Sara is a children’s book author, she squeezes in her workouts between taking care of kids, and she sets big goals. (Check out her children’s book on kickstarter and help her get it published!) She is one of those people that has always impressed me. She seems real, yet strong, centered, yet playful. We played basketball together in high school and I know her work ethic stems from those days. We sweated together, hustled together, and on and off the court, worked hard in school. It’s pretty amazing how quickly time passes, yet we really are close in our attempt at daily balance.
Sara is Dynamo. Dynamo is a series about people working towards their healthy living in lots of different ways. We look different, sound different, and move different, but we all are trying to be healthy. I love seeing how people strike the balance of hard work and interests in making their goals happen.
You might not always think you do, but I believe that we all influence others more than we realize or recognize. That inspiration is empowering for others and ourselves. I believe in the good of every person and I believe that the Dynamo stories can change our outlook, our personal dedication, and our perception of the people around us. With all this, we can celebrate together as we move forward.
How has being a mom made you love your body?
I have never had more appreciation for my body than I do today. It is capable of so much more than I ever imagined. I was able to create, carry and bring another human being into this world…three times! I was blessed to have had three incredible birthing experiences and because of that I now look at my body in a wildly different way. As women, I feel that we criticize ourselves and each other more than we look at our bodies for what they truly are. They are vessels, curves, love and lust. They are flaws, bumps and perfection. And my body, the body that I get to live in daily, is a pretty impressive one. If for no other reason but that it created three people who are going to change the world, I have no doubt.
Has it been harder or easier to feel strong since having kids? If it’s been harder to work for, does it feel more rewarding now?
Before children physical activity was a part of me. I loved playing basketball and volleyball, the camaraderie of a team sport and the adrenaline of competition. It was who I was. But when I had kids, physical activity shifted from being part of who I was, to being necessary to who I want to be.
I want to be strong. I want to be the mom who can push the baby in a stroller, strap her two year old in a backpack and still carry her four year old on her hip home from the park because he fell and scraped his knee. I want to throw a football with my sons, running around the neighborhood and not have to take (too many) breaks. I want to be empathetic, loving, compassionate (while still teaching respect and ethics) when my two year old throws a tantrum in the grocery store. I want to teach my children that strength is defined not just by physical attributes, but also by the willingness to accept responsibility when you are wrong, and love deeply in times of struggle.
Has this shift been easy? Finding mental and physical strength with three children under four years old? Absolutely not, but I make the time to work on the physical and spend everyday working towards the mental.
Healthy living comes in three forms in our household:
1. Number one is how we eat. I am blessed that my husband loves healthy food. It is so important to have a partner that follows a similar path. He truly makes me and the boys better people. As a family we love branching out and trying new things, but it usually comes in the form of protein and vegetables. We do not make our children a special “kids” menu, they eat what we eat. I do this for multiple reasons but a lot of it is time, who has time to make lots of different meals?! Living in Seattle has made it pretty easy, there are so many fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and seafoods that we can work with.
2. Number two is how we move. Every individual in our home exercises. I wake up every morning and exercise, we then walk to school, my husband comes home from work and gets a workout in. We want our boys to know that exercise is important for our bodies. We have to keep moving to stay healthy!! If I ever try to skip a workout in the mornings the kids will say “did you work out yet today mommy, you better get your workout in.” It is great motivation – I want them to see exercise as a part of life, a commitment that is a part of feeling good.
3. Number three is our relationships. Our relationships as a family, with our friends and with our community.
Seattle is an awesome city, do you feel like it’s easier or harder to be active while living in the city?
Seattle is incredible. We are living in a very walkable neighborhood and spend our days outside. I actually challenge myself weekly with how little I can use our car (we share one vehicle). Our boys have these little Micro Scooters that they bomb around town in. They have been the best! We walk to school, run around Greenlake, cruise over to the zoo. We are constantly on our feet!
What do you think the balance of running and HIIT workouts gives you?
Since children I have found that my workouts have to be a lot more intense to get the body that I feel most comfortable in. I do high intensity interval training daily, but it is always with kids around me. Unfortunately, this does not create a low stress environment. Running has become more of an outlet for my mind. I am able to space out and step away from the children.
Do you have a favorite workout?
Beachbody’s Insanity is my favorite. I can do it at home daily and after every workout I am lying in a puddle of my own sweat. It is crazy! I always walk away thinking about how proud of myself I am.
What are 3 goals you have right now?
- Strength – eat healthy and workout daily (HIIT and half marathon training).
- Kindness. Becoming a mother I have discovered that you have a choice every day. To make someone feel bad or make someone feel good. I want the latter.
- Get my children’s book published “Even Superheroes Have to Sleep”!
You wrote a book!! Can you describe what it’s like to go through that process?
Hectic, stressful, time consuming and incredible! I had no idea that the book would be all of these things but it has been beyond just a learning experience but a blessing. I am thrilled about my future and pursuing newfound dreams. I would recommend this process to anyone. I am dreaming, managing and creating and it feels really great.
What is the most exciting thing that’s come from writing “Even Superheroes Have to Sleep” so far?
The realization that I’ve still got it. When I became a mom I decided to stay home with the children and it’s been hard for me to keep my dreams and needs within reach. This project really brought an excitement out of me that I haven’t experienced in a long time. I have been able to balance my work and feel like I am on a path for both my children and myself.
What do your kids think about you writing the book?
They LOVE it!! They inspired the book so they have been a part of the entire journey. They helped me come up with characters and I worked with my illustrator to make the children in the book look like my sons. Because of this they have taken pride and ownership and it means a lot to us all. They ask to read the book before bed every night.
How does sleep make YOU better?
I think that we can all agree that a good nights sleep is vital! I am so much happier, patient and loving if I have gotten some good z’s. To my family, friends and community!
That’s awesome you’re training for a half marathon. Have you run one before? What has training for this race taught you about yourself?
I have run one before and it was with my husband. We had a blast training together and actually found out I was pregnant with our third baby after the race. I will blame that on the reason why I was dragging that last few miles!
Training for this race has taught me just how important great friendships are to me. Honestly, I do not like running. Running is hard! But one of my girlfriends asked me to run this race and logging these miles and growing our friendship is worth every minute. As a mom I don’t get much me or girlfriend time, and this is worth every minute!
Do you have a favorite place to be outdoors? Why?
Anywhere outside! I am a Montana girl and although spending a week in a tent is not my idea of a good time (unless it’s on a beach somewhere), I love to explore and see the wonder in the kids’ eyes when we get out. From the random distractions walking to school (why does it always take so long??) to camping in Deception Pass, we seem to find adventure everywhere!
What is favorite family activity and how do you think it brings you closer together?
We love camping. Last year was the first time we spent a good amount of time in the tent as a family and it was a blast (disclaimer: weekend trips only)! The boys love the exploration. We all barely get any sleep and come home exhausted, but it makes for fun stories and good memories. The other thing that we all love to do is watch football. Besides the lure of the Seattle Seahawks, my cousin is the quarterback for Iowa State University. By August the boys are asking when football is going to start and we try to go and see a game or two. It has become a fun tradition and in my dream world we will have Seahawks season tickets when the boys are older.
Your reach and example are spreading, how has your example of active and healthy living influenced others?
I wish that I could say that it’s all me, but it’s not. My healthy lifestyle is directly related to the people that I surround myself with. My husband inspires me. His commitment and support of our family come first and foremost and his healthy lifestyle stems directly from that. I also have all of these incredible women in my world who challenge themselves daily. Most are mothers, some aren’t, but all of them make me better. They motivate me to become the best friend, wife, and mother that I can be. Some of my friends inspire my parenting, some my workouts, some my marriage – but all of them influence me in a way that I am truly thankful for.
What is the hardest thing about balancing yourself and family time?
Time and money. If I had all of the time and money in the world, getting away to get an incredible workout in, feeling physically and mentally balanced would be easy. But I don’t. But what I do have is the desire to stay physically and emotionally fit. It is important for all of us and I make the time for it.
What’s a piece of advice you like to share with others?
The best martial advice we ever received was that the most important thing that we could give our children was a great marriage. My husband and I think of this daily. We remember this in our communication and affection with each other and with our children. We pray that our children know the depth of true love and when they find it, they remember the respect we showed and time we gave in our marriage.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for my tenacity, my honesty, and being a darn good wife and mother.