Monday, November 12 , 2018, 7:47 pm | Fair 59º


Moms In Motion Triathlon Training Program Provides an Outlet for Local Women

The group isn't just about athletics, with many participants finding that it helps them gain ground in other aspects of their lives

Summer is right around the corner and Moms In Motion is looking for ladies who are up for a challenge.

In its 12th year, Moms In Motion has taken women with varying fitness levels to new heights. The MIM Triathlon Team is an 11-week training program, and members don’t have to be mothers to participate. The training culminates with the Santa Barbara Triathlon weekend scheduled for Aug. 27-28.

“It’s more than athletics,” said Moms In Motion CEO Jamie Allison, 45, a wife and mother of two little girls. “It’s incredible to watch these ladies carry their new gained confidence into other aspects of their lives.”

A triathlete and marathon runner, Allison started running at the tender age of 7 and hasn’t looked back since. After years of competition, she married and had children, which she said made it challenging to train like she had before. Although she welcomed this new chapter of her life, she was determined to find a way to keep fitness in the forefront.

“It gives me a strong sense of freedom, a chance to rejuvenate from the stresses and challenges of my life as a mom, wife and professional,” Allison said.

She said she looked for a challenging and fun training group for moms but couldn’t find one that fit. As a result, she started Moms In Motion in 1999. There were 14 women that year. Today, MIM has spread throughout the world with 9,100 members in eight countries, 43 states and 133 cities.

Obviously, Allison was not alone in her search for a meaningful experience.

“Moms In Motion provides a unique outlet for moms and all women to carve out time each week to focus on their own physical, social and philanthropic needs,” Allison said. “We’re going a mile a minute and can easily feel overwhelmed with the juggling act, especially if our needs are put on the back burner. As challenging as it may seem to schedule in one more thing, we’ve heard over and over from our members how making time for themselves increases overall happiness. They claim to have more energy, more patience, better sleep, increased confidence and more fuel for the ‘fire,’ if you will. As role models, I really believe that when a mom takes care of herself, she’s taking care of her entire family.

“It’s like the oxygen masks on airplanes. We are told to put on our masks before helping our children. Basically, if we are incapacitated, we can’t help anyone. I see Moms In Motion as a symbolic oxygen mask, one that gives women a chance to do something important for themselves so they can be a better mom, wife, professional, friend.”

Swimming is often the one obstacle that keeps many women from signing up. The team starts their training in a local high school pool to acclimate being in the water. A few weeks later, they head to the ocean.

Kate Yamasaki says swimming was her biggest challenge. When friend JoAnn Serpa asked her to join, she was nervous.

“What? I can’t even swim!” Yamasaki told Serpa. “Water goes up my nose in the shower.”

Yamasaki, a mother of two boys, went from just being able to float to swimming 500 yards in the ocean. 

“If I can do it, anyone can,” she said. “In fact, now I love to swim.”

Leslie Meadowcraft, 55, joined the group last year after being invited by her physical therapist, Amanda Nicolatto.

“I had an injury and really thought she was joking,” Meadowcraft said. “It was so lovely to have the support and encouragement that the trainers provide. Beyond that, I developed a much stronger sense of self-confidence and self-esteem. It was and continues to be a very interior journey for me, during which I found a lot of analogies for life. So many doors have opened for me as a result.”

Allison will co-lead this summer’s training with Ernesto Paredes, longtime friend and five-time Ironman finisher. They will use their combined knowledge and experience to challenge, inspire, train and nurture members as they strive to accomplish a goal many never thought possible. Whether members want to achieve a personal record or complete their first triathlon, Allison and Paredes will help members get there while having a blast along the way.

A big part of the team is their partnership with local charities. Team members pick specific projects to take on in support of causes near and dear to the group. This year’s beneficiary is CALM (Child Abuse Listening & Mediation), with the team taking on the challenge of “adopting” one of the newly formed counseling rooms and helping with CALM’s wish list.

The beneficiary of this year’s Santa Barbara Triathlon will be Partners in Education, the highest vote-getter in presenting sponsor Montecito Bank & Trust’s voting challenge.

Over the summer, Noozhawk will provide a birds-eye view of all the action. Noozhawk marketing director Melinda Johansson will become a Moms In Motion member and start training with the group on June 11. Follow along as she opines about her experience as a 47-year-old, “completely out of shape” former runner and swimmer.

Noozhawk marketing director Melinda Johansson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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