Hi, all of you lovely fans of mine! I have to admit, I am fighting a bit of a writer’s block. And, instead of getting down about it, I recently asked my Facebook friends for suggestions. One of my good friends, Diane, actually suggested that I interview other ‘Fit Mommy’s’ and use this information as a continuing blog. I LOVED this idea. Here is my first of hopefully many more!
Traci is not only a Fit Mommy fan, but a friend from college! Here are five questions that I asked her!
1) Have you always made fitness a priority?
No, I haven’t. I came pretty late to the fitness game. I dated a football player in college and learned a lot about lifting weights, but it wasn’t until I met my husband that I started running and biking with some regularity. Since then I have participated in numerous running and biking races and am proud to say that I’ve improved greatly over the years. I even became a group fitness instructor, which is something so far out of my comfort zone that I never imagined myself doing it. I look back now and marvel at how far I’ve come since then. Even if I have a tough run or feel slow on my bike, I can rewind 10 years to college and remember how tough it was in the beginning.
2) What is your favorite way to exercise?
It really depends on the day and/or time of year. During spring, summer, and fall it’s mountain biking, hands down. This even extends into the winter, as long as there is not too much snow on the ground.
But as soon as it turns to December and the snow starts flying, I love to run. There is a good 5k loop through my neighborhood, which rarely gets plowed. In my opinion, nothing beats and evening run in the winter, fresh snow falling, and looking at Christmas lights! The deformable surface of the snow adds something extra to the workout, too.
When I get bored of running and biking and weightlifting and need some new inspiration, I like to take group fitness classes. Sometimes I just need someone to tell me what to do for an hour to break me out of an exercise funk.
3) What is your least favorite exercise?
Riding the bike trainer in the basement. No question. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the only option a available to me when I’m staying home with my almost-two-year-old son. If a race is coming up, then it’s road bike on the trainer in the basement during his naptime. Boooooring. The only way I can make it bearable is by watching the Food Network to dream about what I can eat when I’m finished!
4) Can you give advice to other moms who are struggling to balance motherhood and fitness?
I have tons of advice, but I’ll focus on the four things that have helped me the most.
A) Get the right gear. You’re not going to get out and run in the cold if you’re miserable. The same works for biking. And while I am not really a “girly girl”, I have to say, that buying new workout clothes makes me want to work out more. And some brands are more flattering than others. I hate to be this way, but if you look good, you’ll feel good about working out. Long ago, when my husband and I talked about budgeting before we got married, we decided that one thing we could always spend money on, no questions asked, was fitness. While this has bitten me in the butt on occasion, it has really taken us places as well.
B ) Join a group. It doesn’t matter how fast or how “good” you are at something, but seeing your own progress is very motivating and there is a group for every interest. Before we had our son, my husband and I used to participate in the group runs at local Running Fit stores. Running with faster people naturally makes you faster, and being faster motivates you to keep at it and improve.
Now, after we had our son, I’ve joined a women’s mountain biking group on Facebook (Girlbike Michigan). What a wonderful and inspiring group of women! They are always posting group rides, talking about meeting up at races, and comparing notes on gear. Just being a part of the group has motivated me to ride more often and ride out of my comfort zone. I have improved so much in one year- I can’t wait until next season. On a side note, I have forged some friendships that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. Girlbike rides often involve warmup stops (read: beer!) and while I don’t often get the opportunity to participate in group rides due to my commitment to my young son and family, I am hopeful that I’ll get to set up a baby-sitting exchange with other Girlbike moms next season. Being part of the group helps facilitate this kind of support.
C) Race, even if it scares you. Don’t think of it as competing, think of it as participation. You’ll find that most others do the same. There are many stroller-friendly races out there (make sure you check beforehand), and many people who would love to join you.
Here’s why racing is great: you’re working toward a stretch goal. You know that your participation in the race requires training, and a training plan holds you accountable to a regular exercise plan. I’m not ashamed to say that I put stars on the calendar for every workout I complete in a particular training plan- it’s what works for me. And once you record a time in a race, you’ll be motivated to beat it next time. You can imagine that this cycle is self-fulfilling. Improvement begets more improvement. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked.
D) Being a good example for my son is probably the most important motivation of all. For example, when I am washing my hands and look down and my son is “washing his hands”, I know that he sees and does everything I do. When I have no other option for working out during the day, I will run with him in the jogging stroller. What better value to instill in my child is there than fitness? I want him to know that his body is both a blessing and a responsibility. While I’m at it, I want him to be as proud of me as I am of him. And of course, being in good shape helps you deal better with the demands of toddler-hood (and they are MANY). We’ve truly made fitness a family affair and I hope that he takes that with him into adulthood.
5. Who would you want to play you in a movie?
Amy Adams. I’m not sure why, but she’s just so relatable 🙂
Thank you, Traci!!!! I hope that you all have found some inspiration and ideas from her because I know I have. For her willingness to do this, I am sending her a prize from the Fit Mommy vault (that’s a fancy way of saying that I will figure this out sometime in the New Year…)
If you are a dedicated fitness mommy, will you consider doing a future interview? 🙂