What I love most about working out is how therapeutic it is. I just love it! I have fun while at it and try to smile even when it tests my mental strength. It gives me a perfect start of the day, and winding down in the evenings. For me, working out is not a chore. It’s part of my everyday lifestyle and combined with my love for fitness, it has enabled me to age with grace, strength and agility. I live a very active lifestyle.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I used to walk a lot plus I swam until when I was about 5 months into the pregnancy. After the baby came, I relaxed a little bit and in my bid to exclusive breastfeed (7months) it was my excuse to eat anything and everything healthy for her milk consumption. Once I was done breastfeeding, I decided to get serious on fitness and purposed to start eating much healthier and being more conscious of my diet. My biggest cornerstone has always been “You are what you eat” and “Nourish to Flourish”.
Apart from running, I cycle, swim, play tennis and a combination of strength training. Variety is great in mixing things up and ensuring that I don’t get bored. I also read a lot on nutrition, rest, workout variations, and sharing the same energy to my networks for motivation. Am a sunshine yellow, thus I radiate that to anyone who comes along my path.
In 2019, I surprised myself when I took up the 365challenge to keep fit every single day as organized by Anne-Marie Burugu whom am grateful for. Imagine working out every single day of for a year! It pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me explore other fitness regimes which I had never tried out. I have been to the course for golfing, kayaking, bowling, rock climbing and all sorts of indoor and outdoor activities as long as on a daily basis I keep moving. The result was amazing and I love how I look! Am currently on round 2 of the 365challenge and surprisingly still on track.
Taking it to the next level
This meant finding similar people, who I can relate to and I quickly joined a running club that gave me quite a good push on my running ability. Although I have lost count while having fun at it, I have completed a couple of Full and Half Marathons including, Standard Chartered Marathon 2019, FLHM Beyond Zero (2019/2020), Kilimanjaro Marathon 2020, Lewa Safari Marathon 2020, TCS Virtual New York Marathon 2020 to name a few.
For Ultra Marathons – 100km all bypasses in Nairobi (2019/2020), 100km to Naivasha from Nairobi 2019, 50km April 2020, 90km Comrades Marathon June 2020 , in September 2020 two birthday runs for my parents 67km and 70km and Team Jasho Nirvana 67km Challenge.
Am not sure how to explain this, but my legs keep moving and my thoughts take me far and wide during these long runs, what with the spectacular beauty of Mother Nature! Anyone who meets me on the way keeps smiling and waving back.
Challenges I face
Staying fit is not easy – but if you learn to love yourself with self-care in mind, it might come out a lot easier. I believe it’s a question of what is your perspective.
Just like any other mum, I am a busy professional. Weekdays, I have to beat time and traffic to be at my desk by 9 a.m. at the latest. This means I have to wake up early and put in a workout. It takes a lot of discipline and commitment but my encouragement to everyone is that you can do it.
It truly feels great to start the day when you have killed some calories and it actually sets out the pace for the rest of the day. This regime has been with me, be it is a weekend or whether am traveling for business or leisure. I will always squeeze in a workout.
Another challenge I have to contend with is burnout. Like everyone else who likes to workout, burnout comes with the package. To deal with this, I incorporate Yoga and stretching consistently which I believe helps to minimize injuries and work on those sore muscles.
Sometimes I also spice out my workout space as I stretch on my mat with therapeutic background music and sometimes light aromatherapy candles to bring that meditation mode, calmness and focus at a moment when I so need it. You should try out too! I find it healing.
Reflecting on where I am now and the advice I can give to fellow mums:
- Prioritize working out: make your workout the first thing you wake up and get it out of the way. As mums, we are very busy and it can be quite exhausting. Working out first thing in the morning is a great way to tick it off the list and move to other tasks. It’s also a great mood lifter.
- No excuses: To better succeed at being fit, you have to commit and follow through. The weather doesn’t stop me from working out, whether am abroad in winter or in Limuru with the morning rains and fog.
- Put yourself on that priority list: Take care of yourself .You have your own identity. Your partner/ child/work e.t.c should not hinder you from putting in at least 30mins each day to workout. Learn to manage your time and value yourself.
- Finally, I will re-emphasize. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Eat a rainbow and watch that plate.
(Special Mention – Cate’s Nike Pants and Shoes courtesy of RunnersPoint Karen. Pictures Shot on Location : Smart Gyms, The HUB Karen.)