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6 Lessons from Motherhood That Prepared Me for Fitness

Nothing really prepares you for being a mom. It’s true. You can read all the books, listen to all the experts – but the truth is nothing really prepares you.

Turns out being a mom, however, prepares you for everything. And no one was more surprised than I was to learn how my journey as a mom prepared me for my fitness journey.

So, in honor of Mother’s Day, here are 6 lessons from motherhood that carry over into fitness.

1. It’s a Crooked Path

No matter how hard we try to plan everything so there is no room for mistake, life sometimes brings the unexpected. You watch your child progress, and then you watch her level out. We make a little progress lifting at the gym, and then progress seems to slow.

Because that’s how life is. Progress is not completely linear, no matter how well intentioned and faithful the effort. Embrace the crook or the twist in the road.

Consistency will keep your progress going, and when you stop to breathe into the unexpected divergence, there is often something amazing to take with you as continue.

Just as you may learn something incredible about your child, you might take away something that enhances your workout.

2. It’s My Journey, and I’ll Cry if I Want to…

We are always comparing our lives to what we see around us. It’s human nature. That kid seems to be doing things quicker. Why does that kid seem to be so quiet and mine is not? Why is the person next to me losing weight faster? Why are they lifting so much heavier when we both started at the same time?

Because your journey – in motherhood and in fitness – is unique. In spite of the “perfect” techniques you read about, your journey is going to be different. Sometimes it will be more of what you hoped, sometimes not so much.

Suggestion: spend less time comparing your progress with others, or you may miss some of the knowledge and joy the moments of your journey present to you. And they will if you let them.

3. Sometimes Sh*t Happens and It’s Not Your Fault

No matter how hard we try to plan everything so there is no room for mistake, sometimes things don’t turn out the way we anticipated. Plans get changed. Someone gets the chicken pox. You get stuck on the subway and miss your gym class.

The lesson here is always the magic in how you handle it. Do you pull a Mary Poppins and find something fun anyway for you and your child to do in spite of the unexpected? Do you do some sort of exercise once you get off the train, even if you never made it to class? Maybe you meditate on the train and take a later class?

Bonus: In both cases, you model some good behavior – either to your child or to yourself!

4. Sometimes Sh*t Happens and It Is Your Fault

As painstakingly careful as you try to be, sometimes you say something to your child you regret. Sometimes you make a decision that turns out not to be the best. It’s one of the worst feelings.

Maybe you overdo it in your workout to the point of pain and you strain a muscle causing you to have to take it easy for a few days – opposite of what you were going for, right?

You can’t go back in time either way*, all you can do is learn from your mistake, remember it for next time, Talk to your child, embrace your pulled quad and forgive yourself and carry on. There is some lesson to be learned, and that in itself is a sort of gift, even though it wasn’t what you’d hoped for.

*If you have found a way to go back in time and take back regrets, please message me separately.

5. Intuition is Key

My mom once told me that when she was pregnant with me, she got a bunch of parenting books from the library (that big building where people got information before Google.) She read them and saw all the (of course) conflicting information. She described it as overwhelming. At one point she put the books away and decided that if she raised her child from a place of love, that everything would be okay. She was truly an amazing human and a great mom.

The access we have to instant knowledge is incredible, but sometimes information overload can prevent us from listening to our intuition. Intuition is powerful, and learning to listen to it is a practice.

Maybe you really weren’t feeling up to running that extra 5 miles after being sick, but you ignored that “gut feeling,” and thought you should be able to, so you did it anyway. Maybe that slowed your progress in recovery, and you ended up not being able to work out for a few more days. Or, maybe you really feel like you could lift more today… and you do!

Practice listening to your heart and your body.

6. Let’s Play

Mary Poppins said, “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap – the job’s a game.”

When you make a task fun for kids, they run with it. It is pure joy to see. When my workouts are fun, I get so much more out of them.

This one is so simple, but so often gets thrown to the curb when we become adults. You can still be a responsible adult and make time to play. You can still achieve great results at the gym and have a sense of play and fun in the workout. In fact, we tend to want to do more of what’s fun. Silliness and play is so underrated.

I guess how we do anything is how we do everything, so the fact that motherhood is a metaphor for fitness shouldn’t be that surprising. So if you’re celebrating today with your kids, or your mother, or someone who’s like a mother to you, or you’re remembering your mother, Happy Mother’s Day. Moms are ready for more than you think.

Maybe give that person you celebrate on Mother’s Day the gift of fitness at Mark Fisher Fitness. Don’t worry—she’s ready for it! Schedule a one-hour Health and Hotness Strategy Session today.

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Stella Kaufman is an OG Ninja from before there was even a Mark Fisher Fitness Clubhouse. She is the editor for the MFF blog and runs the Tasty Ninja recipes page on Facebook. She loves to share what she’s learned along the way, especially with her fellow unicorns and Ninjas.


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