I am a 41 year old mom of three living in midcoast Maine with my partner, three young kids, feral barn cat-turned-snugglepuss,and 16 chickens. Born and raised in NJ, my husband and I moved to Maine shortly after our oldest child was born, to live out my dream of being able to be a full time mom. Two more kids and 12 years later, I'm finally emerging from a decade + of sleepless selfless motherhood and working to take better care of myself, rediscover who I am as an individual, and prioritize my health and well being.
I was a competitive swimmer through high school and college, and played a multitude of intramural sports, like ultimate frisbee, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. I taught yoga for a number of years in early motherhood, but an illness and a third child put an end to that. In my reflections in trying to rediscover my identity and priorities as I turned 40, I realized that adding community + fitness back into my life would be a great choice in supporting my physical, emotional, and mental health.
With a degree in environmental science and a master's degree in elementary education, I've worked in a variety of professions including as a wetland field scientist, project manager, 3rd grade teacher, yoga teacher, and I currently am my own business owner as a quilt pattern designer, teacher, and photographer.
1) Why did you choose personal training as opposed to the millions of free programs online?
As a lifelong athlete returning to fitness after a decade of motherhood, I know how much I need to workout to feel strong. I also know myself well enough to know that I work harder and better when I'm in the studio with an instructor, trainer, or coachthan when I'm at home. When I'm at home working out, I can only motivate myself to push so hard, since it's so easy to say "that's good enough" or "that's all I can do." There are also so many other things to draw my attention -- laundry, dishes, work, family. When I have a scheduled time with an instructor each week, I am much more likely to really work, to get stronger, and to avoid excuses.
2) What has been your greatest achievement since you've been working out?
Since beginning personal training a year ago, I have managed to recover from two unexpected and debilitating medical complications, always keeping the training in my sights as a goal and tool for regaining and maintaining my health. I've gained the strength and confidence to climb Mount Katahdin, hiked 40 mountain peaks in a year, and I registered to run the MDI half marathon after a couple years lull in running. Even with all that, I think the greatest achievement has been that I have continued to prioritize my own health, I keep showing up no matter how I feel on any given day, work daily to give myself grace when life or illness intervenes, and don't give up on feeling strong, fit, and comfortable in my own skin.
3) What advice would you give someone who is ready to start working out?
Give yourself at least 2 weeks to a month of regular exercise before judging it -- in the beginning it's hard! If there's one thing I've learned through recovery from injury and surgery, it's that those first workouts might feel near impossible, and the temptation to give up can be strong. Know that yes, your body CAN do this. Small steps build up, and the outcome is so incredibly worth it. Stick with it, find a trainer who can adapt workouts to meet you where you are and support you through the tough points (Skye is great!!), and know that once you gain a comfortable level of fitness, you will feel AMAZING! Working out is about how you feel much more than how you look, so tap into that serotonin rush, the endorphin high, the sweaty glow, and don't give up! I've never ever left a workout thinking "I wish I hadn't done that". Ever. Starting is the hardest part. You can do it!
4) What is a fun fact about you we may not know?
I am an internationally-known modern quilter, designer, teacher, and photographer, and my passion is tying life together with quilt-making.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story, Kitty!