I have always been an early riser to get in my exercise - my 'me' time. But once I had a baby, I quickly realized that 6am would be my literal only chance to get in that time. I love the 6am crew because it's always the same tribe of us (you either are someone who is up for getting up at 5am or you aren't!) and everyone is so supportive of each other.The other highlight for me about MadLab though, is on the rare day that I can't make the 6am, I can bring my 3yo with me and she's welcome to hang out on the couch on the side and watch me. That means that her favourite game to play right now at home is 'workout' (which is adorable) but it also means that she gets to see me working hard and looking after myself. I want her to grow up seeing me take care of myself and being proud of what my body can do, so that she knows that her body is amazing and powerful and that her true value comes in the content of her character. The only weight I talk about is how much I can lift :)
Read Annika's transformation story too:I started at MadLab in September 2015 (I can hardly believe that is more than a year ago!) I had a baby in 2014 and was teaching yoga pretty close to right away, but I developed 'mommy thumb' (aka a repetitive strain wrist injury that was months and months of pain and struggle!) I stopped teaching yoga and I stopped doing anything physical because I couldn't figure out how to do it safely.When I was pregnant, my incredibly smart and generous husband suggested that once I had the baby, we should invest in a personal trainer for me to get back to fitness. When it was clear I was spinning my wheels on my own (uhhhh yeah I had an 18 month old and had done basically nothing for almost a year!) I started to look into trainers who had experience in working with injuries... Only the more I looked, the more I realized that this might not be the long term solution I was looking for. Nice idea to get a personal trainer for 10 or 20 sessions, but then what?I know myself, and I'm NOT a self-directed learner. I have tried and tried and tried in the past to 'go to the gym' but all that would ever happen was 20 minutes of cardio and then regretting the money I was spending. This was part of the reason I loved yoga classes - a class, with a start time, and an instructor to guide me (and that I was accountable to!) was something that really worked for me. But I knew with my injury that this wasn't my path right now...My girlfriend had suggested checking out MadLab (thanks Asha!) and once I sat down with my trainer Andy, I realized this was exactly what I was looking for. He could work with my injury, I would do personal training sessions that would prepare me for group classes, AND the best part was that my toddler was welcome to come and hang out while I worked out (as a stay at home mom this was HUGE for my ability to actually get there!)Starting anything new is scary, but everyone was so friendly that it made it a little less terrifying.The other thing that I love is there are always progressions - even as a total newbie, and with an injury, there were things for me to do. Plus, because Andy is still my coach at least twice a week, he's there to help me when I need a modification and also there to remind me when I'm ready for the next level :)My goal now is to continue to work to a place where I feel strong and proud of what my body can accomplish - and my happiest moments are when my now almost three year old will play 'workout' (where she pretends to 'lift heavy weights! throw heavy balls! PUSHUP!') and when she tells me she 'is going to be strong like mama'.About a year in Annika signed up for the MadLab Whole Life Challenge - An 8 week challenge focusing on 7 daily habits which bits work together to create an effect in your life that’s hard to overstate — after a few weeks, you’ll feel rested, energetic, present, strong, healthy (and perhaps even happier).In August, I had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder. I hadn't even known that I was sick (it's funny how you normalize the abnormal when it happens so gradually!) but once it was out, it was like all my stuck energy was free to move again and I knew that I was ready for a big shift.The energy of September got me. Every year it's like my New Years - but this year it was stronger than ever. So I did it. I signed up and for 8 weeks I was that annoying person who wouldn't meet you for beers and was in bed by 830 during the week. Sorry not sorry, because when I finished, I was the most improved workout on our MadLab team (for those of you keeping track my clean + 2 squats started at 60b week 1, and finished at 110b week 8 what what!!).And that, my friends, is way more important to me right now than the number on the scale, or the size of my jeans. The best part of an 8 week challenge (is getting to the end, lol but that did feel good!) is that by the end, many of the things that seemed so hard are second nature.