Year Behind, Year Ahead

Dear ladies,

Sap Alert.

This year was a big one for all of you as it was for me. Everyone on this list gave birth to a child in 2013 or raised a child from baby to toddler. Babies grow faster in the first year of life than they do at any other time in their lives. So I believe is the same emotionally for any new mum. Who among us can say we have not been stretched, challenged, burdened, burnt out, and yet at the same time enlightened, humbled, become stronger, and loved beyond measure as a result of this past year? We lean on each other for advice on everything from teething and weaning to sitters, wellness, healthcare, nurseries and going back to work. Raising babies bonds you to other women in a way that no other experience ever can or will.

You are always thanking me. I’ve never received such lovely notes and words of appreciation in my life. I couldn’t be more touched by it. In reality, though, it should be me thanking you. We moved to London from the US exactly one year ago with a 1.5 year old and a 2 month old. Virtually no support system. With 100% of my focus on my newborn son, needy toddler, breastfeeding, and settling in to a new environment, I had my doubts about Buggy Bootcamp becoming a reality. Looking at my schedule (or lack thereof) I would think, where am I going to find the time to dedicate to starting a new business?” But sure enough, a couple of you started coming to class. It wasn’t complete torture, so you told your friends. Those friends told more friends. Together we created a tight-knit group of inspiring and positive women whom I feel lucky enough to call friend. I have you to thank for that. I mean it when I say I feel truly BLESSED to be a part of yours and your baby’s daily routine at what is arguably the most critical time of yours and their lives. I have seen developments and milestones that would make most parents and grandparents (and let’s face it, even husbands!) jealous. I’m sure at times you’ve all had your doubts making this work too. Lack of time, energy, and the stress of being on someone else’s schedule 24-7 can make it hard to focus on fitness or socializing with one another. Nevertheless, we have tied up our laces, gained our confidence and energy back, run races, established routines, shared recipes, clothing, nappy wipes, and advice, and ultimately proven that new mums can feel amazing in their own skin, without the need for a crèche or an expensive gym, out in the fresh air with virtually no equipment, with a flexible workout regimen with wiggle room for fun, and all that with a group of people we would actually choose to spend our time with.

I may have just set a record for the most obnoxiously long run-on sentence but I think you catch my drift. It was a phenomenal year and I’m tickled pink when I think how far we’ve come.

I digress. Here is what to expect for the year ahead:

* more creative workouts! This year we had Simon Says, Cheesy Pick-up line, baby-bells (kettle bells), Partner workouts, True Confessions, 80’s workouts and more. It broke up the monotony and kept us laughing through burpees and planks! Next year we’ll keep things even more interesting so be prepared. Let your gym-rat friends take their workouts too seriously, we will continue to take a relaxed approach and have fun getting super fit with the occasional nappy change or cuddle disruption.

* more rewards for referrals. No matter how many signs we posted or online ads I placed, the best form of advertising was consistently word-of-mouth. Keeping attendance numbers high is key to keeping class fees low. If you tell a friend about class, and they come, there will be rewards coming your way. So please please keep spreading the word!

* more opportunities to get out with each other outside of class. We are just far too charming not to enjoy each other’s company on a more regular basis, agree? If you have an event, fundraiser, or are just jonesing for a night out, let’s get a plan together.

* going back to work part-time but want to keep coming to class? Email me and we’ll work out a customized package so you can continue to enjoy the benefits of Buggy Bootcamp.

* more 14-day challenges! Our workouts are ineffective if we are ignoring what’s on (or not on) our plates. If you like having the group support these challenges will be key to sticking to your goals.

* what else will make class more enjoyable/productive for you? Are the class times/locations working for you? What would you like to see more of in 2014? This is your class. Your ideas and opinions are crucial, so please don’t be shy about letting me know what could be improved!

**** for anyone who is around this week! we will have class tomorrow.*** I realize it will be a small group. But if you would like to squeeze in a workout you can find me at the Serpentine at 9:30am. Last tabata of the year. Then we will have a nice long break until January 20th. Those of you on a package will be receiving some customized workouts to keep up the momentum during the upcoming hiatus!

Wherever you are I wish you the happiest of holidays. My sincerest thanks for all your hard work, continued support, and friendship. See you all in January!