Hi i’m Sarah and I’m excited to be able to share my Shape Up Mums story with you. I’ve been attending Ali’s sessions in Northcote twice a week since my son Charlie was 8 weeks old.
I have always been reasonably fit and loved running but following Pregnancy and the first crazy few weeks of having a newborn I was feeling like a couch potato. How do you find time to exercise with a baby? And when is it safe to resume exercising? I was determined to find something for me.
Signing up for my first class was one of the best things I could have done. Yes it was the middle winter but getting out of the house and exercising with like minded people became the highlight of my week. What better way to exercise than in a fun environment where you can take your baby. Initially it was sometimes difficult to get out of the house but I always made it a priority and felt better for it afterwards. Charlie even enjoyed the change of scenery and being around other babies and kids.
One of the best things about Shape Up Mums is the variety. Every single class is different. Ali continually amazes with new exercises (but never forgets the burpees!) Pelvic floor and abdominal strengthening are key areas in each class and are performed safely and tailored to each individual. There is a great mix of cardio and strength training so it really is a whole body workout. The atmosphere is nice and relaxed so that if you need to attend to your baby you can.
As my fitness improved, my first goal was running the 15.5km City to Sea when Charlie was nearly 6 months old. Ali was always encouraging and asking how my training was going. Running post baby is definitely not the same as before but each class I felt my pelvic floor strength improving. Without Shape Up Mums there is no way I would have been fit enough or have the pelvic floor strength to even contemplate doing the run. What an achievement I was wrapped. I then entered the run for the kids to keep me motivated.
Summer came and my Husband entered the Gatorade Triathlon Series. I went to watch his first race and found myself feeling slightly jealous and wishing that I could have a go. Well what was stopping me? Nothing!! Having a baby is definitely not an excuse. Shape Up Mums had provided me with a reasonable level of fitness so all I had to do was find time to swim. I found a ladies only triathlon where the swim was in a pool rather than the ocean. What better way to start. I loved every minute. That night I got home and planned my next race. I was addicted.
After completing another short distance triathlon I set myself a goal to compete in the final Gatorade sprint distance Triathlon of the season at St Kilda. The distance was daunting (750m ocean swim, 26.7km ride and 5km run). What was I thinking? My training really only included Shape Up Mums twice a week, lap swimming once a week and a longish run on the weekend. Race day came and so did the nerves. The atmosphere was great and although my swim needs some work I loved the ride and the run. I finished the race and was absolutely rapt with my time. Bring on next summer! Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined doing 3 triathlons and 2 15.5KM runs in the first 10 months after having a baby.
Now as Charlie is 11 months old I am heading back to work. Thanks to Shape up mums I am now as fit if not fitter than I was before pregnancy. I’ve made some great friends and have enjoyed watching the kiddies grow up. I’m looking forward to many more great classes. Thanks Ali!