For some of us, fitness can save our sanity. It can make you stronger than you ever thought you would be. Fitness can be escapism from all the stress you may face in your life but also fitness is your go-to-place to develop and get stronger. Meet Michelle Scott, owner of the sensational new marketing agency, Embrace Social Media. She's the epitome of fit mum inspo, ensuring that she is the rock of the family, a badass boss-mum but also she makes sure she prioritizes her health and incorporates fitness into her life, every.week.
If you're ever feeling like you need some motivation, read below and meet Michelle.
I’ve always enjoyed exercise - as a teenager, I went through certain ‘obsessions’. It started with my birthday gift of a Reebok Step which I jumped on and off every night for a good 6 months or so - how my parents coped with the constant thud of me ‘stepping’ above our lounge every night I’ll never know! Then there was the exercise video obsession - oh how my teenage self wished I could look like Cindy Crawford or Cher’s personal trainer Keli Roberts. Then there was the morning run stage which I loved - I grew up in Dunbar and running the coastal trail route around Winterfield golf course was glorious.
My love for exercise continued into my twenties and early thirties and mainly consisted of overpriced gym memberships in Edinburgh, interspersed with hiking or swimming during my round the world travel when I was 25.
When I fell pregnant with my first child in 2009, I fully intended to continue on my fitness journey and regularly attended pregnancy yoga and swimming - but 6 months into pregnancy, my hips, legs, and pelvis were in agony. I could barely walk and turning from one side to the other in bed at night was excruciating, leaving me with an immense amount of pain the next morning. I was eventually diagnosed with SPD (symphisis pubis dysfunction) and signed off work. I was housebound for the rest of the pregnancy which drove me up the wall - and I couldn’t understand why I suffered so badly with it considering I was pretty fit pre-pregnancy!
Amazingly, within a week of giving birth, the pain had almost disappeared and I was able to walk freely again. But my planned return to fitness post-pregnancy soon fell to the bottom of my list of priorities as I was hit with the news that my new baby girl had various problems. And so a long, tumultuous journey into the life of parenting a child with special needs began. A journey that consisted of countless hospital appointments, tests, therapies and one big scary open heart surgery to save her little life. Years later, she was diagnosed with a very rare genetic condition, Med13L, which still impacts our life now that she is 10 years old with her main symptoms being a severe learning disability and autism which results in her being non-verbal and fully incontinent.
But this story isn’t about that journey, it’s about how I reintroduced fitness to my life alongside being a special needs mum, and a female business owner (I run Embrace Social Media, a social media agency that helps small business owners get the very best out of their social media channels).
It all happened back in April 2017 when a friend asked if I fancied trying the new Sports + Fitness Hub (The Hub) that was opening up in Dunbar. I tentatively said yes, scared of how unfit I might have become. But after that first class, I was hooked. Feeling that escape from my crazy life, enjoying the adrenaline buzz that I’d so missed from exercise hooked me in again from the word go.
Two and half years later, I’m now an annual member of the Hub and fit in at least 5 tough classes a week. It’s not always easy fitting them in but they’ve become a priority in my crazy life so I make time for them and try to plan my diary around them.
No class is ever the same at The Hub so it constantly challenges me and pushes me that little bit further. From spinning and running to bodyweight exercises and weight-lifting, I do it all. I’m in my forties and feel fitter and healthier than ever before - I’ve also found a love for obstacle course race events, and have completed Total Warrior, Tough Mudder and a Beast Race in Inverness (with the highlight being a swim through Loch Ness, stunning!) to name a few.
But the benefits aren’t all physical. There’s no denying that my life can be stressful and busy but regular exercise helps to keep me on an even keel mentally, and actually gives me more energy - which I need to cope with my daughter and her 7-year-old brother!
Fitness makes me feel more empowered as a woman/mum/business owner and I urge everyone to give it a go - if I can manage it, so can you!