So much more than just a personal trainer

So much more than just a personal trainer

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

Setting the alarm for connection

Setting the alarm for connection

By 9pm I am usually falling into bed. Not in a tousling my hair into luxury sheets smiling like a sex kitten way. No more of an utterly exhausted, almost painful to get through the steps like teeth brushing before I can literally crawl into bed and pass out way.

If you consider that my 7 year old nearly always goes well over her 7.30 lights out and my tween doesn’t even head that way till 8.30-9, I’m either going to bed the same time as the kids or before the big one. So any couple time my hubby and I used to have after the kids are in bed is now lost due to my early nights.

I get up at 5 something 6 days a week to ride or run. Add a swim or gym session during the day a few days a week and I can feel fairly knackered most days. Add this to wrangling the kids, running the house and business and most days I’m feeling fairly stretched. My friend and I sadly joked last week that our once a week sleep in to 6am is a pure luxury! Bring on Friday mornings I say.

I get home from training by 7.30am in time for Craig to get dressed and head to work. By the time we both finish work, get the girls to Tae Kwon Do, get dinner organised, homework, Craig goes to the gym, its bath-dinner-kitchen-bed time and I am counting the minutes till I can close my eyes -(that’s posh for pass out).

I feel we can go days without a real conversation. If I have to go to an evening meeting or client we have no chance. I’m sure many couples feel like this sometimes.

This morning I woke just before the alarm and Craig snuggled in for a cuddle. Our relationship started in Townsville, so we are not big on bed snuggles. It’s too hot there to snuggle so we are fairly ingrained to  sleep on our respective sides of the bed and avoid all extra warmth. But this morning was nice. He caressed me as if to say hello and remind me he was there. I knew I had to get up to ride, I had set my alarm to ride. I knew I had articles to write and sessions to plan but my husband was calling me through his touch. I almost got a bit annoyed and thats when I caught myself thinking ‘I set my alarm to train not to do this’. Then I realised. If not now, when? Given how busy we were with life, how disconnected we could get, when was a good time. Maybe connecting should be something I do set the alarm for sometimes. I knew there was rarely a minute anywhere else in the day once it began.

I shut my eyes and imagined myself nailing boards over all the windows that were letting the days thoughts and responsibilities in. The voices telling me I had to ride, I needed to email my VA, I had to send my book to A, B, C, worrying about how rude a friend had been the day before… You get the idea. But out came the hammer and nails and up went the boards. I was giving all of my thoughts and my present to this beautiful man who loved me. Why is it so hard to do that sometimes? But I was determined. Bang, bang, bang, up went the boards.

Yes I had a half-ironman race coming up that I needed to train for. Yes I needed to stay on track and get it done. Yes there was truckloads of work to be done on the book leveraging and building the new product. But in that moment the most important work I could do was to work on connecting with this beautiful man. This man that has stood by me, is the father to my beautiful children, who supports me through thick and thin, this bicycle widower who happily minds the kids for hours and hours each weekend morning while I am out getting the km’s done, who picks up the slack when I get home exhausted from riding and have an ‘Athletes nap’ in the afternoon, who rarely if ever complains about any of the above, and who after 16 years still adores me. Nothing was more important than him, reconnecting and reminding us both what is really important in life.


Running up hills for fun? Mad woman or mad about life?

Running up hills for fun? Mad woman or mad about life?

I was interviewed for podcast “The mumpreneur show” today by Petra Jones and asked what I like to do for myself? How did I spend my “me time”.

I laughed and said I train. Today I ran 5.5 kms of hills (really 7.8km total but 5.5 of pure hills – call me a purist!).

I love it – I said with a big grin on my face!!!

Am I a mad woman? Well that’s arguable I’m sure. But am I mad for dragging myself out of bed at 5.22am to go run up and down hills till I’m spent. Absolutely not. This is my ‘me time’. It’s first thing in the morning so the time cant get hijacked. I don’t miss anything with the kids or my husband who are at home safe and sound and snuggled in bed. It makes me feel great personally as the endorphins flow, I chat with my mates and have a laugh and wonder what other people do with their mornings.

I get a sense of achievement as I see my improvement each week.

I feel better each week as I get closer and closer to my goal.

It sets me up for a more productive day.

It’s something big crossed off my list before 7am, before breakfast even.

I eat better that day. Its funny how if you train you tend to make better food choices that day, you lean more towards healthy options as you feel you want to refuel rather than trash all the hard work you just did.

You get a unique and enjoyable view of the day. I mean its been raining in Sydney for like, forever, and like most people I had almost given up on a blue sky. This morning however, was glorious. Cold breeze off the water as you feel we have moved closer to winter but the sky was gorgeous. It was clean, clear and full of the promise of a brand new day. Makes you glad you are out there amongst it.

Yesterday was completely different. Fog that hung in sky and crept around the trees and the moon. The atmosphere was amazing. The morning felt like it was only very reluctantly parting with night. The day was being held from us till the very last second. Again, wonderful to be out in it. You can be home in bed when you have no choice but for now I choose to get up and embrace the day, embrace my choice to move and give my life one hell of a shake.

You only get one shot at this thing we called life. I know I know you’ve heard it before but have you really thought about it. You may not get next year, next week, hell you may not even get tomorrow. What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing just for you? Go do some of that today. Now even. You will never regret being happy. You will only ever be glad you looked after yourself while you had the chance.


Fuel your body for energy to burn

Fuel your body for energy to burn

When you hear the term Super foods, how do you react? Do you imagine a little floret of broccoli flying around in a cape? Or do you wonder if they really are super and where you can get your hands on some of that?

A month ago now I completed my first long course triathlon and coming up to the race I really struggled with energy levels so had to significantly increase my carb intake; well triple it was the recommendation. It helped. I found the energy I needed for training and finished the race feeling happy and strong and half an hour faster than I hoped.

Following the race I had a rest. My body, mind and family needed me to slow down for a while so I spent a good week sleeping in past my 5am alarm and waking up with my family. It felt good. I continued the trend into week 2 only finding the energy to train twice! From twice a day to twice a week gave me far more time and things started falling into place in my business and my family were loving having me around more.

Trouble was the resting seemed to lead my diet to hell. I started eating white bread, chocolate, ice cream, cakes, chocolate all the high sugar, white refined carbs not really good for anything except instant and short lived pleasure. That ‘pleasure’ was short lived though as I began to feel very lack lustre indeed. I was bloated all the time, felt lethargic, cranky and so tired.

I am now finishing off the recipe section of my book and I have found myself cooking up a storm in the kitchen. All my usual favourites and a few extra special recipes I have borrowed from my inspirations and it feels good to be back on track. Clean, wholesome, gluten free, sugar free, super foods, and packed full of all the right ingredients to keep me smiling and energized for my busy life.

My stomach has gone down, I feel energized all day, I’m finding patience with my girls (even when they lose their brush again), today I even found myself singing as I was walking down the street! Best of all I have started training again and feel good. And even though I’m out training hard for 60-90 minutes each morning I’m still having productive work days. If I hadn’t cleaned up my nutrition and got rid of the trash I would never have the energy to get as much done each day as I do.

As I say repeatedly to clients and now I have made one of the steps in my new book, Food is fuel. Treat your body well and fuel it with the best nutrition you can. If you look after your body, it will look after you. Besides it’s the only body you get so so its crazy not to look after it. It’s win-win.

A quick super food hit that will have you feeling recharged and fantastic is my acai smoothie in a bowl. Its my version of a smoothie I had at Noosa when I went up for the triathlon last year. It could have been the magic in the bowl that led me to a new PB!

Energy Smoothie in a bowl

Acai berries- I frozen packet of (these are found in the frozen section of a good health store and come in packs of 4)

Banana – 1 frozen (I buy overripe bananas and freeze in snaplock bags ready for use as I need them.

Apple juice – 1 dash/shot or to taste

Chia seeds – 2 teaspoons

Whiz all the ingredients up in a blender till thick and smooth.

Pour in a bowl and eat or sprinkle muesli, or a power seed mix.

For a different spin on energy and flavour you can also add a bit of raw cacao.

Go do something great for your body and your mind!

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