9 months out….

Elliott is 9 months old today. I’ve carried him outside for the same amount of time I grew and carried him inside.

If I think back 18 months to when we found out I was pregnant it seems so strange that I wasn’t instantly happy and ready for this new little human. A woman’s hormones during pregnancy, birth and the first few crazy newborn months are nothing short of miraculous though ensuring it wasn’t long before I was not only ready but over the moon excited.

I’d got to the point in my life where I kind of felt a little “free” of the role of mom, it didn’t totally consume me at least. I had every week day to myself and the kids would jump with joy if there was a mention of a babysitter whenever we fancied a date night.

My pregnancy hormones changed my mindset very quickly and the stirrings and kicks of that tiny baby growing created the first links of that mum & baby bond.

By the time Elliott was born I was so ready to experience the newborn phase again but bringing my big 3 along for the ride too.

Having Elliott meant changing our lifestyle again and that’s always a worry. We were happy where we were – exploring, travelling, dining out, date nights etc. I’d personally just decided on taking my fitness from a hobby to a paid job which would now be impacted by a pregnancy and a baby.

During my pregnancy I obviously continued to teach and workout. I stuck to the rule of limited exercise for the first 6 weeks post birth then went back to the gym. I became frustrated with the fact that Elliott would need feeding or he’d not stop crying in the creche and I couldn’t be at the class I wanted to do. I won’t lie there were tears shed from me but then I started to realise it wasn’t a priority anymore. I mean really how silly crying because I couldn’t get to a group ex class. 

Fitness needs to be there for me to help with my sanity, to be a role model to my kids and to keep my body moving and active but it doesn’t need to be about vanity which it had become before baby. 

Talking of feeding I made the decision to breastfeed Elliott the same as I did my big 3. My aim was to go all the way to 1 years old even though the longest I’d got before was 5 months. 9 months in and we are both still happily nursing. I never deny him the opportunity, I haven’t set him in a strict routine or set amounts of feeds. I let him take comfort from me as well as nutrition and much needed immunity. There are times I would rather be asleep, out with Rob or friends but in general my feeding journey with Elliott has taught me to be unselfish again. This is our last baby – a year of feeding and bonding is minute in the grand scheme of things. 

In 9 months the big kids have all formed an amazing relationship with Elliott. Entertainers, nurturers, babysitters and bad influences they are his biggest fans. It’s so heartwarming to hear them laugh together and the joy in babies face when he sees them. They watch him grow and are in awe of each new thing he’s does. He is their baby as much as he is mine and Rob’s we look after him as a team.

I think what I’m trying to say today is that this baby came and changed us for the better. I believe all my children are here for their own individual reason and we are blessed to have them.

Poppy, Izzy, Leo and Elliott – Mummy loves you ❤️

Rare Disease Day

February 29th 2020 is rare disease day. A day dedicated to thousands of children and adults with a disease, syndrome or illness that is rare – meaning small numbers of people diagnosed.

Poppy is rare.

Now 130 confirmed cases of PPP2R5D or Jordans syndrome worldwide. There will be more but they are left undiagnosed for various reasons – age (adults no longer searching for the answer) , country of birth – not the same medical advancement etc.

We’re quickly heading to Poppy’s 11th birthday next week and I’m sat here thinking about her life so far. The opportunities she has been given, the friends she has made through the years, the many admirers she has gained just by being Poppy.

The world has come so far in the way children and adults with intellectual disabilities are treated and included. Poppy has an amazing school who’s motto is

Enhance. Empower. Enlighten

3 strong words right there enhance their students lives, empower them with education and the skills they need for everyday life. I feel the most important though is to enlighten – families, friends, the community. To look at our children and see how rare they are and how happy they are. They are “more alike than different” and everyone is blessed to be a part of their world. Inclusion into their world.

Alongside school she has been included in 2 cheerleading teams, Golf clinics and currently in a special needs baseball team.

The world has opened their eyes to these beautiful, unique and rare children ❤

Please take a look at the Jordans Guardian Angel’s social media pages if you don’t already follow.



Fitness through pregnancy

I wanted to wait until after babys arrival to write this blog so I could comment on how my fitness levels helped with labour and the recovery of delivering a baby. So here we go…..

In terms of helping with the labour and delivery – being healthy & having a good level of cardio fitness definitely did! I won’t go into too much detail (save that for another blog) but I was induced with pitocin/ oxytocin and had no pain relief. I was up walking around within the hour and drove myself home 36 hours post birth.

Being pregnant and continuing at the gym is hard work but I’m so glad I did it!

Every trimester has you over coming barriers to keep up with your workouts.

1st is obviously the sickness, dizziness and tiredness. Cardio sucks, weight training sucks actually movement of any kind is awful! Mind over matter is what got me through 6 weeks of feeling horrid working out. I wanted to continue throughout the pregnancy and was not willing to quit for a few months and go through the pain of getting my body used to the gym again! That and my gym buddies and instructors.

2nd trimester is the growing bump. Making movement more difficult and cumbersome. I actually found myself becoming distracted by the babys movements. I even had 1 memorable moment of teaching completely the wrong choreography because I’d blanked out whilst wondering what the baby was doing. Out of the 3 trimesters though 2nd is the easiest. Once that nausea starts to go away and your energy starts returning the gym becomes a fun place again. 2nd trimester is when I qualified to teach and let me tell you I did a lot of training for that. It was not easy and not something I’d have been able to do in trimester 1 or 3.

Moving onto the 3rd trimester well that was different. I’d never experienced being any more physical than a long walk whilst pregnant. To still be doing push ups, squats, lunges and weight work 2 days before giving birth was something I hoped for but never thought I’d actually do! As my bump grew my workouts did reduce per week and I had my own way of executing the moves. I’d stick to low options and modify where and when needed to keep myself and baby safe.

At 2 weeks post partum I was happy to feel my abs. A celebration for me as I’ve not been able to feel, squeeze or brace them for about 4 months now! Elliott may have came out as 1 of my smaller babies but my bump sure didn’t look small!

At 3 weeks I felt ready to start a little strength and core work. Just 30 mins a day and not pushing myself too much. Beginning exercising again without a bump was strange. I must have over compensated movements with the bump as simple exercises like squats felt weird, almost like I’d forgot how to do it without a belly. I did enjoy the fact my push ups got a whole lot easier without the extra weight though!

At 4 weeks post partum I introduced cardio. Again just 30 minutes and every other day. I’m pleased to say I can still do it! My body feels good and I’m pleased I stuck with the gym throughout the pregnancy as I could never have done this with my previous pregnancies.

Week 5 it’s all starting to hurt as my body sales back up to exercising! My belly still looks a few months pregnant- not helped by all the carbs I’m craving whilst nursing Elliott but it’s nearly time to get back to the gym! 6 weeks and I’m clear to go back and baby can go in the creche. I’m excited to start training and instructing again.

In conclusion if your already in an exercise routine and become pregnant I would highly recommend continuing! (With the OK from your medical provider of course)

As an instructor, I will take my own experience to help ladies in the future who come to our classes in all stages of pregnancy to continue to enjoy their fitness lifestyle.

Here is a cute pic of my little one doing a push up 😁 I like to think he got those muscles from his momma!

Back to School 2019

8.26am Tuesday morning sat on the sofa just me & Teddy. No children around means 1 thing – school is back in session!!

12 weeks in the Florida heat is rough. This was our 4th summer break since moving stateside and it doesn’t get any easier. This summer will be remembered for the bickering 🤣

“Mom Leo looked at me” “Mom Izzy is annoying me” “Mom Poppy won’t share the tv”

This is whining at 8am by the way. My kids although love each other dearly and generally play together very well are also independent. Summer throws them together all day long for over 2 months, imagine that with your own siblings.

This summer will also be remembered for its simplicity though. My kids really are occupied with the simple things and a little bit of attention. The lemonade stand, making ice lollies, slime, hair colouring, swimming, indoor activities, playdates & trips for ice cream!

Workbooks and printable sheets kept Poppy quiet & happy too.

AD – Let’s take some time to help these animals find their names! Please visit Education.com for more beginning reading activities to strengthen and reinforce our skills!

They all knew mummy was more tired & hot than usual with the pregnancy and didn’t pester for me to do things out of my comfort zone.

I am also pleased & grateful to report we had some great behavior from Poppy! She slept slightly better than we’re all used to and some of her anxieties are being dealt with better too. For example the daily thunderstorms were not as much of an issue as they have been on previous years. Proud she is growing up and managing her fears.

Heading back into school shows me just how brave & confident they all are. Here in the states as the kids move grade the class members are mixed up so there is not the familiarity of old friends to settle the nerves. All of them went off happily.

My hopes for this school year are for them to achieve their goals – small & large. We need 2 more readers, Izzy to continue growing in her maths confidence but mainly I hope they enjoy it. School shouldn’t feel like a chore at this age it should be a fun and engaging environment.

As for me I’m now in the last trimester of this pregnancy and I have a lot of hours to fill every day. Let the nesting and napping commence! Once I’ve done my workouts, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and miscellaneous chores obviously 😁

The Babymoon

A babymoon is a vacation you take with your spouse before you have your baby – usually in the second trimester. It’s the last hurrah before baby enters your world

I get the idea of the babymoon, right destination and more importantly timing during the pregnancy could make for a most relaxing holiday before a baby comes along to rock your world!

However I’ve never had a babymoon even though I’m on my 4th pregnancy.

We did try before my 1st to do a last adults holiday. We saved hard once we decided we were going to start a family to get ourselves on an all inclusive holiday to Mexico. I fell pregnant right before. Trimester 1 symptoms the whole time, no alcohol, no appetite and some very early nights were how we spent that holiday! Not exactly what we had planned.

Pregnancy no.2 we had a baby already and I wasn’t ready to leave her.

By pregnancy no.3 we had actually done a few adult only mini breaks thanks to family helping with the girls and didn’t feel the need to do a ‘babymoon’.

Pregnancy no.4 I would have loved a babymoon but we were starting from scratch with buying baby items and paying for healthcare this time round so did not plan anything.

Thanks to help from family though with baby items and a work bonus for me we did manage to get enough cash together for a family holiday in the North Carolina Mountains. I wanted a break for the kids from the pools and the heat before they headed back for another school year.

What I didn’t realise was this would end up being our babymoon! A Hill family babymoon.

On the journey up to the mountains the kids happily played tablets, listened to podcasts, read and coloured for 6 hours. Leo did some particularly entertaining karaoke from the back seat!

I started to think how this journey wouldn’t be possible for at least another year once the baby was born. From past experience road trips much over 2 hours were a no go with screaming babies and feeding schedules to contend with.

As the weekend went on we were doing more & more activities that we won’t be doing again for a while.

Our 1st full day on holiday is a great example – 12 hours of activity with just a quick pit stop to change to swimwear and back again.

We went blueberry picking and gem mining in the morning then popped into a local town to look round the shops and have a nosey at the model railway. You know with a baby this would all take double the time once you’ve added in feeding and changing breaks.

Then a 1st for us all – river tubing. Kids have to be at least 42inches to do this. So a 5 year wait until we do this again as a family. The particular river we tubed down was not the lazy river we expected but more a combination of lazy and rapids. The kids were actually pretty terrified by the end of it 😂

When I mentioned it was good we’d tried it as would be our last chance for a while, the kids all agreed they would much rather have a baby brother than do that again! I also will be happy bot doing that again as I managed to get stuck on a rock bruising my tailbone in the process!

We then went on to a horse show with pony riding, a carousel and a very late dinner in a noisy 50s diner. It could be done with a baby but obviously would involve lots of feeding breaks and the potential for that dreaded over tiredness when baby is taken out of their routine.

The whole weekend the kids were all acting grown up. Sleeping when they were told to, dressing and feeding themselves, occupying each other allowing Rob and I a break too. We were doing simple things that I know will become more difficult again for a moment of time – eating in a restaurant without tears, a quick run into the supermarket, a late evening dip in the water.

I didn’t intentionally plan for this but kept getting this feeling that I should enjoy these moments now because it will all change. A good change I know, but still as with my previous pregnancies there is that fear of throwing the current routine and lifestyle out the window to carve ourselves a new one.

I talked to the kids about how things will be different once the baby is born. The unanimous response is we look forward to it in exchange for another baby boy!

This last minute holiday will definitely be a special set of memories for me. Our last one with our 3 kids before we move onto the Adventures as a family of 6.

The American labour & delivery ward, 1st impressions

I’m going to start with this bombshell – NO gas & air!!! I need all the shocked and confused emojis right now!


Rob and I visited the hospital where I have chosen to deliver baby 4. We went for a tour of the ward and to register for the birth. We started with forms – my details, his details and of course insurance information. Next was an introduction from one of the L&D nurses with some info about the ward and their policies.

A few things I noted…

Guests are allowed 24/7 and there is no maximum number. I told rob instantly no one is allowed in that room aside from him & the staff until the baby is born! There are already enough people involved in your business during a delivery without the extra well wishers. ***US friends take note 😅***

☝️ My cute visitors after my last birth.

Average stay is 2 days. I’m unsure right now whether this is good or bad. I know from experience being on a ward with 10 beds and new babies for 48 hours is no fun. It’s hard being away from older children with those hormones raging after a birth too. However here I get a private room, peace & quiet compared to home? A rest after the delivery maybe. We’ll see.

Food. So once I am admitted into the hospital (as soon as contractions start if I want to) I cannot eat or drink. Ice chips only!! What?? No tea and toast from friendly midwives. Surely all that hardwork deserves some bread & butter as a minimum. I’ll be weak and hangry without 🤔😬… poor Rob. Once baby is delivered though I get a menu, with options I can call and order! Imagine that compared to the trolley of indescribable food that gets wheeled to the end of the ward, where you have to drag your poor stitched up body down to get your plate. Watch this space I’m excited to try the post birth feast I’ll be ordering!

This is the meal I was given after Leo. Looks a little messy but I was so hungry after delivery (even though I was allowed to eat) Imagine when I’ve been starved what I’d eat if I had to!

Onto the pain relief. Nothing or an epidural are my options. As I said earlier no gas & air also no pethedine. I’m unsure of my plan right now.

Previously I have birthed once with an epidural and twice with just gas & air. I couldn’t have got through those last 2 births without the gas & air. It takes the edge off the painful contraction whilst making you feel like you’ve had 4 glasses of wine, the best!

My experience with the epidural wasn’t great, the birth felt very medical and I had trouble getting around afterwards due to my legs not having full feeling in them. I couldn’t feel when my body wanted to push and perhaps consequently Poppy went into distress and had to be delivered in 1 push (with the help of an episiotomy) covered in her own pooh. Not the best start for either of us in this motherhood journey.

However this birth goes I do feel confident in the hospital and their staff. I have experience and confidence in my own body and I have a great helper by my side. My OB team come with many recommendations and so far have been flawless in their care for me and baby. I’m looking forward to seeing a friendly face after the birth too, thanks to my good friend being one of the lactation consultants on the ward. 19 weeks and counting, wish me luck!

Diary of a Les Mills 1st time Trainee

My preparation for les mills tone instructor training is complete! I’ve spent 2 weeks learning my assigned tracks and replaced many of my usual gym classes with run throughs of the whole workout. My bedroom has become a studio – I’ve taught the kids and even Teddy how to execute some amazing choreography.

My snacks are packed, my homework before the course has been completed and I have all my digital files ready to go.

Alarm is set to leave nice and early both saturday and Sunday – 7.30am!!

Now to try and sleep through the night with no interruptions from my bladder or Poppy 😐

Day 1

Ok I’m laying in my bathtub 14 hours after I left the house for my lm tone instructor training.

I have completed a masterclass, 2 technique bootcamps, 1 presentation class (presenting & participating) and hours of choreography practice. Throw in a load of key element, coaching, scripting, position & execution training and your getting the idea of how my day has been.

Did I mention I’m 14 weeks pregnant and carrying round a larger than average bump whilst doing this??

By the time I got home at 6.20pm I was physically and mentally exhausted.

Also very emotional- thanks hormones. Although proud of myself for getting through day 1 the thought of day 2 is daunting.

My self confidence is dwindling as I think about what tomorrow holds for me. I know we’ll be doing at least 2 run throughs of the entire workout including presenting and shadowing tracks and my body hurts so bad right now!

Can I keep my choreography in my head whilst also instructing participants in the movement, direction and safe execution of the exercise?

Do I look as terrified as I feel wearing that microphone?

All through today I’ve had messages wishing me good luck. Telling me I can do it, how great I’ll be instructing this programme. So if everyone else is seeing it why aren’t I?

In reality I know I can. Thanks to the YMCA local tone team I have had plenty of practice. I knew the choreography for all the tracks, not just mine and I had barely any adjustments to make for my technique.

Self doubt is a difficult thing to deal with. I had a conversation with izzy at bedtime tonight about how as a kid you do some difficult things (Her state maths test is Monday) I told her these difficult things are something she has to get through and she’ll finish feeling that little bit more confident. So now to put my advice into action!

Day 2 I can do this, I will do this. I’m showing myself and more importantly my kids that perseverance, dedication and confidence will get you there in the end!

Or in the words of my good friend I’ll just “Fake it till I make it”

Day 2

So from feeling daunted to feeling elated! Day 2 done and stage 1 of becoming a Les Mills tone instructor completed and passed!

I woke up ready to take on day 2. Feeling confident I knew my choreography 100%. From there you can coach and connect.

I was eager to take the microphone – to show I had listened to my feedback and adjusted my technique and script from day 1.

As I did my 1st presentation of the day I found myself looking at the participants and seeing them smiling and encouraging me. Such a boost to see they are happily following along with your instruction. Day 1 I don’t even remember seeing any faces from nerves.

Second presentation I’ll go as far as to say I had fun! I really enjoyed instructing and being part of the workout.

Day 2 was still very physical including the Tone challenge but we also did a lot of learning. A few lightbulb moments occurred when I realised I knew a lot of what is expected of me. I have such good gym role models I see and hear the elements of great instructors every class.

The training team all did a great job and encouraged each other along the way. Many of us were 1st time attendees to a Les Mills training programme. Looking around the room we were all different people – some younger, some older, new moms, expectant mom, fitness fanatics or casual class attendee. Tone is the class for everyone, all levels and ages so this mix of future instructors was perfect!

Our training instructor for the weekend was a compassionate and supportive person who was really trying to send us off with the techniques and knowledge we need to become instructors. She gave great constructive criticism and amazing positive feedback.

Next step is to learn the 45 minute class (Another 10 tracks) choreography 100% and send in a video assessment of me teaching, preferably before this bump of mine gets much bigger! The release is fresh in my mind (after doing it so many times over 2 days!) and I’m feeling confident and motivated to start this new journey!

Watch this space…..

Surprise- we’re expecting!

So this Brummiemummy is having a stateside baby!!

Not something I imagined I’d be writing about but we are all so excited for baby Hill no.4. I know a lot of family & friends were surprised at our news, and I figured my blog is a great way to keep everyone up to date with how we are doing. Times like this make the distance seem a little farther, so hopefully this will help fill the space a little.

I’ve been through a few pregnancies but never with big kids and never in the old U S of A! So join me as I write through our experience.

I’m 13 weeks now and I found out I was pregnant right at 4 weeks. I’ve always been very intune with my hormones and found out early, which makes that 1st trimester a long slog.

I’m grateful I’ve not had too many of the early pregnancy symptoms this time around. I have had the nausea, food aversions and tiredness but it doesn’t feel like the same extreme as previously. Maybe because I don’t work fulltime, have little ones to chase after or because I live a fitter / healthier lifestyle than before. Still spending a lot of hours in my gym.

The kids have known for around 3 weeks now. I told them because as per usual my stomach muscles gave in very early on and let my secret out with a small bump. People have been congratulating me since 10 weeks 😅

The girls were excited straight away, especially Poppy with her love of babies. Leo was a little more shocked simply stating “Nope” with a very serious expression. Took some convincing from Izzy that mummy really does have a baby in there and not just a big breakfast!

In the UK at this point I’d maybe have had 2 appointments by now. The booking in with the community midwife and the inital 12ish weeks dating scan.

So far here I’ve had 3, with another scheduled for a few weeks time. 3 scans have already been done – 8 weeks, 10 weeks and 12 weeks. The 1st two I’ll admit I could barely make out the baby!

Week 12 scan was great though. Very clear pictures of baby who was waving, kicking and rolling the whole time. Much to Poppys delight who came to the appointment on a teacher training day. We may have even had a gender reveal whilst there…..

Unlike in the UK I chose where I will have my pre natal, delivery and post natal care. An obstetrician has to be found that practices at the hospital where you would like to deliver.

The decision for me was based on proximity to our home and personal experiences from other moms. There is so much choice it was overwhelming. Plus throw in the complications of health insurance payments and I was very glad when I’d finally made the decision!

I will be touring the hospital in a few weeks time but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be amazing (For the price we pay it should be!) I’ll update once we’ve been.

Keep an eye on my Facebook and Instagram pages for any updates and I’ll write again soon xx

Meeting Our PPP Family

Spring 2015 a letter arrives through our door. It tells us Poppy our eldest daughter, has an extremely rare genetic mutation. What the experts think is the reason for her development difficulties. This was 2.5 years after submitting her blood samples to a study looking at children with an undiagnosed developmental problem.

She was one of 11 children known to have a gene mutation PPP2R5D.

Fast forward 2 years and I happen to come across a Facebook page for families with children diagnosed with PPP. I obviously joined straight away as did Rob and we instantly had a connection with the parents on there.

We got to see pictures and descriptions of the other children. Discuss signs, symptoms, therapies etc with parents in the exact same boat as us. The group felt like a life line to us.

For the last 2 years we regularly post and chat on the family page but between this group of parents it has become so much more!

PPP2R5D is now known as Jordans Syndrome. Named after one of the 1st children to be diagnosed.

Jordan’s Guardian Angel’s (JGA) is the charity that has been developed to support the children and families. Headed by Joe Lang, Jordan’s father.

Through this charity connections were made with some amazing minds to look at a cure for Jordan’s Syndrome! Huge donations have been granted along with many events family members have put on to raise funds for 9 universities to work together on a solution for our children. There is also a team of dedicated professionals working with families, researchers and medical personnel to raise awareness of Jordan’s Syndrome and the work the charity is doing.

JGA strives to connect families and as part of this organises a bi annual conference for all family members.

2019 was held in San Francisco and we got to attend!!

With the help of family, friends, neighbors and colleagues we raised enough funds to give back to the charity to cover our travel and accommodation expenses.

From the second we arrived at the hotel reception we were seeing faces we recognised. Such a surreal feeling knowing so much about families you have never even met before.

Families had travelled from all over the world to attend- England, Sweeden, Ireland, Australia, Argentina, USA

Long scary journeys were conquered with our kids to get to that hotel and spend time with our PPP family.

The weekends activities were kicked off with dinner and a disco. What better way for the kids to meet than on the dance floor!


Over the 2 days we had updates from the research team and the head of JGA. Explaining how a cure is going to be developed, the process of having the treatment approved and how it will be accessible to all the children across the world.

Parents got together to discuss fundraising events & ideas, dealing with difficult behaviours, effective therapies, good communication, self care and even the siblings had their own workshop.

In the background the children were all being cared for in a variety of settings – the pool, art, dance, cooking and music classes! Mine were enjoying it so much they didn’t want to leave!

The weekend was very emotional for all there but so rewarding. Meeting all the families face to face, seeing our children playing and chatting together.

Seeing the amazing dedication of the whole JGA and research team to our children and their treatment was the best feeling.

We’re in good hands and we will get to the point where we can help Poppy but we still need your help. If you follow our story and Poppy’s progress please (if you don’t already) follow our social media pages.



We are raising awareness and need strength in numbers!

The Road to Spartan

29th November 2018 I signed up for my 1st Spartan Sprint, a 5k race with 22 – 24 obstacles. After signing up I pulled some videos up on YouTube and instantly regretted my decision!

Panic, fear, self doubt and amusement at myself followed. What was I thinking??

Anyway, not to waste the $100 I’d paid to run I pushed the feelings aside and decided instead to give it my best go. Training and learning were now my focus for the 11 weeks or so I had before the race. (Minus 3 weeks when I was in England)

I ended up in a Spartan because a few of my Flagler YMCA instructors that regularly run the races set up a team to give us newbies the opportunity to train and run with support. My bestie was signing up for it, so seemed a fun challenge to take on together.

I’ve been a member at Flagler YMCA for 2 years now, steadily increasing the classes and programmes that I attend.

I was attending around 5/6 classes a week at the Y already and my first goal was to increase that to 7/8. This meant some days doing 2.5 hours of classes to work on my stamina. The race would take a minimum 2 hours to complete as a team and I wanted to be sure I’d get through it.

Whilst in England I did some outdoor running. To my surprise I could actually do 5k in the rain, wind and over hills! This was a great confidence booster because before I started at the Y I could get about 100 metres before needing to walk.

So my cardio and stamina were getting there but I needed technique.

The Y team attended a local gym with a Spartan obstacle set up for training sessions.

I managed to attend twice. The training was great and without it I would have struggled with many of the obstacles! However the pain the following day was horrid and I got some pretty immense bruises from rope climbing. Made me pretty nervous for the pain and suffering during the actual race 😂

We also have monkey bars set up at the Y that I tried to go on each day I was there. Still have the calluses a month later.

As the day got closer the support and encouragement within the team pushed us all along happily to the start line. We were going to have fun firstly and if we managed to complete a few obstacles along the way even better.

February 24th 1pm. After jumping over a wall just to get to the start line the rain begins. Ice cold sideways rain as we are sent off for our race. Jumping hay bales to run up and over slippy mud hills, reaching the monkey bars as the 1st big obstacle. The 1 obstacle I’m really sad I failed after training so hard but the rain meant I couldn’t grip the bar to move even just 1 rung.

Throughout the race I had successes – the rope being my big 1 but also failures. I ran through mud up to my thighs, climbed walls, went head first under muddy water, threw a spear, slid down a huge mud hill under barbed wire and jumped over fire. I also had the time of my life!

We worked as a team helping each other over obstacles and giving encouragement when having to face our fears or the going got tough.

Towards the end of the race I saw my family waiting for me at the finish line. The motivation I needed to get there. To show my children mummy could do whatever she put her mind to. To show them having a fit & healthy lifestyle is fun and to show my hubby I can do mud races too 😉

I’ve definitely got the Spartan bug now and can’t wait to do my next race in 2020!