I know this is a little confronting but it’s only 92 days until summer hits us. That’s right, only 92 days….eeek!! That also means it’s only a little over 15 weeks until Christmas! I’m serious! And with term 3 school holidays just around the corner, it got me thinking about how there never seems to be enough hours in the day, especially when it comes to looking after our own needs.
Our days just seem to get busier, amiright? Between the kids, partners, part-time or full-time work, the shopping, the cooking and the cleaning a mum’s work is never truly done. We also seem to be the only ones doing it! Did you know that the recent 2016 Australian census showed that Aussie women on average do up to 14 hours of unpaid domestic work per week whereas men do less than 5 hours? That hardly seems right, does it – add a couple of kids to your happy home and suddenly, you’re not just caring for their needs but doing the majority of the domestic stuff as well!
It makes sense that in this time of our lives – when we are at our busiest – we should be more vigilant of taking care of ourselves and investing in our mental health and wellbeing. The sad truth is, though, that we don’t. Sometimes it’s just too hard to find the time (with the amount of washing I do each week, I swear there are people living in my house I haven’t met yet) and if you do find the time, it’s not as simple as just walking out the door with your keys and wallet anymore.
But here’s the thing so many mums struggle with – we are so busy focusing on everyone else’s needs we just don’t prioritise ourselves, or worse, we feel like we shouldn’t take that time out (oh, mummy guilt, you insidious creature). I don’t know how these feelings came to be such a common theme for women (I’m certainly not immune), but so many of us truly think that we can’t take the time for ourselves (there’s so much to do! I need to iron! I have to be there for bath time!) because our family’s needs come first. The simple truth is that making that time for yourself is not going to bring your family’s world crashing down around their ears and they will be able to carry on without you for a few hours. You, on the other hand, may not…well, at least your mental health may not.
Let me put it this way. In the safety presentation at the beginning of any flight, you will always be told that if an oxygen mask drops from the ceiling, you need to fit your own mask before helping others, even your children. It makes sense, right? Get yourself sorted so you can EFFECTIVELY help others. There’s no point helping everyone get their mask on if by the time you get to yours, you’re ready to pass out! And that’s the crux of it. If we don’t take time to look after ourselves, then it makes it harder for us to look after others. If you’re exhausted and stressed, it makes looking after your kids that much harder. Your temper is shorter, your attention is split and our bodies and minds become run down. Self-care gives us the opportunity to re-energise ourselves and treat ourselves as worthy and deserving of that care.
One great way to commit to self-care is to join a community, whether it be a book club, a fitness group or a regular scheduled catch up with your friends. This not only provides you with an activity to look forward to and participate in but you will be doing it with a bunch of people who will notice if you’re not quite OK and will listen if you need to talk or require support in other ways.
Other great ideas are taking some time out for yourself with a massage, a movie (kids movies don’t count) or going for a run. Just sitting in the park on your own enjoying the sun with a book is another great option. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you do have to spend the time. It goes without saying that looking after your physical health will benefit your mental health which is where BounceBack Fitness comes to the party, but sometimes we also need to just look after ourselves with a good mani/pedi and a trashy mag. So please, make some time for yourself ASAP! Oh, and tell your hubby it’s his turn to cook dinner – there’s half an hour right there 😉
What does your self care look like? Comment in the box below
A Big Bounce Back welcome to our newest team member Nicole! I’m so excited to have this fabulous woman on board and can’t wait to watch her achieve amazing results with you all.
If you don’t know Nic very well, here’s a little snapshot from the woman herself:
For those of you who haven’t met me at bootcamp, my name is Nicole Steventon but I answer to Nic, Nicky and most other variations. I’m a mum of two verrrry energetic and cheeky boys, Charlie (nearly 3) and Sam (15 months) and I’ve been married to my supportive, wonderful and sometimes infuriating husband (I’m all about honesty) for nearly 7 years. In my previous working life, I was an Executive Assistant and I was with my last company for just shy of 12 years until 6 weeks ago when I took the massive step of resigning.
Exercise has always been a part of my adult life. I’m the first to admit that I’m either hopelessly addicted, training hard and running as often as I can (running has always been my fave) or I’m ticking the boxes, doing enough to keep my fitness up but not stretching myself too much (did I mention the honesty thing?).
I saw my first pregnancy as an excuse to stop all forms of exercise and spent the next 9 months eating twisties – prior to that I had been addicted, running up to 4 times a week. Once Charlie was born I realised that I was going to have to find something pretty special that worked with me and bubs so that I could get fit again. An internet search led me to Bounceback and I quickly realised that I had found that special thing I’d been looking for. I’ve been training with Joan now for about 3 years and have loved every minute of it.
I’ve always thought about fitness as a career but it was a deeply guarded secret….I didn’t even tell my husband! It wasn’t until I went back to work after Sam was born that I realised that I wasn’t really enjoying my job and that I needed to make a change. I knew I wanted to do something that I cared about while working closely with people to help them achieve their goals. By that point, I had casually mentioned to hubby that I’d love to get out of secretarial and in to fitness to which he replied “why don’t you look in to it?”
Soon after, Joan announced that she was looking to expand her business and it all seemed too serendipitous to ignore!! After our first conversation, I came away feeling more excited about my working future than I had in a long time. I’ve been madly studying ever since to get my fitness qualifications (still got a bit to get done) and I’m so excited to be starting this new chapter in my life and looking forward to providing you with passionate, honest, challenging, supportive training and going on the journey to be fitter, stronger, better mums and women with you.
Well Nic is now all qualified and has been running some killer sets in the mums and bubs sessions and personal sessions for some of our wonderful clients. She is red hot and ready to rumble so get in quick to nab your preferred session time now while she has some vacancy. Once word spreads of how good she is and how good you look and feel after working with her, you may not get the spot you want.
Contact us today to book your session.
Well its week 7 of my training program for Sunshine Coast 70.3 and I’m feeling good. As part of my decision to not overcommit to too many events this year, I decided sadly not to do City to Surf. As much as I love this iconic race and the beerfest er I mean celebrations with clients and friends afterwards, I thought I should keep my eye on the prize for a good result at Sunshine Coast. Especially given my Achilles tendonitis flared up again on Monday. I really need to limit my running to essential only for the next little while.
Unfortunately it’s a decision I deeply regretted come about 10am Sunday morning. As I was basking in a glorious winters day in arguably one of the worst cafes in Sydney that is half way between my in laws and our place for a big announcement my father in law wanted to share in person, all I could think about was Bondi. To make it even more torturous almost on cue, my BRF sent me a text “shouldn’t we be on our second beer in the Bondi sun right about now”. I wanted to cry.
I digress. As I was walking back from school dropoff yesterday I ran into an old client I am lucky to now call a friend who DID run. She was stoked to tell me she qualified for the red group. GO BEC!!! I was so thrilled for her. For those not up to speed on City to surf jargon, the red group is the front of the pack. They are the first of the general population to be set free along William st towards Bondi. It requires a time of under 70 mins so is no easy task to qualify.
She later came to the park and caught up with one of her old friends (aka one of my Group clients). It was so nice to watch the interaction and general affection these two wonderful women have for each other. They have a connection that comes from sharing the highs and lows, the good days and bad days, pushing each other in training to achieve a little better than yesterday. They are similar in that they both like to train hard and make the absolute most of the time they have made for themselves and it’s a connection that bonds women.
It gave me a renewed sense of achievement that the work I do is valuable. It may not be rocket science, it may not be changing the world, but it is changing the moods, outlooks, relationships and worlds of the women that come to me open, vulnerable, sometimes feeling a bit broken and looking to make their world a little better.
I trained Bec’s older sister as well. She was one of my original “bootiecampers”. I trained her in classes and personal sessions and just as friendly as her sister she made some wonderful friends in my groups too. She came when she had Jessie, came back after she had Sammy, then moved to Canberra. Soon after Bec had personal sessions, then joined classes when she had Maddie, then returned after Lincoln.
I have to admit that some days with my sore feet, and tired body from training, and dead brain from constant stream of questions and chatter from my 7 year old, the resistance from my 12 year old, the juggle of family, work, training, and other commitments I have, I feel old. I even sometimes worry that I am getting too old to do what I do. But yesterday gave me another insight into that thought. I have been a constant source of help, motivation and inspiration for a whole family. I have clients that have built solid friendships. I have clients who have radically changed their approach to healthy living and now embrace life with a new zest for living. I have a tribe of amazing mums that outright told me they hated running when we met, who now laugh at me as they tell me about their goals to do a half marathon. This is amazing and makes me truly happy.
They say if you do what you love you never work a day in your life. What about if you do it with love? If your clients love what you do so much they send their sister and family to share that love? Pretty cool don’t you think.
So for now anyway I think I will more happily embrace the concept of getting old and consider it more of a privilege. It has given me more time to convert clients to friends, share amazing transformations, be a catalyst for change for many, be a soft place for mums to fall on those hard days, to watch beautiful little babies grow into fantastic little people, collect photos and memories of awesome achievements and to build up and enjoy being a vital part of my community. #somuchmorethanapersonaltrainer #feelinggrateful
BRF aka Best Running Friend.
I received the best message last night, it read:
Even when Im out drinking, songs come on and remind me of running with you, properly remind me of my running addiction. Can I be your BRF again? J
Awwwww, of course you can I think. We have had some fantastic adventures together so I am dead keen to restart anew. Then I realize I better get my arse into gear too. It’s been a big year and a very relaxing couple of weeks, I’m in fairly average shape at the moment.
Since completing my first half ironman in June I really felt like I needed a break. Its been a huge year with my first long course triathlon in February, my first half ironman in June, writing and publishing my first book and seeing a counselor for a few months to finally deal with some long buried deep grief and anger I had locked up from my mothers death. It just felt like the time was here to relax a little, sleep in, catch up with some friends, and spend some well-needed time with my gorgeous girls.
My BRF has also had a run of it with a promotion turning into ridiculous demands being placed on her at work, buying their first home, her son starting school, trying to juggle kids around 14 hour days, working till 1am and getting up and doing it all again the next day. The ongoing sickness from being so run down and stressed, and then a leg injury that had her in pain every time she ran.
So fair to say we lost our way a little and became quite out of sync. It was hard but we had a lot going on individually and our times just never matched. But great news is we are finding our way back again. We ran the city to surf last Sunday as is our tradition. We reconnected over a few beers and here we are again talking our next goal race and best of all running together again.
So lesson here is sometimes things happen that can sway you from one path a little in pursuit of another. Sometimes your priorities can sway a little temporarily, and the timing becomes a challenge. Sometimes you might just need a bit of a rest. Only you know what is real and what could just be excuses. You and a good BRF.
A good BRF will act as a beacon and call you back to what you love doing eventually. A good BRF understands the difference between just slacking and really needing some time to deal with some stuff. A good BRF will give you time to do what you need and just quietly assure you she is there when you need. A good BRF also knows that none of it will matter as soon as its just the sound of your feet and the scenery buzzing by. A good BRF will welcome you back no question and just move forward to the next shared goal and vision.
If you don’t have a BRF, I recommend finding one if you can. Start asking people you know on ‘run dates’. See if you click and find the right fit. It’s a rare and special friendship based on something unique from other friendships. I wish you will in your mission and hope you can enjoy the laughs, achievements, pain, sweat, joy, dirt, love and peace that I have found and shared with my BRF.
Last weekend I finished my first long course triathlon in Husky. 12 weeks of training and preparation left me feeling ready to get on with it when the day finally came and I couldn’t wait to get started. A long course triathlon is a 2km ocean swim, 83km ride, and 20km run. My only goal was to finish strong and happy. And I achieved this. I had a ball. Of course there were snapshots on the run that hurt like hell, and getting kicked in the jaw on the swim was no picnic but these escape your mind as soon as you cross the line, or finish that leg even.
In my head I broke the race down into sections and had one goal for each. Not big lofty goals but just get it done goals and I think it paid off. The swim is not my favourite leg and I can get spooked if caught in the middle of the pack and feel trapped. So I decided not to ‘race’ it but to just swim the distance on the outside and just approach it calmly. It worked, my time was fairly slow at 40 minutes but I came out happy, which set me up for a good bike leg.
My goal on the bike was to try and keep a steady but firm pace for all three 28km laps. I was using a friends race wheels too and the sweet spot was 32km/hr so my aim was to sit over that as much as I could (when not going up hill anyway!!)
I have grown to love the bike but it’s not my strongest leg. Quite the contrary, as often I drop several places on the bike leg. At Husky though I maintained pace for the first two and even got faster on the third lap, yeeha! But best of all I only dropped one place which is my best result ever on the bike. Happy days.
Now to my favourite leg, the run. This is where I usually pick up a few places and really hit my straps. Husky was no exception, although a 20km run after a long fast ride was a bit more challenging than past efforts. What can I say except it bloody hurt, the view was amazing -its my favourite run, the cheering from my team mates was heartwarming and inspiring, I gained 4 places and loved giving my daughter and hubby a high five in the finish chute. It was fantastic. I couldn’t get the smile off my face. Even as I chomped my way through half a watermelon and several cups of coke I was grinning from ear to ear. My eldest daughter was in the finish area too and was beaming at me which made the experience all the better.
The whole experience was the best one I have had to date with any of my fitness pursuits. Working for a big goal and getting there is truly satisfying. Seeing and feeling what your body is capable of when you give it the right prep is awesome. But the main thing that gets you there is your mindset. You have to decide to get up in the morning and train. You have to decide to ignore the pain and keep pushing. You have to tell yourself over and over you CAN do this. Especially in that last 10kms on the run, or last section of whatever goal you set yourself. I only finished that race because my body just did what my mind told it to.
What are you going to tell your body to do next?