Ask Sarah Townsend about a typical day and, just as you’d expect from a mother of two, she tells you every day is busy – and for Sarah, every day involves exercise. As a personal trainer Sarah spends all day training clients, and she does it with her 11 month old in tow. After finishing with her last client at 7pm it’s straight home for dinner, family time and getting the children to bed. Then, chances are, she’ll squeeze in a workout of her own.
We recently spoke to her about what keeps her going.
“I wasn't always interested in fitness. Life prior to being an exercise lover was a life taken for granted. I've always been a tall, slender individual. I took for granted my health and rarely would find myself in a gym or exercising with any structure or regularity. It wasn't until my husband, who is in the Air Force, deployed to Afghanistan that I dove head first into fitness. I quickly got addicted to the physical changes, but soon realized that the physical changes were a secondary benefit! What exercise does for your mind, body, and soul is amazing. I found it tough to maintain an even keel emotionally while my husband was away but exercising daily helped me get through that time emotionally and mentally.
I found it tough to maintain an even keel emotionally… exercising daily helped me get through.
By exercising regularly I'm setting a great example for my children and also highlighting the importance of making time for yourself. One of the best quotes I've ever heard, and it rings true for me is, "To take the best care of your family, you need to take better care of yourself". When you’re on an airplane they tell you if the cabin pressure should decrease and the masks come down from above, to put yours on prior to helping anyone else. This is true in life, tenfold! I want to teach my children the importance of health and wellness when they are young so they can carry that with them through their adult life.
Of course there are times when I simply don’t feel like working out. I spend all day helping others better themselves and often by the end of the day exhaustion has set in. Bringing myself to go to the gym or to get my workout done at home is a battle in itself! When I’m lacking motivation I remind myself of the importance of taking care of myself and, while I may not feel like working out now, I know I will feel better after I've finished.
On the days when I can't get my own workout in I try not to stress and make a point to put an emphasis on completing a workout the next day. I used to get upset when I couldn't work out but I realize that wasn't good for my health. Sometimes things are out of my control and rest/sleep is more important than getting a workout in.
It took me a long time to realize that rest and recovery are equally as important as exercise itself.
It's important to remember that just because you're a mother, doesn't mean that you come last, or can't take the best care of yourself anymore. When you are the best version of yourself, your children and spouse see that and you will inspire them to be their best self as well.”
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