On 21st June 2016 at my 20-week scan, I was told that my baby girl Emily was not coming home to stay. I carried Emily for 14 more weeks – she was born with life and passed away shortly afterwards in my arms.
Life felt impossible. The grief was drowning me. I felt misunderstood. I was filled with anger and I could neither see nor fathom the future.
Fitness saved me. I will never be the same person – no bereaved mum is. But fitness undoubtedly helped me to find myself again. It gave me routine, focus, self-care and it boosted my mood like nothing else could. Fitness helped me find my laugh again – I lost it for 2 years and had not even registered this until it returned.
After 10 years working for a global recruitment business, I retrained to qualify in
Level 3 Pre and Post Natal Fitness with Nutrition. And so StrongMumsNI was born. Through this business platform I have been able to offer Emily’s Class – a monthly fitness and support class via Zoom.
Mums work out in the safe and comfortable environment of their own home, reassured
in knowing that every mum on screen shares the same heartache. Post workout, mums are very welcome to stay on screen to chat to or just listen to others.
It is incredible how bereaved mums, that start off as strangers, can come together and instantly connect. There are no explanations needed, no awkward silences and no sympathetic head tilts. In fact, it is a welcomed opportunity to talk unreservedly about your journey and to say your child’s name.
Workouts are suitable for all mums no matter how recent or long ago you lost your
little one(s)*. The live sessions are facilitated via Zoom and are up to 60 minutes including a warm-up, cardio element, floor work and cool down stretching.
Workouts are programmed on bodyweight but with options available for those access to weights. Modifications are demonstrated to ensure all fitness levels are catered for. Impact and non-impact movements are explained for any mums with pelvic floor concerns.
Classes are scheduled the last Wednesday in every month at 8pm. The physical element of the class is up to 60 minutes and the interactive chat is expected to last
approximately the same – so usually a 2-hour timeframe from start to finish.
Classes are free of charge with donations welcomed for SandsNI.