motherhoodfaithfitness

sharing the joys, triumphs and struggles of faith, family and fitness!

Pole dancing, pole fitness, lollipop gymnastics, it’s fun whatever you call it!

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It’s so much fun!
I began pole early in 2013, I was blessed to meet a gorgeous lady in hospital while we were awaiting our little boys arrivals. This beautiful girl has since become a very good friend. When we talked about our love for keeping fit I was surprised and a little shocked when she told me she was a pole dance instructor, but as the weeks went on I became intrigued.
Our beautiful boys were born within a couple of weeks of each other and the play dates began. Miss C had a pole in her garage…I asked her to show me some moves….I was now very interested, it looked so easy, so graceful, so exciting!

I soon learnt that pole fitness is anything but easy!
The strength and flexibility you need is quite incredible, I discovered quite quickly this was not going to be a walk in the park!
And so my weekly/fortnightly lessons began. In a garage with our babies in their prams, watching us laugh, squeal, lament, and jump around like complete twits when I got something right!

I started taking formal classes in July this year, starting in the intermediate level 1 class as I had learnt lots of the basic moves, with my friend’s patient teaching.

The classes are hard, I am pushed every week out of my comfort zone. I have a good fitness base and am quite strong but going upside down and holding onto the pole with your tummy and inside knee is very scary!
I watch children at the park and marvel at their lack of fear and sheer determination on the play equipment. I’m not a dare devil, and I’m quite un coordinated, (getting my lefts and rights confused quite often) but I AM determined! I’m currently on intermediate level 2, and will probably stay there for a while.
In order to move up to the next class I have to have my splits, and be able to shoulder mount. I’m close to both, but not quite there yet!

I love the challenges, the sense of achievement and the camaraderie of our classes. My class is made up of lovely girls, a mum, an Olympian, a teacher, a dancer, a chef…all having fun, encouraging, helping and lifting each other up (quite literally sometimes).

It is a beautiful sport, and yes it has a bit of a stigma attached to it, but it brings me so much enjoyment, and there is so much to learn.
It’s not like a gym class you might take week after week, doing basically the same thing to new music, It’s different every week, some weeks are painful, both physically and mentally, others are a pure joy, especially when you get a tricky move right for the first time!
I’m so glad I found an exercise that I love, and am so thankful for my hospital stay where I met a new friend and found a new hobby ( oh, and my newborn baby boy was a pretty awesome bonus too hehe! ;-O )

As much as I’m not ashamed of my sport, I’ve decided out of respect for my family to not post my pole pics on this blog. (Before you wonder, I wear a singlet and shorts and no heels)

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Pole dancing Pirate!

I started pole almost a year ago, Will get to writing how and why in next few days. The next 24 hours I’m on a school camp! Wish me luck!!!!

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A Running Pirate?

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Just make up your mind mummy, I’m going cray cray here!

Am I a Pirate? (doing the 12wbt lean and strong program) or am I a Runner? (which has been my preferred exercise for years now)

Can they co-exist?

Weight lifting purists would say no…long runs take up lots of energy that should be going into building muscles, and also runners have shortened hamstring muscles which isnt  a good thing for my flexibility that I need for pole fitness.

BUT I MISS IT SOOOOOO MUCH, and so does my running buddy Hiro.

I bought this lovely crazy puppy a couple of years back so I could go running on an evening with some “security”. He has been an amazing companion, trained with me for my half marathon, runs hills, beaches, roads, trails, bike tracks. He loves running as much as I!

He is not impressed with the Lean and Strong program, needless to say!

This Saturday I looked at the sunshine, and my doggy at the window and I couldn’t say no!

I found my fuel belt and filled a couple of water bottles for it, got my running gear on and went to the sliding door….Hiro jumped about 3 feet off the ground and whimpered in excitement, no going back now, I’m running today!

I haven’t run for a few weeks and I was worried I wouldn’t make it round the block, but I determined I would run 10kms.

I had the most liberating run, the weather was fabulous, even though at the 6km mark we got caught in a brief shower. I thoroughly enjoyed the views, greeting the other runners and dog owners on the bike track, not to mention the runners high.

I love the endorphins that a good run taps into, I love the feeling of freedom, getting out of the house and just running, running, running…sometimes with no idea of where I’m heading, or how long I’ll be out. I get to think, really think and meditate on my life, ponder the universe and think about my new shoes, thank God and plan Christmas gifts, organise my day ahead and listen to Madonna on my ipod. I love that Hiro is always available for a run, he’s never too busy, too tired, or frustrated at my slow pace.

So you see my dilemma?

Actually there’s no dilemma at all.

I love running, (can you tell?) and although my muscles might suffer a little from a weekly long run, my mental health will suffer more if I DON’T run, my amazing ideas I get while running will stay trapped in my head and my puppy will miss out on what is probably the highlight of his week!

So my SSS will be a long run, and I might squeeze a little one in midweek too if I can!

I’d love to share some of my favourite places to run…

Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills

Christies Beach

Christies Beach

 

Southport Beach

Southport Beach

Port Noarlunga

Port Noarlunga

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To run or not to run? A pirates dilemma!

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Will post my musings tomorrow…

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One step at a time, (sweet Jesus!)

such a gorgeous walk....beauty, sunshine, ocean, wonder what's coming up next?

Such a gorgeous walk….beauty, sunshine, ocean, wonder what’s coming up next?

The sun was shining, in an earlier blog I described how the SA Coastal Trail was calling me… so this little post is all about this beautiful walk, the joys, pain and triumphs that accompany it!

As part of the Michelle Bridges 12wbt program, we are encouraged to push our limits on a Saturday, (sometimes known as a SSS Super Saturday Session). We can go for a run, do an awesome workout, take classes etc etc, today I took a look out the window and decided…

“Today, I’m walking the boardwalk!” (Not the plank, fellow pirates!)

The Boardwalk starts in Hallett Cove, south of Adelaide Australia, and takes you through a gorgeous conservation park, flanked by the ocean. Amazing views, dolphins, seals, and the odd idyllic boat can be spotted on the way.

Lots of the trail is a board walk, some is walking along the well worn path. Today there were lots of other walkers, in pairs or alone, a runner or two, and a Nanna with a pram just admiring the view. All are friendly and give lots of  encouragement especially at the steps.

The Steps….Three sets of gruelling wooden steps, crossing the gullys and affording the most amazing sea vistas.

Not for the faint hearted!

Not for the faint hearted!

These steps are amazing for a good leg workout

These steps are amazing for a good leg workout

Each time I’ve completed the 9km round trip Hallett Cove to Marino and back again, I’ve enjoyed the experience.

Is it easy? In parts yes, in parts no, the steps are hard, but there is plenty of flat terrain to get your breath back!

Is it safe? Most days yes, but wet and windy weather wouldn’t be a good time to go out, and I certainly wouldn’t want to walk alone.

Wouldn’t you get bored, doing the same walk? There are always a variety of things to see, flora, fauna, sealife, people, the ocean, all these things can appear very different day to day.

Sometimes my life feels a bit that way, I feel exhausted, trudging through the everyday tasks of being a mum, a wife etc, some days I feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the challenges ahead, a bit like those huge flights of stairs, but we take a big breath, summon up courage and take the first step, we might look to the top, concentrating on the task and it’s destination, or we might keep our eyes down, focussing on each step, wondering how much further we have to climb. I think in life it’s good to do both, be mindful of the individual steps we need to make to get to our goal, but also glance up to see how close we are, or to gather strength from our success so far, we may need to take a break, and look back at how far we’ve come. Just being consistent, taking one step forward, one after another can soon add up to a lot of progress!

I started 12wbt in May 2013 and have lost almost 11kgs, for me it was slow, sometimes painfully so, but when I compare my then and now pictures it’s quite amazing!

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So keep chipping away at your goals, your dreams, your vision! whethet you’re taking huge leaps forward or inching towards the top, KEEP MOVING FORWARD!  The view from the top is always worth the journey!

It was a fabulous day to get out into the Great Aussie Outdoors

It was a fabulous day to get out into the Great Aussie Outdoors

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Gratitude is the right Attitude, 6am musings

Thoughts that challenge my perspective

Thoughts that challenge my perspective

Darling boy had me up at 5.45am this morning – I do love to see his sweet little face, but an hour later would have been even better!

I was especially tired this morning as I had a big day yesterday, So here is my re-creation of the above picture

Had to run some errands before work – thankful for church family who support me in my role at the school (picked up cake for staff, a pair of shoes for a girl who’s shoes were in such a state I was worried for her safety at recess, and fresh fruit for the students)

Worked all day – thankful I have a job that I enjoy, and that is making a small difference in the lives of others

Came home to about 5 little people playing in the driveway – thankful for a safe neighbourhood and friends for my children

Worked out, Triceps, shoulders and abs – thankful for health and strength

Cooked 2 different meals – thankful for food in the pantry and good appetites (and yummy recipes to follow and try out)

Went out for a Girls Night Out – thankful for friends, heels, sorbet and transport to get me to one of the most delicious dessert bars in Adelaide

How I love my new red heels! It always feels luxurious to go out dressed up in fabulous shoes and shiny lippy!

Black Forest Sorbet at The Aviary Dessert Kitchen, gluten and dairy free....not calorie free but absolutely AMAZING!!!

Black Forest Sorbet at The Aviary Dessert Kitchen, gluten and dairy free….not calorie free but absolutely AMAZING!!!

Came home to find all the children asleep, and Steve still working – thankful for a hubby that loves, supports, provides for us and tucks the kids into bed!

Talked on Facebook to a friend until 1am – thankful for honest, beautiful mummies to journey and dream with, delight in, laugh and cry with ❤

And here we are 5 hours later, with a gorgeous boy to wake up to, the sun shining, the SA Coastal boardwalk calling me for a big walk, and a day to hang out with my  little family, yummy food to eat, and maybe get some scrapbooking in later on tonight!

This is the day that The Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Enjoy every moment, who knows how many more we all have. Live your best life <3

Enjoy every moment, who knows how many more we all have.
Live your best life ❤

 

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My 12wbt commitment…balancing home, work, fitness and community

The awesome 12wbt Pirates and Michelle at the Sydney Workout last weekend

The awesome 12wbt Pirates and Michelle at the Sydney Workout last weekend

So we’re 4 days into Round 4 of the Michelle Bridges 12wbt. I’ve pulled out my diary…well ok my iphone, and planned this weeks workouts. But life doesnt always work out quite like that does it?

My 15 month old is teething, has never slept through the night and also suffers with croup. My sleep is precious, and as much as a 6am gym session might seem appealing, a baby awake crying at 5.30am is a whole different matter!

How do I balance it all? To be honest, not very well. Some days my nutrition suffers, somedays my housework is severely lacking. As long as my children are clean, fed and happy, that’s all that matters. I work 2/3 days a week and thankfully bub goes to a lovely childcare where he is cared for and cherished.

Workout Plan for the Week

Tues Pole Class

Weds Weights and stretching

Thurs Weights

Fri Weights and stretching

Sat Boardwalk and a good stretch

Sun  Pole

So this is the plan… I write them into my diary but I know, that at a moments notice, everything could change, (sickness, head lice, readers, car problems, after school commitments etc etc…you know the drill) and then the demands of being a mummy will outweigh an exercise session. I try to involve the children as much as possible. I’ve had the baby climb on top of me while doing sit ups, tank engines run over my back during push ups, and children counting my reps or timing my wall sit!

Balance….it’s an art form, and one that I’m working on

Here are some of my tactics

  1. Take the kids out on their bikes or in their pram for some fresh air and family exercise
  2. Use a fitball to sit on when watching tv and do some sit ups, stretches etc
  3. Use your slowcooker that has been sitting in the back of the cupboard for years
  4. Cook up a storm a couple of times a week (get the Tupperware out of that cupboard too!)
  5. Find an exercise you LOVE, if you enjoy it you WILL make time for it
  6. Get everything ready for work/school/gym the night before, that way you are ready to go with minimal effort
  7. Drink water in the car, I can down a litre in a half hour drive (unless its a really long journey with no toilet stops)
  8. Catch up with friends for walks, gym classes, runs etc
  9. Use the kids playparks to work out, run around them, do chin ups, practice pole moves, do step ups on the benches. The kids will think you’re awesome (or a little odd!)
  10. Listen to your favourite podcast, worship music, take the time to pray, meditate and enjoy the scenery when out walking alone or with the doggies

These are just a few ideas, i’m sure you all have many more to share! I’d love to hear them as I’m always looking for new ways of saving time, and using my energy and resources for the best possible use.

My new life hack is….

Tidying up in between sets! As I’m on the weights program I get a minute between each set of exercises. Yesterday I tidied the toy corner, today I gathered and threw away a bin bag of broken, old, naff toys! (The Fly Lady would be proud)

Hope that might have given some mummies a bit of encouragement and ideas, remember YOUR health is important, and will give you the energy, self confidence and that crucial element “escape time” that helps us be happier mums! (and wives )

The Pirates are cheering you on!

Say Hi to my personal pirate cheer squad!

Pop a pirate in your pocket, instant determination and a cool toy to pull out if the need arises!

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Dipping my pointed toes in the chilly waters of blogging

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Hello, Im Louise, and this is my very first blog….scary and exciting.

I’m a 41 year old mummy to 5 fabulous children, my eldest is 20, my youngest is 15 months…yes I am quite possibly crazy, but I love my family passionately. I’ve been with my hubby since I was 16, through thick and thin. We are both from the UK and emigrated to Australia in 2001.

I became a Christian with my dear hubby (then boyfriend) when i was just 17, and although it’s not always been an easy road, I can sincerely say that Jesus has walked with me every step of the way, sometimes carrying me, sometimes dragging me, sometimes leading me so slowly and gently when I feel I can barely lift a foot in front of the other. He’s my best friend, supporter and guide.

Currently I am on the Mish Bridges 12wbt Lean and Strong program, so I will be lifting weights, and eating clean. I also enjoy running and take a pole class every week.

Why Lift? To build muscle, get strong and toned, fire up my metabolism

Why Run?  For the runners high and mummy escape factor, I also love running in beautiful scenery – beaches, trails, hills. All part of God’s creation and a feast for my eyes and refreshment for my soul.

Why Pole? Watch a pole dancer in action, the grace, strength, agility, athleticism, and abs. I personally LOVE the challenge of nailing a new move, going upside down and seeing what this body can do.

This weekend I attended the Michelle Bridges 12wbt Finale in Sydney. I had a great time and met so many cool people, inspirational and fun loving, determined and disciplined.

My other reason to travel to Sydney was to visit Hillsong Church in Baulkham Hills. What an encouragement to my soul. The message of “Speak up, speak out and speak loud” resonated with my heart. In both places (the 12wbt gang and the church) the sense of family and support was overwhelming.

This little blog is a small contribution to the community of both faith and fitness.

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Gun show at the 12wbt finale November 2013

My dear friend Suz, one of the best mums I know, a jolly good buddy and my Sydney partner in fun, fitness and faith!

My dear friend Suz, one of the best mums I know, a jolly good buddy and my Sydney partner in fun, fitness and faith!

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