Before I learned I was going to be a mom, I was a competitive pro snowboarder, kickboxing 3 times a week and working out on my off days. I had expectations about a super fit pregnancy, fantasies of mom and baby yoga and working out with my little one by my side. I was going to be the most fit, happy pregnant and nursing mom possible! Or so I thought.
In reality, it took me two years after having my daughter, to finally feel motivated to do any kind of exercise. Little did I know the complications of motherhood and pre-existing injuries would set me on the path to be a sedentary mom. The exact type of mom my pre-baby / competitive super-athlete self (a.k.a. ego) said I would never be.
Fast forward five years – here are five valuable (and slightly painful) lessons I learned that helped me get back to training after a considerable amount of time off.
1) Be kind to yourself
My pre-baby/ super-athlete self was naïve and judgemental and quite unforgiving of any flaws. My mental standards of what it meant for me to be fit had not changed even though my body very clearly had. In order to get out the door to that first workout I had to learn how to let go of limiting self-talk and be present and enjoy the moment.
2) Put yourself first...and fuel for motivation!
We all deal with unpredictable situations, derailing our workout plans and long-term fitness goals. From sleepless nights, to sick children, scheduling conflicts, and guilt, excuses are lurking around every corner. Overcome these hurdles, by remembering to put yourself first despite what’s on your plate. It’s also extremely important to fuel for mental and physical motivation with a power shot of Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer. That way despite what’s going on in your head or with your body, you’ll have enough energy to leap over those hurdles and out the door!
3) Struggling with time? Try something new!
One of my biggest hurdles for consistent training was my time struggle. The more time it took to get to the gym, the more excuses I collected to derail me from my goals. I was so frustrated by this I actually ended up running out the door because it was the only activity I could do close to home... and I hated running! What I discovered that day was that I actually did like running. And I still do – three years and two half-marathons later. So if time is your struggle –maximize the time you do have by choosing an activity you can do close to home.
4) Set a goal with friends
Setting a goal is like drawing a map to your success, so while you at it – pencil a friend in there too. Friends keep you accountable, motivated and challenge you to meet your best. Choose a training partner for their strengths, remember yours, and put your ego on the backburner. Success is sweeter when you share it!
5) Celebrate – you never know who you’re inspiring
It’s hard for me to leave my super competitive athlete self in the past and celebrate my current athletic wins. What I have noticed is when I share my wins – I inspire others to make changes for themselves and that’s worth celebrating. So whether you’ve just made it to the gym, come back for a run or finished a half-marathon or Tough Mudder, celebrate! You’ve committed to doing something for yourself and are getting out there! Without the small wins you wouldn’t get the big ones.
As for me – I’m still working on tuning out my naïve 20-year-old super-athlete self. After all, she’s couldn’t run a half –marathon or finished Tough Mudder if she tried. :)