This Mother’s Day, we celebrate that “Mom” means someone different for everyone. We know she’s the ultimate caregiver, supporter, warrior, provider, cheerleader, helper, nurturer, and number one fan. She wears a lot of hats—teacher, storyteller, chef, chauffeur, and friend.
Whomever Mom is to you, whether that’s in the traditional sense or not, we know it’s no small feat to be a mother. iFIT is celebrating those who make us feel loved, nurtured, and special.
To kick off this upcoming weekend, we wanted to highlight some special moms within our community! First up is avid runner and mother of three, iFIT member Elise Theel. Despite busy weeks filled with practices and sporting events, Elise finds balance amidst the hectic schedules by making time to get active. In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked Elise to share her story of how her children have helped her on her wellness journey.
As a mother of three, what are some things that you’ve learned from your kids?
That is a long list, but I have to say the most important thing I have learned from my little ones is acceptance. I was so hard on myself before kids. Everything had to be in the right place. I had to look or act a certain way. I had to have errands done that day. I had to be right on track for goals in my life.
It didn’t happen right after my firstborn—it took until I was pregnant with my third to finally stop and see that I was doing everything right for my family. I learned to let go of that unwanted energy and accept where I was in life and the woman I am today, which I find to be a total babe!
How do you maintain a balance between your passion for running and spending time with your family?
I have to admit that my husband plays a HUGE role in this, which is awesome but don’t tell him I told you. It’s easy during the school year because I get my runs in before my kids wake up or after they go to bed. During the summer months and weekends or on practice and game days, it does get interesting.
This is where I thank my husband. He will plan a hike or an outing where they will meet me after my run. If I am on the treadmill, he brings out a kiddie pool, finds a game or has the kids ride their bikes around the neighborhood (I like this one because I get a nice cooldown). During practices and sporting events, I leave early to exercise and then meet them later. For me, a 30-minute jog is easy to get in with an active family, but having a supportive partner makes a huge difference.
How do you integrate daily movement and exercise into your kids’ lives?
Growing up, I remember my mom doing jazzercise videos, and I would either be by her side doing the moves, dancing to those sweet jams, or jumping on the couch cheering her on. If I’m doing a floor workout, I do that while my kids are around. They like to copy me or pretend I’m a jungle gym while I’m in a yoga pose.
If I’m on my NordicTrack X22i treadmill and want to be with me, I have them get on their bikes or scooters and ride around the room until I am done. While they’re young, I want to teach my children that it’s important to keep their bodies moving like my mother did for me.
What activities do you enjoy as a family?
We LOVE to be outdoors! Our top three outdoor activities are camping, hiking, and fishing.
Does your family ever join you on those sunny Arizona hikes? If so, what’s it like to have them along for the adventure?
My family has hiked every trail that I’ve run on! We pack our hiking bags, get the dogs geared up, pack the dinosaurs and horses (key items), and head out. Having them on the trails teaches me to slow down, and because of that, I get to see things from a different perspective. I enjoy watching them explore and learn.
My kids are the ones that will run after a lizard, catch it, then ask a million questions about it. They are the ones that will pick up a rock to bring back home for their collection. As a hunting family, my kids will ask my husband how to track big game and what kind of tracks to look for. It’s very rewarding as a parent to watch my children learn about and explore the world.
What life lessons do you hope to teach your children as they grow up?
I hope to teach them honesty, good manners, respect, responsibility, compassion, forgiveness, enjoy learning, never give up, lose gracefully, and respect Mother Earth.
As I continue to grow in my running lifestyle, my biggest lesson is the courage to never give up—especially on myself. We are all capable of amazing things, and never for one second should we think differently.
What’s your favorite memory with your children?
We were on a week-long camping trip near Kaibab National Forest, Arizona. One of the days, it was raining, so we spent the afternoon in our camper playing card games. During the game, all three kids looked out of the window and let out a sigh, and smiled at the same time. I asked them what they were thinking, and our oldest said, “I love being in this family.” Our middle child said, “I love camping with my family.” The youngest said, “I love family.” That has been my favorite memory and something I will always cherish.
What’s the most rewarding part of motherhood?
Honestly, every morning. When my kids wake up, they come to me first and say, “Good morning, mama.” That moment is the most rewarding part of motherhood to me. I have a new day to make memories with my children.
What’s your favorite part of iFIT?
The iFIT community! Since joining iFIT, I’ve made amazing friends and love that the trainers connect with the community. This is the FIRST fitness group where I have seen such a strong connection, and I am so happy to be part of the iFIT family.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine, especially if you are pregnant. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.