By: Lee-Anne Ekland
Are you looking for inspiration to get your body back after baby?
Do you want to kick your fitness level up a notch or ten this time around? Look no further. Even if you prefer a more, ahem, sane approach you can’t help but be inspired by this story.
Mom of Two, Allison Tai: Fights her way back to fitness after near tragic accident
Allison was tragically hit by a truck in 2006 and spent a half a year in a full body cast from breaking her back, pelvis and arm. She fought her way back to fitness and back onto the podium in running and obstacle course racing events such as Tough Mudder which takes place June 21st-22nd in Whistler, BC, one of 55+ Tough Mudder events worldwide in 2014.
A mother of two and fitness coach specializing in obstacle course race preparation, Allison completed her first Tough Mudder in Whistler in 2012, and will be back this year.
Interview with Allison
We had the pleasure of interviewing Allison to find out how despite all the obstacles in her way she managed to not only get her body back after baby but continues to push the limits to compete in the Tough Mudder,
Allison epitomizes the diverse range of athletes that compete in the Tough Mudder. Having just had her first child before last year’s Tough Mudder, Allison can tell you firsthand on how she nursed her baby while competing. Most recently, Allison delivered her second child and see’s the Tough Mudder as an excellent way to get in shape.
We asked her how she does it all, baby in tow.
1. Can you tell us what changed for you when you realized that your injuries sustained in the accident might be the end of your life as you knew it?
I know for a lot of people after a near tragic accident, it’s about realizing that each day could be your last and seizing each day. I had already left my office job and started training for a career in Ironman triathlon. I was living the dream so to speak. I was very independent.
My family has always been close, but it was unbelievable how they swooped in and took care of me for six months of intense recovery, with such intense love. That was the game changer for me. I feel more connected not only to my family, but all people.
2. How do you motivate yourself to make fitness a priority in your life?
I love the way I feel when I’m super fit. That’s motivation enough. I also do things that I love to do. You won’t catch me slogging it out on an elliptical. I’m very competitive and motivated by events and races. I always sign up for a bunch at the beginning of the year and keep them front and center on our calendar. I recommend that everyone sign up for a few goal events this year… even if it’s just a 5k walk or short bike tour!
3. Can you tell us what your average day looks like in terms of your home life, your training and anything else that might help us understand you better?
It’s definitely harder with kids. But I also think it’s more rewarding. To get big mileage in, I’ll run with the kids in the stroller somewhere decently far, like the aquarium or beach. Usually we end up singing and talking the whole time. When we get there, we’ll play until they’re exhausted and then I’ll take a longer route home for nap time. I make an effort to engage them in the stroller that I don’t in the car… and the fresh air is great for everyone.
I also don’t stress when my strength training gets all broken up – I commit to finishing a workout – but sometimes it will take three hours to do a 30 minute workout with breast feeding, diapers and cuddles interspersed. Mostly, I don’t stress. If I planned to run and it’s not a good day for anyone, we’ll walk instead.
4. What advice can you give moms who are struggling to get their fitness back after having kids?
Hang your ego up. I’m just coming back from my second c-section and it’s tough having slowed down so much. But listening to your body is the only way to get back to health. Just keep going forward and do your best each day. Remember that movement is medicine and it will give you the physical, emotional and spiritual health to be a better mother.
I ask myself, “Did I do what I could today?” and if the answer is yes, I sleep much better. I sometimes end up darting out for a quick run and some chin-ups before bedtime because that’s when my husband is home. I’ve found that creative and dynamic planning is essential.
5. Why did you choose to compete in Tough Mudder?
I love a challenge and they’ve built a course that can really challenge all levels. It’s one of those events that has the power to transform people. The neat thing about it though, is it’s also nice for first time obstacle course racers since the emphasis is on camaraderie over competition. People you’ve never met haul you over walls and cheer you on. You don’t have to be that fit (or even run) to make it through in one piece. You can even skip obstacles without penalty.
It’s all about completing and helping one another out, rather than on competing against other people. I coach obstacle course racing and I always tell my clients that you have to be fit or friendly to finish the Tough Mudder.
6. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
I have the Guinness World Records for Fastest Female Pram (Stroller) Push for the 10k and the full Marathon. My three-year-old won’t sit in a stroller unless you’re running FAST. When I was running with the stroller 9-months pregnant with my second, she’d razz me for walking the hills.
What an amazing story of perseverance, courage and just plain awesomeness. Inspired yet?
What is your plan to get your body back after baby? We’d love to hear how you push your limits.
Thanks Allison! And good luck in the Tough Mudder this year in Whistler!
Lee-Anne Ekland is the Community Director at Modern Mama Vancouver and manages the content here on Modern Mama. When she’s not working here and there, she’s over here at Mom Paradigm.com. Mom Paradigm focuses on sorting through the amazing journey that is motherhood through the eyes of her child and blogs about healthy living, lifestyle, parenting on occasion, wine and skin care.