In January 2017, TeamMama branched out with our first franchise in Reigate & Banstead. Run by our fantastic Trainer, Sarah Doyle, the business has grown incredibly and continues to do so. Here Sarah describes what inspired her to get into exercise and how she became part of the TeamMama family…….
“One of the strongest emotions I remember feeling through early motherhood, (along with sheer, mind-bending exhaustion) was guilt. I felt guilty that I missed my old life. I felt guilty that I was finding breast feeding really, really hard. And I felt guilty that a lot of the time, home alone with a tiny baby, I was just plain bored. I felt terrible every time I put my own needs and desires above Evie’s and very soon I was completely shattered, wrung out and in tears most of the time. Then one day, my mother-inlaw said something that stuck. She said, “You can’t pour from an empty jug”. This really struck a chord with me, partly because, as a mother of 5 (5!!!!!!), she said it with total conviction and partly because I realised she was dead right. You can’t look after anyone if you aren’t looking after yourself.
So, I decided to take action and do something that would make me feel like ‘me’ again. I had spotted a mum’s exercise group in my local park and decided to give it a go. Having been a rather ‘unsporty’ person all my life, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the classes. They made me feel energised, happy and part of a community. It was fantastic to meet other mums going through the same thing as me, to be outdoors rather than cooped up inside and to be getting fitter and stronger. It was one hour of the week that was about me, not Evie, and it gave me the strength to deal with all the many, many demands of motherhood.
In fact, I loved doing the classes so much that I decided to take the plunge and requalify as a post-natal trainer, a decision which has been truly lifechanging. As a secondary school English teacher, it was quite a leap to move into the world of fitness, but many aspects of the job are similar: I encourage people to reach their goals; I get to interact (well, mostly chat!!) to people and I absolutely love it.
I now run TeamMama in Reigate and Banstead and I have never been happier. TeamMama is different to other post-natal exercise providers. Firstly, the whole team are highly qualified advanced post-natal instructors as well as being mums ourselves! We cater to mums who are brand new to exercise as well as mums who are stronger and training towards more specific fitness goals. Thirdly, and most importantly, we put a particular emphasis on restorative core work.
It is incredibly important to do this in a safe way, especially as so much pressure is put on the body, in particular the core area, during pregnancy. The ‘core’ is the central cube which consists of the diaphragm at the top, the abs at the front, the pelvic floor at the bottom and the back muscles. As 67% of mums have an abdominal separation (also known as diastasis recti) post birth, postnatal exercise has to start with restoring and repairing the core.
So, if you fancy giving it a go, pop along for a free trial class in Priory Park and join us! One of my mums recently said, “I honestly feel stronger both physically and mentally than I have in a long time.” Helping mums feel like that is the reason I do what I do.
Sarah runs TeamMama fitness classes in Priory Park, Reigate and Banstead Park. The classes focus on strength work and cardio fitness, with a specific ‘core’ session at the end. For more information or to book for a free trial, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.