“And next we have…oh! Next we have a 44 year old!”
The announcer sounded genuinely surprised as Anna stepped onto the catwalk, her blue sequined bikini sparkling in the spotlight.
She placed 5th in the ‘Fitness Model’ category against twelve women aged 18-32 that day. Not bad for a 44 year old mother of two, indeed…takes a fair bit of being comfortable in your own skin, I imagine.
“Miriam, I’m so comfortable, it scares me,” she says laughingly.
Getting to this point wasn’t easy. It took a combination of constant irritations along with some of life’s major turning points.
“Dad passing away was a big turning point. I decided not to accommodate other people so much anymore. I guess I also allowed myself to get a bit desensitized to other things.”
“You do become selfish – it sounds terrible, but it’s true. You start putting yourself first – just a little bit more.”
To those who don’t know her, Anna may sound like a woman who’s decided to follow her own course in life. What you don’t know is she’s also the most dedicated, hard working mother and unstoppable force of a woman I have EVER met.
As a personal trainer the results she achieves for clients border on miraculous. At home, it’s a similar story. Mother to two teenage sons, her eldest is intelligent to the point she’s dubbed him ‘The Professor’, while the youngest was diagnosed with autism at age 2.
“When David was first diagnosed, my world stopped spinning. I had to redirect everything – it was make or break. The first three days I just wanted to die because I didn’t know what I was in for. After three days in the foetal position I thought: I could die – which is not fair on my kids – or I could grasp it and run with it to see what we can do. And that’s what we did.”
“I did lose myself for a while there. I didn’t care what happened to me anymore. I just wanted to be the best I could for them. And with 34 hours a week of intense therapy it does put a strain on your marriage – everything changes.”
Doesn’t she EVER get tired?
I’ve been asking her this for years and was hoping to get a different answer this time. No such luck:
“No – never. Time out and slowing down is not an option.”
I remember driving her home after going out for drinks one night. She jumped out of the car and announced she’d just quickly whip up some zucchini fritters for tomorrow before heading to bed. It was 1am in the morning!
“As long as I look after myself – like a car – fine tuned & well fed, I’m fine. I drink a litre of water before I leave the house in the morning. I mostly do clean eating but still cook Italian meals for the family.”
Now that she’s older and wiser, I wonder what she values most in life?
“Number 1 is time with my kids and Number 2 is my health.”
“Without your mental & physical being you don’t have much. I just want my kids to remember me being a strong mum. I want that to be my legacy.”
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