Published November 12, 2014

power. strength. love. mom - Jen

Jen_Sultan_edit

Did you start coming to Fhitting Room pre/post baby?
Fhitting Room opened in the last trimester of my second pregnancy.  I noticed the construction site while walking in the neighborhood and was intrigued by both the unique name and marketing. So, I started following Fhitting Room on social media.  I loved the concept of HIIT and had done this kind of workout after my first pregnancy but was on a restricted exercise regimen during pregnancy due to being high risk.  After having my baby and floundering in the NY fitness scene and finally deeming myself “strong enough” to try Fhitting Room, I took a class with Ben and Daury on a Sunday morning, which I'll never forget. Daury was throwing out F-bombs while still maintaining his sweet demeanor, and Ben was doing pushups on someone's legs while they were doing a wall sit.  I had never seen people enjoy working out so hard before.  I was intrigued.  I kept coming back and not only finding myself laughing while working harder than I ever had but also growing stronger week by week.

How has getting your FHIX post-baby changed your body?
Pregnancy and children change you in all sorts of ways. It's intimidating to walk into a boutique fitness studio setting not feeling great about your body.  I think this is partially why I had a hard time finding a place to workout as intensely as I wanted to, while not feeling self-conscious about my physical appearance postpartum.  Every time I walked into a class at TFR it was about the work I was doing and not what I looked like in the mirror. I didn't have to be apologetic. I cannot express what a relief this was/is/and has been.  The focus is really on building strength and I am very grateful to TFR on embracing people of all shapes and sizes and encouraging their clientele to work hard, have fun, and grow stronger - in mind and body.

How often do you get your FHIX?
I commit to getting my FHIX 2 times a week.  If I can make it a third time, that's a bonus. But, being realistic with my schedule between work, kids and my husband rarely being home (he's in his final year of surgical residency), I need to find a number that’s realistic and manageable.

What’s your favorite exercise move we do at TFR and why?
My favorite exercises are box jumps and dumbbell snatches.  I love the speed, fluidity and full body effort that each of these exercises requires.  Box jumps are both a physical and mental exercise and there's nothing as simply freeing as jumping up onto a high object (I'm really short). I have also enjoyed measuring my progression from initially being intimidated by a 12-inch box jump and now being able to do a 26-inch box jump. Dumbbell snatches are similarly empowering. I can just get in a zone and power through them. It feels awesome.

Any tips you have learned along the way to share with new moms looking for a new workout?
My advice to new moms is that you need to find what works for you.  Be patient with yourself and cut yourself a little slack. Also, don't overdo it.  Listen to your body as it is evolving and recovering.  It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.  I'm still working at it - every day - reminding myself that "slow and steady wins the race". I'm not quite where I want to be, but I've learned that that's ok.  Having kids has given me a lot of perspective.  It's taught me to embrace the chaos and find beauty in the imperfect. It's been a great challenge for my type-A personality.  Oh, and don't forget to laugh.

Exercise keeps me centered and my bi-weekly TFR commitment is the 2 hours a week I carve out for myself. Knowing my time is limited pushes me to work to my max because that's all the time I have. It makes me value my time at TFR in a different way than I valued exercise before having kids.  There's no trying again tomorrow.  It takes a lot of coordination and commitment to take the time for myself, so I am going to give it 200% every time I walk into class. It's the time I can zone in and focus on listening to my body and pushing it to be stronger for my girls and my family. Watching myself become physically stronger has translated into increased mental strength and fortitude.  I have become much more self confident and empowered through working out at TFR and am trying new things and becoming better at them. Not only does building strength help me functionally (being able to carry and throw around both of my girls), it's also important to me that my girls have a concrete image of female strength and capability, not a vague gendered division of what it means to be strong, healthy or physically capable.

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