daily to reach those bigger gains and goals. I know it’s cliché to say but the reality is that everything big starts small and focussed. Recently I walked amongst the giants of strength when I visited the Aire Valley Redwoods in the Otway Ranges. As I stood in awe of these mighty trees you really ‘get it’ – strength is trusting the process, going slowly and consistently over time and stopping to breath in the moments as they pass. If you want to learn about all facets of strength then go the forest and stand amongst the trees.