Sticking with an exercise routine can be a struggle for anyone, but when you're a mum, squeezing in workouts can feel darn near impossible. After all, how are you supposed to find time to work out when you can’t even go to the bathroom on your own?
This week we sat down with fit mum and ultra marathon runner, Michelle Hooper to find out all about how she manages juggling life, two kids, and getting back into fitness.
WODUP: When it comes to training and fitness, and getting back into things after becoming a mum, looking back what do you wish you had been told? What advice or tips would you give to other mums out there?
MICHELLE: I have tried so many different types of exercise to try and keep fit. Going to the gym, group classes, at home workouts, hot yoga, OCR group training, Mum's and Bubs group classes and running. For me, the biggest thing to achieving any goal is bloody loving what you do. Find something that you are so freaking excited to do! Don’t make working out another chore, we as parents have enough of those already. Find an activity that brings you joy and fills your cup so you can be a better person because of it. For me, that is 100% running!
WODUP: Tell us, how do you manage mum life AND training for an ultra marathon? Are there any rituals you live by to get you in your stride?
MICHELLE: Funnily enough, my biggest ritual is running. When I was injured and had to stay off my feet for three weeks it was really tough and I noticed how much joy and energy running brings me. To me, getting outdoors and being in the sun, under the stars or out in nature is amazing. Some of my favourite runs have been along the beautiful coastal path here near Trigg as the sun comes up. You get the most incredibly beautiful fairy floss skies.
WODUP: We totally get that day to day activities can be testing at times. Are you a mum that runs like clockwork, or do you just fit your training in when you can? How flexible do you need to be?
MICHELLE: TICK TOCK. Like clockwork. I usually plan my training runs out for the week ahead on Sunday, and because I’ve committed to those times and organised for my girls to be taken care of, I have no excuses to back out.
Some weeks are harder and I plan my runs very early or even at night to work around family commitments. But you have to make time if you want to achieve any goal in life.
WODUP: Please make us feel human. Surely you can’t be 'super fit mum' all of the time? Have you got any tips for getting back on the wagon when you fall off?
MICHELLE: Haha, no I am not a super fit mum all the time. I can be really lazy and fight doing things when it is something I don’t enjoy. If you keep falling off the wagon exercise wise, I’d question if what you are doing brings you joy? I genuinely get so excited to do a 5km park run with my friends or packing my gear for a long run the night before. If you love it, it is easier to stay on the wagon. Also, go easy on yourself. Being a parent is hard work and mentally draining. Sometimes a rest day (or couple of days) will do you the world of good!
WODUP: Okay, so you’ve tried our new COMP-LETE performance fabric, which is coming to WODUP very soon. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
MICHELLE: Having no boobs whatsoever (mum life), I loved that it made me feel a little more feminine and like I had some shape. I also love the softness of the fabric, which is super important as chaffing sucks on long runs.
WODUP: For us, and all the mums out there wanting to re-start (or just start) their fitness journey, have you got any hard and fast rules you live by to ensure you get your fitness in?
MICHELLE: Plan. Write it down. Dream big. Set a goal that scares the shit out of you and work hard for it. Find others who make working out something you count down to. Fill your own cup first so you can fill the cup of others around you. But most importantly… Have fun!
WODUP: What's the best thing about being a mum AKA mum life?
MICHELLE: Seeing these little versions of yourself growing into beautiful humans is amazing! It is so funny seeing your best and worst traits shine through. My girls are still quite little, but I can't wait for them to be a part of our running community and grow up seeing positive/active role models.
For more inspiration you can follow Michelle's journey on Instagram.
Action Photo's by Allan Ure.