“Watch a momma stepping over an Ottawa snowbank with a two-year-old on her hip, a car seat with a baby in her other arm, and a giant bag strapped to her body,”
advises Kate Laird, owner and head coach of Love Your Body Fitness.
“Moms need to be so strong.”
In the event you need more proof, drop into Laird’s busy studio at 332 Richmond Rd. There, you’ll find pregnant, post-natal, toddler-minding, and working moms of older children strength training, and otherwise warding off or recovering from pelvic floor dysfunction, post-pregnancy diastasis recti, physical injury, and the nagging fatigue and physical demands of raising a family.
Love Your Body Fitness is keeping moms physically and mentally fit.
“I fell in love with supporting moms as they went through pregnancy and postnatal recovery,”
The smiley, sculpted Laird, who worked as a personal trainer through two pregnancies of her own, explains. “Supporting women through this special, crazy time is so rewarding. They take care of everyone else all day, on no sleep. They really need someone to remind them of their health and fitness needs. I teach moms that when they make time for themselves, they’ll feel better, have more energy and patience, and manage the sleep deprivation.”
Such was the response from Laird’s target audience that after just a few short years, she took a gamble on her own studio. It’s been packed ever since. As further evidence of Laird’s first-hand understanding of the life of modern mothers, she even invites her clients to bring their kids. “During our regular classes, we only allow children that can stay put—so, babes in a car seat or older children,” Laird qualifies. “But, during our popular Mommy Bootcamp, anything goes. We don’t do kettlebell swings or barbell work with littles on the run. We let the kids run wild, while we all keep an eye on them all. The kids love joining the workout, hanging on the rings, getting out all the equipment.
When you let kids just be kids, they have so much fun, and the moms can just focus on getting sweaty!”
Laird’s moms aren’t just sweaty, they’re happy. “Mom groups are notorious for judging how the other mommas are doing things,” Laird points out. “That doesn’t fly here. We are a judgment-free zone. We truly have no mama drama, just lots of love! LYB is like this bubble of happy fitness where anyone can belong.”
Laird’s palpable enthusiasm for what she does began in her teens, when she taught swimming and downhill skiing. After relying on a personal trainer to get her through a series of injuries, she became inspired to go into the profession herself.
Then came love, children, and finally, LYB. While Laird teaches everything under the sun, her most valuable lesson is motivation, a brittle commodity these days. “Motivation has never been as challenging as it is right now,” the curly-haired blonde posits. “After 2.5 years of pandemic, people are burnt out, stress levels are high, and many moms and others don’t have the energy to get to the gym. But our program is built to support people through those times. It’s based on the three pillars people need to keep motivated: community, connection, and accountability.”
LYB certainly offers all three, both in person and, thanks to the aforementioned pandemic, online. “Oh man…,” Laird remembers ruefully. “When the pandemic hit, I just knew that my clients were going to be the hardest hit. Here they were, teaching multiple grades at home and/or caring for preschoolers, no playdates allowed—parks were even closed! I completely changed my offerings to serve this busy group. We moved our classes to online, changed them from 55 to 30 minutes, and built in all of the accountability discussed above.”
“Many clients who had never been able to stick to a program were able to stick to the one online. Their mental and physical health soared!” That’s why now, LYB offers the best of both worlds. “You can attend live zoom classes or come to the gym—and if you can’t make either,” adds Laird, “we provide a recording of the first morning class that can be followed any time.”
All conducted, it should be added, by a team of multi-certified coaches. “Our team is incredible,” gushes Laird. “I’ve been in the industry for eighteen years and I have never worked anywhere with such a wonderful team. Plus, we regularly bring in other experts: Olympic lifters, pelvic floor physiotherapists, scientists who specialize in mental health…the list goes on.”
Give us your busy, your sleep deprived, your sufferers of negative body image—and their kids. Laird and her team at Love Your Body Fitness will teach them that feeling good again is child’s play.
By Dan Lalande