Monthly Archives: October 2011

When the going gets tough…

Kara and I could never have given birth to Hot (Sweaty) Mamas without the help of others. Sure, we did some of our work amidst a hurricane of children, armed with junk food and Barbie, err, educational movies for those moments of desperation. Sometimes, however, we had to leave the kids behind and for me that usually meant my girls would have a play date with my father-in-law, Grandpa Tony.

Grandpa Tony didn’t just facilitate writing time for me, he also helped me practice the very things we were writing about in our book. Prioritizing fitness and taking care of myself were logistically more convenient knowing Grandpa, who lives less than a mile away, was eager to spend time with his granddaughters.

It’s been almost two weeks since my father-in-law had his knee replaced, and he’ll likely be in a transitional care facility rehabbing his new joint for a while longer. Without Grandpa around, I find myself doing my version of Bible dipping: opening Hot (Sweaty) Mamas to random pages to get some encouragement for my balancing act.

For the first time in five years, I’m working outside of the home on a regular basis, completing my internship for my master’s in counseling. I’m in school two nights a week. I’m the primary caregiver for my children and the main domestic engineer. I recently started coaching my daughter’s basketball team. We don’t use a cleaning service and rarely hire babysitters (with the very important exception of date night!), so I’m juggling. Lots. Sometimes it feels like things are falling through the cracks, and I’m playing child swap with my neighbor more than I’m used to. But I’m making this new “normal” work. I’m getting out there, staying active, and desperately finding time to exercise.

The point of this post it to offer kudos to every woman out there who is working hard to keep things going. Someone always has is more difficult, but we should be proud to find our way during both calm and rocky waters…

Cheers to each and every one of you for making this work as best you can. When the going gets tough, the hot and sweaty keep going!

-Laurie

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Thumbs Up from Olympian Carrie Tollefson

Laurie and I had a hunch when we were writing the book that our message applied whether you were a professional athlete or barely making it to the gym a few times a week. No matter your athletic ability, all moms face the same issues: babies up at night, clingy toddlers, sick kids, surprise homework assignments.

When we met up with Olympian Carrie Tollefson last week that hunch was confirmed. She said she found Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom very helpful and only wished it had come out before her daughter was born.

That review meant the world to us and we were also honored to be interviewed for a two-part episode on her website, CTolleRun. In Part I she talks to us about our personal experiences that led to writing Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom.

http://youtu.be/IHxB-hfd_y8

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Training for Motherhood

One of the things about our book Laurie and I often stress is that Hot (Sweaty) Mamas is not an exercise book. We do offer some suggestions, like squats and Sahrmann exercises for those early postpartum months, and devote two chapters on ways to accomplish workouts around or with your kids, but we didn’t so much as want to tell readers what to do as to help them with realistic strategies to stay fit with everything else going on.

Still we get requests for workouts now and again and don’t mind sharing what works for us.

When time is of the essence I try to squeeze in a short strength routine. If I’ve learned anything about motherhood it’s that it requires some heavy lifting and I can’t afford for my back to give out just because I picked up my child. I asked my Cross Fit coach to put together a short workout that would strengthen my “mom” muscles. Specifically, the “picking up a toddler who has gone limp” muscles, the “hauling a screaming kid out of Target” muscles, and the “don’t you dare think you’re too old for me to drag you out of the mall in front of your friends” muscles.

What I love most about this workout is that it’s kid friendly, which is to say your kids can do this with you, or as I show you in the following video, on you.

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Act Like Others Are Watching Because They Are

Revlon showcases "Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom" for this ad campaign in the October 24th issue of People Magazine.

When we wrote the last secret for Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom, we were keenly aware of the power that our own actions had on the people around us, especially our kids. “Act Like Others Are Watching Because They Are.” We knew this to be true and that secret was confirmed this week when Revlon ran the above ad in the October 24th issue of  People Magazine. We are thrilled that Revlon supports the idea of “fitness as a family value,” and are helping us spread the message! Plus, it’s nice to know that others–not just our kids–are indeed watching!

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Family Run, Family Fun?

My family was among many last weekend at  the Twin Cities Marathon Family Events, where there is something for everyone from the diaper dash to a 10K. This year was the last year we would have a qualifying child for The Toddler Trot, where those newly initiated into walking are introduced to the sport of running on a mini race course to experience the thrill of crossing what is likely their first finish line. Sounds innocent enough.

Except that all of their parents are die-hard runners and actually want their kids to LOVE it as much as they do. I’d think it was just me, except for the crush of parents surrounding the course. Security kept asking us–then imploring us with cameras in one hand and sippy cups in the other–to move back.

I know from experience, however, if those parents truly have their heart set on raising a little Ryan Hall or Kara Goucher they might feel let down. Or crushed. Or just confused as the family’s self-appointed fitness role models. Last year my son wrote his debut “guest post” about his first race, which suggests that this love for running isn’t always in the genes.

But like first foods, we know that kids have to try things several times–or 12–before they really know if they like it.

So we returned to the Toddler Trot with hopes for a different outcome. After all, now my son is a “seasoned” runner (I mean, you should see how fast he can run *away* from me these days). He’s in preschool now, hanging out with other toddlers, so would feel less anxiety at the race start. Being more mature now that he’s two-years-old, he would run to the finish and into his mama’s arms with pride.

Or not.

"I did not sign up for this, my Mom did!"

We will continue to enjoy racing as a family–just like we will continue to serve vegetables–because that’s what mom and dad want. Maybe, just maybe after the 12th time, my little boy will find some redeeming qualities and enjoy the sport, too.

Or not.

In which case, my husband and I will hear in our aging years the stories from our grown kids about how we forced them to run with us. “Do you remember when mom and dad made us run all the time?…”

But we all look happy, don’t we? Or, is that just me smiling?     –Kara

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