Blog > Inspiring Mums posts

The Moonwalk in Memory of Mum

One of the things I love the most about Body Beyond Baby is the community of amazing and supportive women it brings together.  Women who are all exploring their way through motherhood, have great big hearts and know they need to move!

I’d like to introduce you to one of these women. Jo shared her story with us around what she is embarking upon and why at the start of one of our training sessions a few weeks ago. It hit me in the heart immediately and I knew we had to do our bit in sharing her story and supporting what she is up to.

I’ll let Jo tell her story:

“I’m Jo, Mum of two boys and Midwife (the best job in the world). I live my life passionately and with my heart firmly embellished onto my sleeve, it’s a trait that has taken me on a rollercoaster journey experiencing gracious highs and gut wrenching want to stop and get off and leave it all behind lows.
I’m in a good place right now and I’m excited because I’m putting demons to bed.

Jo & her mum captured in the photograph on the wall on her wedding day

In 1996 on my 20th Birthday my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to her bones and liver. I remember every single thing about that birthday like it is a movie in my head. We had spaghetti bolognaise for tea. I don’t remember blowing out the candles on my cake.

On September 6th 1997 (the day of Princess Diana’s funeral) my Mum lost her brave fight. I wasn’t there.

I struggled to come to terms with the fact that as the oldest sibling I wasn’t there to support my sisters. But now I’m taking that moment back.

To mark the anniversary of 20 years since Mum lost her fight, my sisters decided that they would join The Moonwalk London 2017 and walk 26miles around London in a decorated Bra with a group of supportive friends.

Yet again I felt this guilty feeling well up inside me, yet again I wasn’t going to be there.

So, with the support of my husband (who thinks I am crazy)I’m going, and my sisters have no idea. I’m secretly training my way around Sydney and am flying to London to surprise them to walk with them and to get rid of the guilt I still hold in my heart whilst raising funds for Breast Cancer Charity’s. And I’m so excited.

A huge thankyou to Jen, who has given me her support by allowing me to share my story via her page as I can’t share myself on social media as the surprise will be broken. It means a lot to me to be doing this. It’s not just about the walk, it’s about so much more.”

So, it would be absolutely amazing if we could all get behind Jo – maybe you know someone who has or had breast cancer and you would like to do your bit to support the wider community. Maybe you don’t but you appreciate being offered a way that you can easily make a difference in someone else’s life – I know that sometimes we want to give and we want to make a difference but we are not quite sure how.

Supporting Jo would mean a lot to her and given she can’t share her story on her own social media  and get too many friends and family involved because it might ruin her surprise then we can give her an extra push from our end and be her supportive friends and family instead.

Check out her fundraising page here  and please offer any support that you can.

Big thank you in advance x

Meet Carly Stebbing

A good friend gave me Jen’s book How to Love Your Body as much as your Baby when I had my daughter Ruby. It made sense to me that I needed to concentrate on rebuilding my body from the inside out, especially after an emergency cesarean and mean infection.
I started training with Jen at Birchgrove when Ruby was about 8 weeks old. Being able to leave her with very capable nannies made all the difference to my training because I could concentrate on me. I trialled other classes closer to home, but didn’t feel that any other mums and bubs class worked me as hard, or that any ‘normal’ training class focused enough on my body after giving birth.
I have returned to train with Jen and Ruby is now 16 months and enjoys the nannies and play time. I know I can work harder than ever having taken the time to rebuild from the inside.

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Meet Leichhardt mum of two, Katrina

I’m a mum of 2 (to a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son). While pregnant with my son, my family relocated from London to Sydney. With all the stress associated with such a big move, I completely ‘let myself go’. After my son was born and we had settled back into life in Sydney and life with two children (!), it was time to focus on me again. Living in such a beautiful climate, I knew that outdoor group training would be the right fit for me. I found a number of mum and baby training sessions in the inner west and gave a few of them a trial. Body Beyond Baby was the only group where nannies were provided and I had a whole hour to myself! In that trial, Jen also taught me so much about my body after my babies: what I needed to look out for and how I needed to go about rebuilding it. I didn’t care that I spent the hour getting puffed and sweaty – it was a whole hour not worrying about anyone but myself and I also got to enjoy the views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge! I signed up for the 8-Week Challenge that was about to start and haven’t stopped since.
I was in pretty poor shape when I started training with Jen 10 weeks after my son was born. I had to start somewhere though and am now a healthier weight and am able to fit back into my pre baby clothes, which was a big goal. I have also discovered that I had very weak pelvic floor muscles and have been working to strengthen them. Without Jen’s insistence to see a women’s health physio, (which I had never heard of), I would never have known about my pelvic floor issues or that I was doing pelvic floor exercises incorrectly. I’m still not a fan of running (I don’t think I ever will be!) and I also suspect that I will never like burpees, but I do feel a huge sense of achievement to see how much I have improved. I love the 8-Week Challenges as you can really see how far you have come. They also inspire me to push myself as hard as I can and be more conscious about my eating.
Having listened to Jen and some of the Tough Mums talk about the Spartan obstacle racing last year, I secretly thought I’d love to give one a go. However I didn’t think I would ever be fit and strong enough to take part. Well, I’ve registered for the 7km sprint in October and while I certainly won’t be sprinting, or even possibly running the whole way, I know I will feel a huge sense of achievement just to complete it. Something I would have never dreamed of before training with Jen!
Almost a year on and I still love training with Body Beyond Baby. My training sessions are so important for my wellbeing, both physically and mentally. I feel refreshed after each session (and the hour break from my lovely children) and ready to tackle the
rest of the day with them. I’ve also made some lovely new friends from my training sessions as well which has been a bonus.

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Meet Birchgrove Mum Natalie Logan

I was very active and considered myself to be a pretty healthy person before I fell pregnant with my first child. I thought I would be able to bounce back from birth quickly considering all the exercise I used to do, but that was not the case!

 
I had a fairly traumatic delivery that significantly weakened my pelvic floor. When my daughter was about 4 months old, I decided to get back into training and joined a local boot camp. There was not much consideration of the physical impacts of pregnancy, birth and then caring for a newborn in this sort of training group. I felt that I wasn’t really improving physically and then I came across a flyer one day for Body Beyond Baby and though it seemed like a good idea to sign up and try out a session – especially as it also had on site childcare!

 
I’m so glad I did try it because I have been going for almost a year now and can definitely see a lot of improvement week on week. I also like the social aspect of training with other mums and the fact that you are assessed properly before you start training to avoid any further injuries. There are no expectations of performing at a certain level if you don’t feel physically up to it yet or are injured, but the trainers will push you if you are up to it!

For more details on Body Beyond Baby read HERE or book a class NOW.

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Meet Birchgrove Mum Nicola

Nicola shares her experience with Body Beyond Baby and how she got her running Mojo Back.

Before I became pregnant with my first child, I was a very enthusiastic runner and had just completed my first sub 43-minute, 10km time – a long-term goal! When I found out I was pregnant I was (1) shocked and (2) very worried about returning to running after the birth. I continued to run throughout my pregnancy as I had no pain and really wanted to maintain some level of fitness. I also entered a number of races while I was pregnant, which my obstetrician was happy for me to do.
I gave birth in March this year to a healthy little girl and I couldn’t wait to get back to what I considered ‘proper’ training as soon as possible! I had had a relatively easy, natural birth, which I think was made easier by being fit. However, returning to running was not nearly as straightforward as I had (naively) assumed it would be. I went for my first jog 4 weeks after the birth and it was a disaster. It was very slow and painful, despite the fact I was a lot lighter than I had been the last time I headed out!
I was initially quite despondent about this turn of events and dismissed the plans I had for racing in 2015.
It was actually my husband who discovered Body Beyond Baby while out walking our baby around Birchgrove one morning. He suggested that this might be a better way to return to exercise rather than just going out running and he encouraged me to register my interest and to have a go, even though I have always preferred to exercise alone. I waited until my obstetrician had cleared me for exercise at my 6-week check-up and then I went to my first Body Beyond Baby session on a Tuesday morning. I figured I really had no excuse to miss sessions as they take place literally at the bottom of my street!
The first session was slow and steady, as Jen made sure I was physically able to complete the exercises after giving birth. A lot of emphasis was placed on pelvic floor, something I had never really given any thought to before. After attending sessions twice a week for a couple of weeks, I had the hang of it and felt a lot more confident in my physical abilities. From my perspective, the sessions really complemented my running, as they tend to be quite focused on strength, core and pelvic floor (things I ignore if left to my own devices).

Since those first tentative weeks, Body Beyond Baby has really helped me to tackle my racing far more capably than I thought possible after that first post-birth jog. I really think that the strength work and high intensity training sessions have meant that my results in the last couple of months have exceeded my wildest expectations – culminating in a great time in the City to Surf! Many thanks to Jen and the team at Body Beyond Baby!

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10 Things I’d Say to My Daughter

Samantha Hine shares a few simple truths that can help overcome some of life’s difficulties – from going easy on high heels to being good to your mum.

 

1. Learn to sing. You may not become Madonna but at least you will sound okay at karaoke.

2. Learn a second language whilst you are young. It’s tough when you get older.

3. Learn to type. You may end up doing all sorts of amazing jobs throughout your life. Being able to bang out an email or a document quickly and accurately will be a handy skill regardless.

4. When shopping, if in doubt, don’t buy it. If you think it’s too long/tight/short it probably is. You won’t wear it. Leave it there.

5. Be kind to your feet and avoid excessive use of high heels in your teens and twenties… if you pace yourself you may actually still be able to wear a nice pair of shoes by the time you hit your thirties.

6. Don’t try too hard to fit in. Chances are everyone else is doing the same thing.

7. It’s a nice feeling when the pain goes away. My mum told me this every time I hurt myself as a child, so much so that it actually popped into my head when I was in labour!

8. Don’t be in a hurry to finish studying and start working. You will be working for a long time. Instead, take some time to hang out with your friends and enjoy the moment.

9. Value the time you have with your grandparents.  They have eagerly watched you grow and develop into the person you are now.

10. Your girlfriends will come and go. Your mother will be your best friend and confidant throughout your life.

Meet Christina Feltham

10 Things I’d Say to My Daughter

Christina Feltham is the founder of The Picnic Spot and a strong advocate for the benefits of getting out into the great outdoors. Here are 10 things she’d tell her daughter.

1) “Listen to your instincts”. Intuition stands for a lot and you must learn to trust it. I love how my daughter is still so young and naturally receptive to things. I’d love to keep it that way for as long as possible.

2) “Everything that’s important to you is important to me (even your teddy)”. Growing up my parents always showed interest and believed in all my make-believe play. They cared about all my decisions (or at least seemed to!) even if it was what to feed the donkey that day – the carrot or the apple? It boosted my self-confidence and trust in the world around me.

3) “Fresh air is your best friend”.  I took being outdoors and active for granted as a child. Living on a farm meant countless days running in the fields. But it’s something that gets lost a little along the way. Subconsciously this is what inspired my new business venture ‘The Picnic Spot’. Research shows that being outside for just 20 minutes significantly boosts your vitality levels amongst a plethora of other health benefits. I want to encourage mums to get together and enjoy the amazing benefits of the great outdoors and instill this love of nature into their children. There is nothing better than running barefoot and free!

4) “Learn to laugh at yourself, and by yourself”. Just laugh. Full stop.

5) “Always have something that’s just for you and makes you happy”.  Make time to value yourself and your choices.

6) “Be active and challenge yourself”. There’s too much fun to be had out there and you never know what you might learn and where it might take you.

7) But to sometimes….”Sit and observe” After having our second child I went on my very first health retreat, it was bliss! I was apparently in the ‘Yang/can’t sit still/chihuahua’ category and when they asked who wanted to book in for a bungee jump instead of a massage I was excited at the thought. Until I realised it was joke to catch us out. Of course, who does that on a health retreat?! It was that moment I realised I needed a bit of Yin to balance me and at the end of a very peaceful weekend, I was walking (slowly) back to my room after a swim and consciously felt the chill of the breeze on my skin. It was quite a bizarre moment and I realised, sometimes you need to slow down and just take in the simple things that surround you.

8) “Try and eat foods that are from a simple family tree”. Carrots are from the ground; oranges are from the trees. Pringles are an intruder!

9) “Be generous”. With your time, your money and your heart. What goes around comes around.

10) “Be the friend/lover you want to have”. And do your very best to stay in touch with friends and family that are far away. Life gets busy – but always make time for them. I still need to get better at this!

Meet Claire Taylor

Claire Taylor is a go-getting single mum of one who’s on a mission to restore women’s confident one makeover at a time!

Tell us a little about what you do
My business is The Beauty Spot Queensland. It is a prestige mobile makeup service for weddings, events and gala functions. I have a team of five subcontractors who work for me on a casual basis. I run the business and I do the majority of the work. My specialty is my ’10 minute kick-ass makeup sessions’ for time poor women. We operate throughout Queensland and normally have three to five bookings per week with the makeup/hairstyling service. I also present workshops, and host fashion and beauty Industry events.

Tell us why you started your business?
I am a single, corporate mum to Finn, who is four years old, and I also look after two teenage homestay Chinese students, so life is pretty full on! I have been an entrepreneur since I was a teenager, when I used to make small beauty badges and sell them to my dancing friends. I started my own business so I can paint my own life and run my schedule around my core values. I owned and ran a modeling agency for eight years which I loved and had 50 casual staff. I met so many amazing people, worked with incredible brands and travelled around Australia with my work. This was all pre-Finn and being a mum though. It was very full on and my phone would never stop. After having Finn my priorities changed and so did my values and how I wanted to live my life, I’m sure many career women say the same thing.
I moved to Brisbane just under three years ago, when I became a single mum. Finn was 13 months old and I had no family here, they are all back in the UK. I didn’t want to go back to work for someone else, so that’s when I started The Beauty Spot Queensland. I started from scratch. Like any other start up, I had to build a website, do some basic marketing, attend events and slowly I built a good client base… which is an ongoing process.

What inspired you to become a makeup artist?
I have always loved everything beauty and what makeup can do for a woman. I love the power of change… I see it every morning! I have been a makeup addict since the age of 12, and I have always been inspired by beautiful images portrayed by glossy mags and top designers. I think just the change that even a small amount of makeup can make to a woman’s face and her self confidence is amazing.

You’ve had a lot of experience seeing how makeup can transform a person. Can you describe this?
In the 22 years I’ve been in the beauty industry, I have met many hundreds of amazing women. I have been a makeup artist, flight attendant, model, event coordinator, presenter, host and fashion stylist. From experience I can tell you that all women say pretty much the same thing: they don’t have the time or knowledge to apply good makeup, and they don’t know what to use.
It is so good to be able to sit with a woman and show her how easy good makeup can be and the effect is has on a their self esteem. The power of a makeover in a woman’s life is just beautiful…. The look on her face when she sees her ‘new look’ is just priceless and it is the reason I do what I do.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I love working for myself, I have always been an entrepreneur at heart, even from a young age. My days are never stressful; my business is very much a lifestyle business, for the time being anyway. I love the part of being able to teach a woman the skills to apply great makeup and the flow on effect it has on her self confidence, and then the effect on her lifestyle and the way she feels about herself and the way she looks.

What motivates you?
I have always been very self motivated, driven, focused and inspired by all things healthy, a positive mind set, entrepreneurs, thought leaders; people with pure ambition and those that are true to authentic self and make a difference in this world.

Tell us about your book ‘The 10 Minute Kick Ass Makeup’. What key principles do you want women to take away after reading it?
It is almost ready for release! Time factor has to be the key factor. Being time poor is the top reason I get from women as to why they don’t apply makeup in the morning. Next is that they have no clue how to apply followed by not knowing which products are right for them. It has funny stories, lots of great product knowledge, expert tips that are real and applicable to the everyday woman and my seven products to a great face… all, of course, in 10 minutes!

Tell us about your journey from business owner to author:
A few people had said I should write a book but I never took it too seriously until I started my journey with KPI. KPI has given me the business structure I was looking for. I am a systems person so LOVE the five-step process. I have absolutely loved the process, information, amazing people that I have met… and the difference it is making to my life and my business. Part of that process was to write a book! I have nearly finished and have to say have enjoyed it. It has been quite challenging at times but very rewarding and I can’t wait to see it in print.

Tell us about your involvement in Dress for Success Brisbane
Empowering women is something I am very passionate about. I love to show them they can look, and be feminine and the best they can be.  I became the beauty ambassador for Dress for Success here in Brisbane about a year and a half ago. It is a charity that helps rehabilitate women back into the workforce and equips them with the knowledge and skill base they need. I take them through presentation, a basic beauty routine, clothing and grooming so they look and feel great. It gives them back their confidence and they are ready to take on the world… or their new world!

Where do you see your business in five years’ time?
I would love to have 10 amazing artists that work for The Beauty Spot Queensland and offer a sensational ‘makeup experience’ – something that I am working on now. I love the teaching and presenting side so I want to follow the path of event host, keynote speaker and another two books, maybe?

Tell us about your health and fitness routine:
My true values are my health and being healthy, being a good wholesome mother, eating great food; having a healthy body. I try and get to the gym five mornings a week after dropping Finn at Kindy. For me, this is my time out… time to look after my body. I think your health and lifestyle tie in together. I like to live in a peaceful calm environment, to fill my mind everyday with positive information, to be around people that are likeminded, to be caring and kind, to be spiritually fulfilled, to make a difference in the lives of the people I meet, to be responsible in all areas of life, to be around people that love light hearted conversation… I don’t do drama.

How do you feel this enables you to do what you do?
Healthy body/ healthy mind definitely. As a woman and mum – especially a single mum – you have to be in the best condition to fulfill yourself and to lead your child by example. It is one of my highest values and I couldn’t be any other way. Being healthy is just part of everyday life for me and part of Finn’s, too. It means you have more energy and I believe you are more positive. It helps equip you to take on the world!

Meet Llew Dowley

Llew Dowley is a mum, author and business owner who has made big, brave changes in her life as a result of her struggle with post natal depression.

Tell us a little about what you do?
I run my business – The Buzz Writer – from the comfort of my home. I created the business in mid-2013 to be able to spend more quality time with my kids.

When I returned to life in the corporate world after I had my second child, it dawned on me that I wanted a more flexible working life so that I could be there to see my kids grow up.
At the Buzz Writer we specialise in web content writing, design and management for small businesses. This includes blogs, articles, and reviewing or creating SEO and keyword-rich content for your website. Our goal is to create better brand awareness for your business and make you famous online.

You are the author of Crazy Mummy Syndrome – Toddlers, tantrums and the monsters in your head. Can you tell us about this?
I was diagnosed with postnatal depression in 2011, and this made me take stock of my life and realise I needed to change the way I lived. I had to find time for myself to focus on being healthy so that I could be a better mum to my two beautiful kids.

Crazy Mummy Syndrome is my story of the process I went through to find a way to manage all those monsters (voices) in my head filling me with doubt as a parent.

Can you tell us about what led you to write your book?
I wrote this book to encourage other parents to speak up about depression and to seek help when feeling low. We all have our doubts and it is time we start talking to each other about it. Being a parent is hard! So we should acknowledge this and start supporting each other. I am the first to admit I am a crazy mummy and I don’t get it right all the time, but I love my kids and would rather share my tales of embarrassment than try to win any Parent of the Year Award.

What advice do you have for anyone suffering from or for those who may know someone suffering from depression?
Tell someone. It is so hard to admit that you are not coping. Especially when others make it look so easy! Sometimes it can really feel like you are the only one who isn’t getting it – but you are not. I can guarantee you that 90% of the people you talk to who are parents have no clue what they were doing either (the other 10% are probably in denial).
Speak to your GP about how you are feeling if talking to someone close to you is too hard. Depression, anxiety and PND are all at the forefront of the medical profession’s agenda, so if you feel you aren’t getting support, see another doctor.
You don’t have to live with the feeling of helplessness.

How do you find happiness in your busy life?
I don’t sweat the small stuff. One of the things I learnt whilst seeing a psychologist was to just let go; not to analyse what people said to me. I took a lot of things personally and it would increase my anxiety. When I take what is said to me at face value, the majority of comments are really just a projection of what that person is feeling, and not about me at all.

The other is to interact more with my kids. They just want our attention some times, and giving them your whole attention can keep them in a good mood for the day and improve your mood too. Switch your phone off, put your computer or tablet away and actually play. The emails and messages will be there tomorrow.

What are your top tips for finding balance in your life?
Make a monthly schedule:
Decide what days will be ‘administrative’ and what days will be for client/staff meetings. You need to set your limits and stick to them, otherwise you will burn out with worry.

Start out the way you want to finish:
I start early and finish early on workdays so that I can spend the afternoons with my kids. I can then log back on to work demands after they are in bed if need be. I also have Fridays with my son and when I went into business for myself I didn’t want to give that up. When I meet a new client I tell them when I am available so that there is no miscommunication. If you are upfront in the beginning, you don’t need to make excuses down the track.

Know when to ask for help:
We all have a maximum capacity we reach before we need help in our workload. Remember there are plenty of people out there willing to work, it is just a matter of asking.

How do you find balance between your work, family, exercise and health?
I have to make sure I am present for all day-to-day tasks in my life. What I mean by this is taking a moment prior to work, picking up the kids or going to the gym to just breathe and be ‘mindful’ of what I am doing next.

I try to be early for all the little things I do, even if only for a minute, to compress from one task and ready my brain for the next. I’m no good to anyone, especially myself, if I am not present in the moment. If I’m at the gym thinking about work, or sitting with the kids whilst on the computer, I’m not really reaping the benefits of the little things.

What’s the plan now? Will we be hearing more from you in the ‘crazy mummy’ space?
Oh yes! I have another book in me. I thought I would be able to write this year but my focus has been on getting my business off the ground, so I’ve pushed my plans back to next year for book number two.

This one will be a lot cheekier but still a good read for mums (and their partners).

What’s your big plan?
My plan with The Buzz Writer is to grow the business so I can employ more crazy mummies like me who want to work from home with flexible hours so they can still spend valuable time with their families.

What would you say to other mums wanting to follow their passions?
Do it and own it.
Stop bitching and start making the changes you want to see in your life. No one else can do it for you. There are always going to be doubts and people who will tell you it isn’t a good time. There will never be a good time. You just have to make your plans and jump.

Own who you are, and what you do. It’s your life and your passion.
There is nobody out there youer than you – Dr. Seuss

Meet Sarah Greenaway

Walking 100km may not sound like much fun to you but mum-of-two Sarah took on the gruelling Oxfam 100km in August and says that, while it was tough, she’ll be doing it again in 2015. She’s got some advice for anyone else who’s considering taking on the epic trek.

What are the names and ages of your children?
I’ve got two girls. Poppy is the oldest, she’s six, and then there’s Cleo, who’s three.

Tell us a bit about what you do:
I’m a commercial photography producer. What that means varies from day to day or week to week, depending on the project we’re working on. In a nutshell though, I organise all the elements of an advertising shoot so the photographer doesn’t have to worry about the details – they get on with all the fabulous, creative stuff.

How do you juggle running your own business, staying fit and healthy, children and family life?
Up until recently, I actually didn’t manage it very well at all. I always felt like I was missing something – a deadline, something to do with the girls, a training session, time with Steve (my husband), a date with a friend. I was like a wound up coil, ready to spring either into action or a rage at any given moment. That said I was also running an event company and working as a copywriter, as well producing, parenting, training and trying to keep up my very active social life. Anyway, I realised it wasn’t doing me (or my psyche) any good, so I dropped a bunch of stuff. I just decided I didn’t want to be busy anymore. I had to check my ego a bit (I was pretty much defined by my ‘business’) and learn how to down tools (not easy) but now I don’t even really feel like I’m juggling. I’m kind of just doing my thing – and my thing’s pretty good.

What keeps you personally motivated in life, work, health and fitness?
Achieving or, if I’m not achieving, learning something from not succeeding. I’m kind of collecting lessons and seeing where they take me.

You recently took part in the 100km Oxfam walk. Can you tell us what inspired you to embark on such a huge event?
I love walking. It’s akin to going on retreat for me. I can zone out, listen to a playlist of my favourite tunes, turn the phone off; get into a rhythm. I imagine myself Steve and I joining rambling clubs when we retire – just roaming around the world checking stuff out. So 100kms sounded like a dream (I am fully aware of how bizarre that must sound to someone who doesn’t enjoy long bouts of wandering).

What was the most exciting and most challenge part of your journey?
All of it. We totally underestimated how tough it would be. It’d been raining non-stop for a fortnight and the ground was sodden – it was like trekking along an ice skating rink. It didn’t help that I chose virtually treadless shoes to walk in. We also had to traverse water crossings and jump between cliff faces, it was nuts. It was also freezing. Sounds horrible, right? It wasn’t. It was serene and peaceful and I had great teammates, which helped. It was also really hard and I’ve done some tough stuff. Can’t wait to do it again.

How did you train to prepare for such a long distance?
I did three 50km walks but, to be honest, I wasn’t prepared. I’ve run trails before, so I thought I’d be fine with the terrain even though I was training mostly on road. In retrospect, I should have done one or two of my training walks on the actual track – I don’t think anything can prepare you for that walk except the walk itself.

What advice do you have for anyone considering the Oxfam walk in the future?
Three things:

Chose teammates you get along with – during the walk, you’ll spend upwards of 25 hours with these people. I got lucky. I hadn’t met two of the people in my team before but they turned out to be awesome. That said, if ever there was a time for someone to get on your nerves, it’s when you’re exhausted, sleep deprived and sore.

Walk the trail:
Like I said, I wish I’d walking the actual trail before the event so I had a better handle of what to expect.

Expect to finish:
We were all talking about how long we’d be walking for and creating goals, etc. In reality, none of us had any idea. There’s no way to know and, in fact, putting those kinds of expectations on ourselves could have been our undoing. If we clung to them too tightly, we would’ve been very disappointed when 27-odd kms in, we were hours behind schedule. The best way to go into something like the Oxfam 100km is just to aim to finish (which, incidently, we didn’t this time as two people in the team got injured. We’re going to smash it in 2015 though!).

You are also a keen member of our Tough Mum team. What do you love about obstacle racing as part of the team?
Easy – the women who make up the team. They’re some of my best mates and closest confidants and we get to travel around Australia together. I love the post-race wrap ups where we buzz about which obstacles we completed, complain about the ones we failed, marvel at the steepness of the hills and generally muse about how awesome/intense/fun/scary the whole experience was.

How would you describe where your fitness is at now compared to before you had your girls?
I used to train to look good and I don’t so much anymore. While there is still a vanity element, no doubt, it’s more of a lifestyle choice. I’m committed to my health and to maintaining an active family life. I’m a mum, yes, but I can also lift and run and race with the best of ‘em. It’s more about what I can achieve and being balanced than burning off calories and fitting into skinny jeans.