This month's Member Spotlight is shining down on Karen and Sean, an awesome couple who has been working out with us at Fuse since August 2012. They had been regular, hard-working 6am-ers up until early Feb. 2015 for Karen and late March 2015 for Sean, when they took a hiatus after having their first of two beautiful babies. Fast forward to June 2017, when they re-emerged.....they went from being a family of 2 to now being an absolutely adorable family of 4!
They started back up at Fuse doing personal training together, usually bringing in their two sweet kiddos--a smart, fun-loving toddler and a new, super cute baby boy. No complaints from the trainers at Fuse, any time we can get a baby fix we're thrilled!
Both Karen and Sean are in fantastic shape and are doing such an amazing job being positive, healthy role models for their children. Karen's core strength has improved significantly since having both of her children and her body has become very toned, with much more muscle mass. Sean's muscular endurance and core strength have really improved--gotta love TRX training! We love it that the kids get to see their parents working out and living a healthy life! And we are so happy to have Karen and Sean back working out with us!
Here are a few words from Karen and Sean about their fitness journey and experience here at Fuse:
1) What was your reason for joining Fuse and what were your goals?
We first started going to Fuse years ago, when we were looking for challenging and exciting workouts to add to our weekly routine. For a time, we were both regulars at the 6 a.m. monkey ninja class. Sean thought he was generally fit before he started going to these classes. He quickly realized that he was not. He could not get through a class without taking at least one break. And he thought, on multiple occasions, that he was going to throw up. Karen kicked his a** every day.
Despite the hard knocks, we kept it up even after Karen got pregnant and continued into her third trimester. But then we had the baby, and then we had another. While babies are bundles of joy, they don’t exactly make it easy to fit in some workout time. We felt so busy during that stretch of time, and so exhausted, that going to the gym was just not a priority. We remained active, but we weren’t doing much to build and maintain strength. Our workouts tended to be more haphazard than planned. Karen, especially, felt like she had lost a lot of the strength that she had before kids. And she missed the energy and sense of accomplishment that she used to derive from exercise.
About three months after having our second child, we made an effort to build fitness back into both of our lives. As a Mother’s Day gift, Sean bought Karen a three-month personal training package, with the idea that we would do the sessions together whenever possible and that otherwise Karen would go by herself. Before you say it, Sean knows what you’re thinking. And the answer is, “Yes, I really bought personal training sessions for my wife as a gift.” He really thought that was a key part of what she needed to get back to feeling like her complete self. Sean’s goals for himself include becoming a world champion CrossFit athlete or American Ninja Warrior. He has not yet obtained either goal. Karen’s goals were, by comparison, pretty modest. She hoped that we would get stronger and improve our fitness, but mostly was looking for a commitment device – something to ensure that we would work out, that we would work out hard, and that we would enjoy ourselves in the process.
2) What have been the challenges you have encountered?
Sean’s half-joking half-serious answer: “handstands.”
Karen’s answer: the physical challenges that come with having two kids in less than two years. Some parts of me feel stretched out, others feel too tight. When I’m busy chasing after kids, it’s easy to avoid thinking about those changes. Working out has made me reckon with them, and it can sometimes feel demoralizing.
An answer that both of us agree on is that getting to the workouts, on time and ready to go, has been a big challenge. With two very young kids and no family around to help, we often ended up bringing at least one child with us to our sessions. Sometimes this worked out perfectly. The baby would sleep the whole time, oblivious to the sounds of music and slamming medicine balls! Other times, we found ourselves (with the help of our trainers who have been great!) simultaneously corralling an energetic toddler and comforting a crying baby, all while trying to get through a tough circuit of exercises. Who knew that two-year-olds could have so much fun with TRX suspension trainers? While that’s a rhetorical question, it turns out that Pascha and Kristin knew.
3) What have been your strengths/successes and what are you most proud of?
We are proud that we showed up to every session, even when the childcare piece was complicated. We also are proud of the results we’ve seen after three months – not necessarily in our appearances or weight, because we haven’t been tracking that, but in the way we feel day-to-day. We both feel stronger and more capable. We think we’re now less prone to injury and more able to keep up with our kids. Sean can complete a class without feeling like he’s going to throw up. And, ever the optimist, he thinks he’s well on the way to becoming a champion.
4) Anything else you’d like to add…..
We think that doing personal training sessions together has been good for us as a couple, too. Right now, we still don’t do a regular date night, so working out together has been a way for us to share an experience (other than childcare) and to connect.
Karen and Sean, thank you so much for sharing! We love having you guys here, we think your kids are awesome, and Sean, we definitely see becoming a champion in the near future ;)
Yours in health,
Fuse Fitness team