By Maya Garcia
I recently had an opportunity to interview my dear friend and U.S. Master of Sport, Bonnie Mullaney. In this video, she performs 153 jerks with the purple (20kg) in ten minutes. She is not only one of the most amazing female competitors to grace the bell, but also a dedicated full-time mom! Below, Bonnie shares her personal experience and insights on integrating Kettlebell lifting into her life. Enjoy.
Why do you think moms in particular would benefit from kettlebell lifting?
Kettlebell is a good sport for anyone to do, but I think it is ideal for any mom. Moms usually have a little extra, unwanted weight to get rid of, and a whole lot (of self) to gain back. I think the mental benefit from kettlebell lifting is almost more important than the physical benefit. You get a humble dose of self confidence and a mental strength that carries over into your every day life.
Most moms need all of the benefits that kettlebells have to offer: weight loss, mental strength, physical strength, social exposure, and more. It’s common for moms to feel guilty about doing anything for themselves too. It’s a strange feeling to all of a sudden one day have your whole existence be based on the wellbeing of your tiny baby. I felt extremely guilty leaving my baby one to two hours a day to do kettlebells. Colby was only 6 weeks old when I started. It was a weird feeling leaving him that young even for just a couple hours. He was always with his grandma or father and always had a pumped bottle. I knew he was safe and healthy, but I still felt like I should be home taking care of my baby, not “playing” at the gym. I didn’t realize how much kettlebells would influence my life as a mother. It made me a happier, a more confident person, which made me a happy, better mother. My main goal in life is to be a good mom. Every other goal I have is secondary to that. I believe anything that makes you a better mother, you should try.
What has been your solution to balancing mommy time with training time?
Preparation… As long as I have all my daily responsibilities taken care of, then I don’t stress or feel guilty about doing things for myself such as kettlebell lifting. I’m not extremely organized or neurotic about my house being clean, but as long as there is food on the table and in the fridge, there are clothes to wear, and the bills are paid, then I can justify taking some time out of the day for myself. Guilt has been a huge, unexpected factor of being a mom. Since day one I felt guilty about doing or buying anything for myself because suddenly you have somebody else to think about 24-7. One of the most important things I have learned is that you must make some time for yourself to do something you love because if you are not happy, it will directly impact your family. A happy family starts with happy parents!
Does your son watch you train/compete? What does he know about kettlebells?
He doesn’t watch me train because I wouldn’t get anything done, but he has gone to all my events. Everything we do is as a family. We go to Jason’s [her husband] softball and motocross races and my kettlebell events together. Jason has supported me like I have supported him. I would never want to leave either one of them at home. They both give me so much motivation. It is so important to me to have them there. At the national event in Vegas last May, Jason took care of Colby all day and made sure to have Colby in the room with me when I did all my events. He also had flowers delivered to our hotel room. Colby had fun and got to play with the kettlebells on the stage. I have a couple pictures where his tongue is hanging out because he’s concentrating so hard on picking up the giant bell. Having them there brings a whole other element to the trip; another level of emotions. I still would have been happy even if I didn’t win because I had my family there. The best part of having them there was right after each event they would give me a giant hug that made me feel so special and loved.
Maya and her husband Steve have an incredible training facility in the San Francisco, CA area. Make sure you check it out at www.icechamber.com