Raising Babies and Raising the Bar

by Lisa Rhea

The Mom Crew at American Sled Dogs Coronado

The morning crew at American Sled Dogs Coronado – this group has a whole lot of heart!

Walking in to the 8:30 morning class at the gym, the programming simply read “How much heart do you have?” While the sign was our trainer’s way to warn us of the heart rate-spiking beast of a workout ahead of us, the question couldn’t have been a more perfect theme for today’s post.

As I mentioned in my group training post, I have had the good fortune of finding a unicorn among gyms. When I first joined American Sled Dogs Coronado (formerly Proteus), I had no idea I’d find the most inspiring group of women to train with. Not only are these ladies beautiful, strong and incredibly fit, they are all moms, most with small children. And when it comes to heart, there’s no shortage.



This is also the kindest group of women I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. For a dozen women who see each other every day, I can honestly say I have never heard one negative comment ever uttered about another woman in the class. When I said unicorn, I meant it! They come to class each day with positivity, intensity and encouragement for each other.

“When I first started training this group, I had no idea they would ever emerge to become who they have,” said American Sled Dogs Head Trainer Terrance Williams. “Everyday they show up with big hearts, while knowing the workout will be tough. These ladies give the term ‘Fit Mom’ a true meaning. I’m so happy to know them and so humbly grateful to be thier trainer.”

Despite the challenges of raising babies, these women are there as many mornings as they can be, raising the bar. It’s not just to achieve a look, it’s for the many benefits of taking time for self-improvment and empowerment. Today, they share a little about themselves and their advice with you.

They inspire me everyday, and I know they’ll inspire you as well.


IMG_2782Pricilla, 36
Mom to Greyson, age 4.5 and Wyatt, age 2.5
Stay at home mommy, but currently venturing out into the food world with my hubby’s secret dip www.islanddip.com. We are having fun right now creating it in our own kitchen for friends & family, but working on getting licensing, higher production, etc. It will be our fun, new adventure for 2016!

Why do you make fitness such a big part of your life? It is a necessity for me… an hour of time to myself, for myself. No matter what time the boys have gotten up or how many times they were up during the night, if I can make it to my morning class… my whole day is turned around after it!

What advice do you have for other moms? Just do it! I know that is cliche and silly, but really. If you haven’t ever started, that’s fine. We have been there… after (having a) baby, feeling gross and not able to make it through a full workout, but you will… maybe not today, or tomorrow, but someday and on that day you will feel as if you rule the world! At least I do!

Oh and workout while pregnant… know your limits, but just keep going. In the long run, it will help you bounce back so much quicker!

What gym PR (personal record) are you most proud of?  With a heart condition that limits my cardio capability, I have LOVED getting more active with the olympic weightlifting side of our workouts. Before kids, I PR’d my deadlift at 210 pounds and never thought I would get even close again. Well, today, I pulled 210 pounds again! I was SO excited that 7 years later, I could still break 200. It may not mean much in everyday life, but the confidence that it gave me to achieve that when I never thought I would again was amazing!

IMG_2775Theresa, 36
Mom to Anthony 8.5 and Hunter 2.5
Stay at home mom and Navy widow

Why do you make fitness such a big part of your life? There is the obvious vanity factor of looking good that does its part in making me feel good.  But also, now as a single mom and the sole parent for my young boys, I need to be healthy for them so I can be around for a long time.  Plus, as they see exercise as a priority in my life, they will see it as a priority in theirs.

What advice do you have for other moms? Don’t be afraid of weights!  I’m the first person to admit that being around kettlebells, Dumbbells, barbells, etc. always intimidated me.  But I would never have the muscle definition, tone and strength that I have without them!  Start slowly and what you are comfortable with and then you can only go up from there.

What gym PR (personal record) are you most proud of? My 7:28 mile because it’s the fastest I’ve ever run. Ever. In my life. (Plus it was 2:21 faster than my initial mile time when I first started at the gym three months earlier).

IMG_2765Mindy, 33
Mom to Lucas, 2.5
Stay at home mom, military spouse

Why do you make fitness such a big part of your life? Fitness has always been a huge part of my life.  I think it is essential to live a healthy life.  And I want Lucas to know that it is very important to include fitness in his life.

What advice do you have for other moms? Live in the moment.  Take one day at a time, and enjoy every minute.

What gym PR (personal record) are you most proud of? I am most proud of my 7:14 mile time.  When I started at the gym 8 months ago I was running a 9 minute mile.

IMG_2796Chelsey, 32
Mom of 3

Why do you make fitness such a big part of your life? Fitness is such an important part of my life because it helps me find balance. As a stay-at-home mom, it can be hard to find a break in the day to do something for myself. Setting aside time each day to exercise has made a huge difference in my health and well-being.

What advice do you have for other moms? Do what you can in the stage you’re in and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Start small but make intentional choices each day that bring you one step closer to your goal. Find a friend to workout with or join a group with an encouraging crew (ahem, Proteus!). Listen to your body, but also be open to new challenges — it’s fun to surprise yourself! 

What gym PR (personal record) are you most proud of? My 40″ box jump. Our trainers push us to try things we would never do on our own!

IMG_2809Patricia, 27
Mom to Ellie, 9 months
Entrepreneur, www.parkboulevardcatering.com

Why do you make fitness such a big part of your life? Because I want to feel good, live a healthy life and I want to shed my baby body!

What advice do you have for other moms?
Just do it! You’re doing better than most people if you just work out three days a week for an hour. Join a gym, get accountability and just wake up and do it. Then forget about it and enjoy the rest of your day!

What gym PR (personal record) are you most proud of? Lifting any weights at all. I don’t like going to the gym and I am so proud that I’ve stuck with it this long.



IMG_2791Victoria, 27
Mom to Carter, 17 months
Stay at home wife/mom. Owner of Anchor of the Soul Etsy shop! I sell cute customizable tanks, tees, license plates, bags, you name it!

Why do you make fitness such a big part of your life? I feel better when I work out. I have to work hard to get/stay thin. It was easier before baby, when I had unlimited amount of hours I could spend at the gym. Now I plan my days around my workout to make sure it happens. When mama is feeling healthy and happy, so does everyone else!

What advice do you have for other moms?
Make time for yourself when you can. It’s easier to do this when you are blessed with great childcare at your gym. Research the kind of workouts you like and find gyms that offer this. Give yourself grace when you aren’t where you want to be, but work as hard as you can and you will achieve goals you never knew you would even want to set! Don’t be competitive. Encourage everyone around you! It’s way more fun that way! I love my workout sisters and look forward to our time together just as much as the tough workout we have set before us!


What gym PR (personal record) are you most proud of? 7 minute mile! I’ve never liked running. I started out at 10-ish minute mile in July, which was very discouraging. Finishing at 7 minutes made me feel like I could achieve any goal I set my mind to!


IMG_2918 (1)Nicole, 33
Mom to Thor, 1
Customer Service for an Airline, Wife to Active Service Member


Why do you make fitness such a big part of your life? I need to be strong not only for myself, but to keep up with my boys, make them and myself proud. And if mom is happy. ..everyone is happy! Including the dogs!


What gym PR (personal record) are you most proud of?  I don’t have a gym PR. I don’t really pay attention to the numbers. My goal is overall strength. Having a gym that takes care of Thor and allows me too focus on myself for an hour, makes me want to take full advantage of getting the most out of every workout. That’s why I use as much weight as I can handle!


Norma, 41IMG_2818
Mom to 3 sons
Jorge 22, Ivan 19 and Pedro 17
Certified Nursing Assistant


Why do you make fitness such a big part of your life? I just love working out.


What advice do you have for other moms? Keep yourself healthy and happy.

We also have to recognize the reason all of us moms are able to train every morning – the amazing daycare provided at American Sled Dogs Coronado. A special thanks to Debra and Kevin Reese and Matt and Briana McDonald for always treating our children like their own!


I always know Corbin is in good hands while I’m working out!


The gym offers free childcare and has great facilities for kids all ages. They play while we play.


If we can do it, so can you!

*Thank you to all who contributed. There are more amazing moms that train at my gym, but I was unable to feature every single one. And there are many awesome men and women without children who train there as well. If you’re in the San Diego area, you need to come in and check it out!

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