The Boathouse Behind The Oar: Embracing The “Mama-Morphosis”
Behind The Oar: Embracing The “Mama-Morphosis”
For Marty Shoup, the prospect of walking her lineman son across the football field for senior night was the start of her “mama-morphosis”: A recommitment to health, wellness, and going after what you want in life.
“In April of 2019, I weighed almost 300 pounds and I had completely given up on anything really good for myself,” she says. “I think a lot of moms can probably relate. You give to your spouse, you give to your job, you give to your kids and there’s nothing left. Hydrow has been a great way to rejuvenate and make time for myself, too.”
“I didn’t want to be the biggest out of my husband, my son, and myself on that senior night walk. I didn’t want to be the biggest one in the family; I was just done.”
Finding what works for you
Shoup’s initial interest in health and wellness first came from switching up her diet. The positive early results she saw gave her the push she needed to make more changes in her life and eventually join the Hydrow crew.
“Healthy living became something I stuck with. This was in 2019. The motivation spilled over into other things; in addition to purchasing a Hydrow, I also enrolled in online classes to finish my Bachelor’s degree, and have since started my Master’s degree.”
Before finding Hydrow, Shoup had tried out other workout solutions, but nothing really lit her up.
“Then in January 2020, just a few months before COVID hit, I joined a gym. I went occasionally, but finding the time was hard, and I don’t know if I was actually being effective. It wasn’t right for me. I liked lifting weights, I liked being there, I liked seeing my cardio improve and being able to walk faster. But I live out in the middle of nowhere and it was a 15 or 20 minute drive to the gym each way.”
“I wanted something that I could do without having to drive anywhere, even when gyms opened back up. During COVID, things have been really busy; 4-H [a non-profit youth development organization] still did stuff online, I had my classes, and we were still farming, so I needed something that was really, really convenient.”
Freedom in focus
“You’re amazing, Marty,” says Ana. “Can you say more about what you experienced in terms of creating these new healthy habits? We know habits are important, but getting them started can be hard. What did that look like for you?”
“What I love about rowing is that it forces you to focus,” Shoup says. “Rowing isn’t a mindless thing. If you walk on the treadmill or run or do the elliptical, it’s mindless, you put on Netflix and your mind still wanders. Something I’ve come to appreciate about rowing is you have to be so intentional about it. You really have to focus on your form and your breathing and your stroke. The 1-2-3 and 3-2-1, passing my knees before my knees bend; it’s 15 or 30 or 45 minutes of the day where I focus on me. That has been liberating.”
“I see the Hydrow Facebook group and use it for inspiration. Some people can work out every day; my schedule requires more balance. I like being connected to rowers from all over with varying goals and experience levels.”
“One of the first things I had to learn – and it was hard! – was to not compare my journey with someone else’s. Sometimes I turn off the leaderboard feature when I row. Other times I have it on. It’s good to know I have the option to focus more on what I’m doing and less on what others are doing when I need space.”
Getting the most out of every workout
“So tell us about your thought process behind signing up for a Personal Coaching session,” says Ana. Ana is one of Hydrow’s Personal Coaches for Members who want to book 1-on-1 sessions.
“The coaching was really a no-brainer for me because I knew I was doing things wrong and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to fix it myself,” replies Shoup. “When you’re sick, you go to a doctor because they’re an expert and they can tell you what’s wrong. Well, when you row and you don’t know what you’re doing, you have a sick stroke – and not in a good way. When you have a sick stroke, you need to go to a coach or somebody who has more experience and knows what to look for. They can say, “Ah, this is what you need to do.” And then you work on it.”
“Ana, after each session you gave me three or four different rows that focused on a particular area. Each time I did them, I got more used to the coaching; it “hurt my brain less” to do it. You know what I mean? Over time it took less thinking and the movements just became part of my stroke.”
Shoup wants to ensure she’s getting the most out of every workout. “I’m investing in myself. I want to make sure that I’m getting the most out of my workouts.”
“So inspiring,” says Ana. “So, what’s next? Any milestones coming up that you’re particularly excited about?”
“I’m checking my app real quick to see where I am on my meters,” notes Shoup. “Let’s see… I’m at 382,000 lifetime meters, so that 500,000 is coming up.”
The milestones are great motivators, but for Shoup, it’s all about continuing her “Mama-morphosis.”
“You have to monitor your progress against yourself – not your progress against somebody else,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with chasing someone on the leaderboard. If they’re always three or four meters ahead of you, there’s nothing wrong with pushing a little harder to try to shorten that gap.”
“Every time you get on your Hydrow and get an extra thousand meters or lower your average split by a tenth of a second, that’s your progress. Not somebody else’s. It doesn’t matter what everybody else is doing. What matters is what you’re doing.”
Follow Marty on Hydrow. Screen name: @Mamamorphosis
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