Meet our Mom Panel. Experts in nurturing and multi-tasking, this group of GORUCK moms are leaders within their communities, not to mention their households, and understand that prioritizing their health and wellness are not only good for their sanity, but also great for their children to see and emulate.
Miranda Alcatraz, Founder of Street Parking, mom to Knox (4 ½), Banner (2) and Crew (9 weeks)
Bianca Navarrete, GORUCK’s Events Operations Administrator, mom to Enzo (1)
Katie Hammill, Certified Nutritional Practitioner and owner of Katie Hammill Nutrition, mom to Ruby (7), Ashley (10)
Mel Bathen, SCARS Technician, mom to Behr (16 months)
Stevan, GORUCK’s Public Relations Manager, mom to Jaye (5), Camden (2), Beau (4 months)
Sara Wilkinson, Founder of The Step Up Foundation, mom to Kinsley (20) and Hudson (17)
Emily McCarthy, GORUCK’s Head of Community, mom to Natalie (10), Jack (7), Ryan (5)
FROM THE MOMS
What’s your favorite GORUCK product and why?
- Miranda – I just LOVE the GORUCK Sandbags 2.0. I didn’t do a lot of sandbag training when I was training for competitive CrossFit. It’s something that we incorporate several times a week in the main Street Parking programming though and has become easily one of my favorite tools. I am also super pumped about the new Simple Training Sandbags too. I love that there is a simpler and even more accessible (for the price-point) option to get a sandbag in the hands of MORE people!
- Bianca– The 40lb GORUCK Sandbag is my go-to product for training. It’s super versatile, portable, and a lot of people underestimate it.
- Katie – The GORUCK Plate Carrier 3.0. I love that the plate carrier is smaller and more streamlined for hot Florida summers.
- Mel– Rucker. Hands down. I load my 20lb Ruck plate and have room for all the baby gear.
- Stevan – GR1. This bag is so versatile; I can ruck with it while pushing my stroller and walking the dog, plus load everything I need for a quick trip. Being hands-free is key when traveling with kiddos and my GR1 makes that possible.
- Sara – My GR1 Heritage Ruck. I travel with it everywhere and used it at Sandlot Jax to complete my last CHAD1000X.
- Emily – I love my Ballistic Trainers. Currently I have the ones with the subtle camo bottoms. I wear these kicks for all types of different workouts – Sandbag and Ruck Training workouts, longer distance rucks like our Star Courses, and just around town.
As moms, we’re always having to schedule time for ourselves so we can rest and reset. What are some activities you try to incorporate into your daily routine to reset?
- Miranda – Well, at the moment I have a 9 week old – so a shower is a treat. But I do try to get outside in the sun for a walk every day (although I am not usually alone for these). I make sure to get my fitness in – and I enjoy reading for a bit once baby is asleep every night. It’s not much – but it’s what I can do at the moment.
- Bianca– Get the workout in. I’ve been a mom for 11 months now and if I’ve learned one thing it’s that skipping the workout (however short/easy it is) is a huge disservice to yourself and your family. Moms need alone time, so why not make sure we use that alone time for our health.
- Katie – My daily workout is non-negotiable. Running, tennis, functional weight training or just a long walk on the beach. Daily movement is ME time but also when I connect with my tribe of fellow moms. I guess you could call me an Extroverted Introvert, I need both alone time and to recharge with the energy of my community. I also love 30 minutes in the infrared sauna and eating my meals outdoors without my phone.
- Mel– Getting a ruck in after work. Even if it’s just a quick mile before dinner, 10 minutes or an hour. It gives me time to reset my brain and get a little sweaty.
- Stevan – I look at my calendar every Sunday to see what the week holds and then schedule my workouts and yoga to fit with the kids’ schedules and work. Working out, yoga and rucking give me the energy I need to jump back into mom mode.
- Sara – HA! I’m not sure many of us are good at resting no matter the ages of our kids. I take my mornings slow with coffee and a book. I always read at least 30-45 min each morning. A mid day brain break is either walking my dogs listening to a podcast or riding my skateboard.
- Emily – A little while ago, I heard that you should find something that you are pretty bad at to fully enjoy it (and not feel pressure to perfect or monetize it.) So I’ve picked up skateboarding and surfing. I’m really not good but it allows me to relax and just do the thing for fun. Also, a long ruck listening to an audiobook or podcast feels pretty great.
What is a lesson you learned from your mom that you’re passing along to your kids?
- Miranda – My mom was/is just the most PATIENT person on Earth. Something I am not at all. I am always trying to get better every day. She had 6 kids and I am still in awe of how that is even possible.
- Bianca– Stay positive. Not always the easiest task, but a very important one if you want to live a happy life. Negative thoughts will always make their way in, but it’s up to you to kick them to the curb and keep a positive attitude. The energy you put out into the world is the energy that will be returned to you.
- Katie – Don’t Make Assumptions. My mom loves the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and challenged us to incorporate them into our lives. This is the one she reminds me of the most often. I think it has made me a more inquisitive and open person. I truly believe we all have more in common than our differences and if we ask before assuming we can better uncover those.
- Mel– ‘Sit steady in the boat’ aka be patient. Being less quick to judge and working to be patient with yourself and others. It’s a good lesson towards being more empathic.
- Stevan – My mom always lived a healthy lifestyle – she worked out, ate right, and took time for herself, all while being the best mom. She taught me to have balance and always encouraged me to go after my dreams so I wouldn’t have regrets.
- Sara – I will never force them to be someone they are not. It is my job to guide them through rough spots, but to me it’s more about allowing them to grow wherever they are at the moment. Of course I want to celebrate their successes, but I also want to be there to watch them pick themselves up when they stumble. I am a constant for them – they are my priority and I will always be there. ALWAYS.
- Emily – My mom has always been there for my brother and me – through good and bad times. She provides us with unconditional love, no strings attached. That’s the kind of love I want my children to have from me.
How are you spending Mother’s Day?
- Miranda – Not sure to be honest. Still in the blur of the newborn phase. We have a pretty strict rule of Sundays being a family day – so most likely the park and hanging at home!
- Bianca– I will be spending my Mother’s Day in Maui with my fiancé. Grandma (or Ema as we call her in our house) to the rescue!
- Katie– The same way I always do. A run with my best mom friends, a walk or bike ride with the kids, homemade brunch – always GF raspberry pancakes with a matcha latte and then an afternoon at the beach. I make my girls pose for the same picture every year at the beach and I love seeing how much they’ve grown.
- Mel – Teaching yoga, drinking beer and playing in the sunshine with my family. Easy day close to home.
- Stevan – I’m taking a pre-Mothers Day girls trip w/ my best friends, who all happen to be moms. It’s a small miracle we got this on the calendar! On Mother’s Day, I’ll be spending the day at the beach with my husband and three kids and soaking it in.
- Sara – My daughter lives far away and it’s just my son at home, so no real plans. I’m sure the day will include a skateboard ride – he’s my favorite person to skate with.
- Emily – I’ll be coming back from a custom GORUCK event in North Carolina with my 10 year old daughter to spend the afternoon with my boys, my mom and mother-in-law.
As a mom, why is it important for you to workout?
- Miranda – For me fitness is SO MANY things. It is what makes me feel like myself. It is a form of meditation and stress relief. It is also what is going to allow me to be a very active and involved parent to 3 boys.
- Bianca– Staying active has always been part of my life and I want to pass along that mentality to my kid. I was never the kid who played video games or watched Saturday morning cartoons. We were always at a soccer field or the beach enjoying the fresh air and staying active. Additionally, I want to make sure that I remain healthy so that I can keep up with my kid- kids are deceivingly fast!
- Katie – My mental sanity. If I miss a day of movement, it is not my body that feels it but my mind. It clears my head, builds my focus and increases my creativity. My best ideas come to me on a run. I also think it’s incredibly important to instill this as a daily routine for our whole family. Exercise and movement is just who we are and the girls love it too.
- Mel – So I can keep up with my little! I need to be in shape so I don’t miss out on all the fun activities he will want to try as he gets older. It’s a great way to get the family involved too. Mom and Dad get exercise from a good ruck and babe gets fresh air. Win win.
- Stevan – Working out, yoga and rucking give me the energy I need to jump back into mom mode. Also, I believe in leading by example and if my kids see me prioritize my health, they’ll have an interest to do the same.
- Sara – Since I was a kid, exercise has been part of my routine- it’s embedded in my DNA and I have to do it. Once I started getting into CrossFit and coaching, I recognized it as a healthy symbol for my kids. Healthy not just in lifestyle but also making them see you won’t always be good at something, you might fail many times. I hope having them see me work towards a weakness over and or being dedicated to a goal will leave a lasting impression on them. I like to remind them “we can do hard things.”
- Emily – There was a moment during a really difficult WOD at a Bragg Heavy event where I could not physically drag my partner’s body any farther. At the risk of sounding dramatic, that moment stuck with me and has been my inspiration to stay physically active. I want to be able to carry my loved ones to safety if ever faced with that challenge.
As a mom, what is your training tip?
- Miranda – Lower your expectations. Success isn’t in your “results” but in your consistency. If you showed up. If you did SOMETHING. You win. Period. Some days you will have more energy, more time, more enthusiasm. Some days you will go through the motions. Expect that. Embrace it. Do it anyway.
- Bianca – Make sure you get the workout out in – even if it means your kid becomes the weight. I promise if you are overhead pressing your child, you won’t drop them as quickly as you would the sandbag.
- Katie – Walking, rucking, biking are all workouts. As a mom your schedule is not always your own. So making it to a gym every day might not be feasible, but using the outdoors and your home allows you to get your training in no matter what life throws at you.
- Mel – Surrender. We are, as Moms, continuously running all day long with the children, work, staying active, and we need to take a moment to slow down or stop completely. Take that bubble bath or sit in peace for 5 minutes. You need it to stay 100% for yourself and the family.
- Stevan – Prioritize your workouts. You have to schedule it, like you would schedule a doctor’s appointment or dinner with friends. And when the kids get sick, or something comes up, give yourself grace and know that tomorrow is a new day.
- Sara – First, it’s ok to break from routine. Maybe you miss your gym/workouts for a few days or even weeks – allow life to happen and don’t beat yourself up. If you feel good that day, then capitalize on it in the workout. If you feel run down, give yourself some grace – slow down and rest. It’s hard to do and has taken me 20 years in fitness to listen to my body!
- Emily – If you are dragging, rest! But also keep moving somehow. Even and especially if it means mixing it up and trying something new, preferably with a friend.
What do you hope your kids learn from seeing you in your fitness journey?
- Miranda – Fitness is fun. It’s just a part of a healthy life. Fitness isn’t a punishment. It’s not something you need to be “good at”. It just is.
- Bianca– We have already started instilling fitness into Enzo’s daily routine. We take him to our crossfit gym and he loves to join our weekly family/friend beach workout and Sandbag Saturday. You know what they say about kids… monkey see, monkey do. Let’s make sure they see parents training and staying healthy.
- Katie – As a mother to two daughters (Ruby 7, Ashley 10), I know I am their largest influence on them. I take that seriously. I want them to see that health, how we fuel and how we move impacts every aspect of our lives. It should be fun, it should feel good and it should challenge us. Both my daughters are great tennis players and reluctant runners 😉 but they can keep up with my husband and I wherever in the world we drag them. We are off to hike in Austria this summer and I love to know they are as excited as we are.
- Mel – Behr is 16 months old and knows it’s time to go outside and play when he sees us put our rucks on. Instilling this mindset is such a gift and we’re grateful to celebrate his love for running and being outside.
- Stevan – The majority of the time spent with my kids involves being active outside. We plan vacations and daily activities around this mentality, so from an early age, they are experiencing how exercise and sunshine are good for their bodies. Also, I make it a point to tell them about my day so they understand that moms also need exercise every day to feel good.
- Sara – I want them to see that a healthy independent life is important to me. They are going to be chasing me around when I’m an 80 yr old grandma! More importantly I want them to associate it with overall work ethic- it’s ok to lean into hard things, versus shy away from them. There may be times in life you need to quit things, but I hope they see it’s a very far off target and only comes after exhausting all options.
- Emily – Like most parents, I want my children to live healthy and fulfilling lives. It doesn’t matter to me what they do so long as they enjoy themselves while doing it.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the awesome moms out there!