This week we are high-fiving FiTONIC’s featured athlete: Shakira Akabusi! Shakira is on a mission to “shatter the stereotype” around motherhood and fitness. When she became pregnant she was told by several people that she would, “never be active again”. Since then, she has not only beaten her own fitness records but is helping moms everywhere stay in shape and be good examples of health to their children. This is a powerful interview where you will want to be “ Strong like mum”!
Tell us about yourself and your fitness journey:
Having grown up around my father (Athlete, Kriss Akabusi) and my mother who was a personal trainer, being active has always been a big part of my life. I became a personal trainer 7 years ago and since having my first son, I too specialize in pre and postnatal fitness. I find that joining my expertise with my experience as a mum, allows me to have a unique insight into pre and postnatal fitness and help other women achieve their fitness goals after birth.
Having always enjoyed the track, I decided to get back to running and challenge myself after having children. I fell back in love with the sport immediately. I enjoy the challenge but also I really appreciate that sports give me an outlet. It's the best way for me to recuperate, reset and approach situations with a positive attitude.
What first inspired you to pursue this path?
I was constantly told during my first pregnancy of all the things I'd never do again. I heard comments such as 'you'll never be active again', 'you'll never be confident', 'you'll never wear a Bikini', 'you'll never run as fast' etc... as someone who's always been active, I was important to me to maintain a healthy lifestyle after becoming a mother.
I also want my children to know that they can achieve their goals, no matter of other people's opinions. So I went back to my roots as a track athlete and also created StrongLikeMum. Since then, I've achieved a season's best and ran a PB in the 200m! I really hope that my story can help to inspire other women to know that they can still be confident, sexy, strong, healthy etc whether mothers or not.
What do you believe to be your greatest strength & weakness?
I believe my greatest strength is my passion. I'm a strong believer that you can achieve whatever you set your mind too if you can focus enough and keep the passion. I'm extremely passionate about being a mother but also about sports. I also believe that it's a great strength to admit weaknesses ( and then work on them). Never be afraid to ask for help, whether in business, parenting, relationships etc.
I believe my greatest weakness is holding on to mistakes. It's important to learn from mistakes but you must also let them go and move on. Focus on the NOW, rather than what has been. I'm learning that and it's making a big difference.
"Never be afraid to ask for help, whether in business, parenting, relationships etc."
Have you worked with coaches?
Yes! Learning is crucial to progression. As an athlete, my coach has been instrumental to my development.
What is the hardest part about what you do?
Balancing my work and training with motherhood. I'm passionate about sports and also StrongLikeMum but ultimately my family is my priority and sometimes this means I have to miss training or events.
What is the most rewarding?
Watching my children enjoying sports! I love seeing them enjoy the outdoors and leading healthy lifestyles themselves.
What is your nutrition like? Any tips?
I'm a firm believer that you should listen to your body. Your body will tell you what it needs, however people can sometimes mis-read the signs. For example, it's important to know that sometimes when you're craving sugary sweets, it's actually your body needing more carbohydrates. The role of Protein and Fiber is also important. Gut health is crucial to a healthy lifestyle!
Looking forward to the future, who do you want to be?
I want to be a strong role model for my children and if possible inspire other women to Shatter the Stereotype and create a motherhood journey for themselves.
BIG thank you to Shakira for being our Featured Athlete!
You can connect with her at:
Facebook: (@stronglikemum) - https://www.facebook.com/
Do you know someone who should be featured as our Athlete of the Week? Check out more information here!
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