Claire with her husband, Ben and their two children Freddy and Eva
Claire Garrard is well known on the Central Coast amongst mums looking to get back into exercising. She is the successful business owner of LeadingEdge Personal Training, which she began in 2012 and mum of two little ones, Freddy aged 3 and Eva aged 1.
How did LeadingEdge come about?
I first started LeadingEdge back in 2012. I worked from a gym in Erina doing one on one sessions and running group fitness classes. I also ran evening and Saturday morning bootcamp sessions on the beach. After having my first child I knew it would be a hard industry to go back to with the hours I needed to work.
I approached my mother’s group and started to run free weekly fitness sessions that our children could attend. I created a friendly and relaxed environment where we could interact with our babies (and older children) and do something for ‘us’ at the same time. A few close friends said to me that I should incorporate these sessions into my business regime. Through research, I quickly discovered that there was a gap in the market for new mums that wanted to exercise, but not leave their children. My classes are perfect for that!
You're the mum of two young children and the owner of a very successful fitness business. How do you find time to do both?
It is a juggling act, but being organised is the key. I have very little down time, but I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
My first priority is my children, therefore I find time for work when they’re sleeping during the day, evenings when they’re asleep, and weekends when Ben (my husband) can help.
What's a typical week look like in your house?
Organised chaos haha!
2-3 days of the week I am up early before everyone in the house and I run (I am currently training for a half marathon and early mornings is the only spare time I have). Like every mum, the minute you get out of bed it’s go time, between juggling breakfast (burnt toast!), getting the washing on the line and packing lunch bags, I’m always out of the house by 9am, whether we head to the gym for an hour or off to a park/ play centre for play dates. I also work 2 mornings of the week doing classes and Personal Training.
Lunchtime is always quiet time. My daughter sleeps, and I try to keep my son occupied on the dreaded iPad! I smash out a few emails and class prep, eat lunch, shower, and then prepare dinner. We live in an amazing street in Terrigal and have some great friends which really helps. The kids play (I use that word loosely) while we bake healthy snacks and food prep for the week – along with more washing, tidying and cleaning!
One of Claire's popular Mums and Bubs classes, held in Terrigal
What advice do you have for mums looking to get back into shape?
Do not put any pressure on yourself, take it slow and get advice from someone fully trained. Surround yourself with likeminded people that don’t judge and will support you. It takes 9 months to grow your beautiful baby, therefore it should be a slow process. After having a child the key is to work from the inside (inner core, pelvic floor) out, strengthening and stabilising the foundations of your body that are affected during pregnancy and child birth.
Originally from England, what made you choose the Central Coast as the place you call home and raise your children?
I met Ben here in Australia, and luckily he is from an amazing part of the world so deciding to settle here was not a tough one. The stories he told me about how he grew up on the beach, spending afternoons outdoors in the sunshine, that was enough for me!
What is your favourite things on the Central Coast:
North Avoca corner- My kids love the rock pools and it’s also my husbands favourite surf spot.
Anywhere enclosed at the moment with my active 1 year old!
Terrigal Surf club do the BEST green juice if you’re on the go. I am also loving Island Time in Terrigal.
Restaurant for a date night:
Ben and I love to head to the “Lorde Ashley’ bar for a nice cocktail and beer first, then onto Four Hands for yummy tapas and pizza in Terrigal where we sit and don’t talk about the kids (haha). Phones are also banned during date nights (on loud in a bag of course just incase!).
How do you like to spend family time at the weekends?
Normally Saturday mornings we tag team, I will go for an early run after my bootcamp class at 6.30am and then Ben will surf. Sunday’s we love to go bike riding into Terrigal, going to the beach in Summer and catching up with friends and family. We also love getting the kids to bed on a Saturday night, having a quiet dinner and just relaxing.
Where are your favourite spots to take your kids on the Coast?
We love walking or riding into Terrigal, grabbing a juice & baby chino and playing on the sand.
How do you take time out for yourself as a mum?
My outlet is exercise. A run or weights session clears my head and gives me more energy and focus. I also love dinner dates with girlfriends.
Any other Central Coast businesses you love?
As a small business owner I love supporting other small businesses:
My hairdresser: Hair By Kyann in Bateau Bay
Jacqui's Tuck Shop do a great ‘Chicken Caesar Burger.’
Terrigal Surf Club- their service is so fast and friendly- last week I was there with the kids and I ordered a green juice. Before I had even taken a sip it slipped out of my hand and onto the floor. The lady didn’t hesitate to help and made me a fresh one!
Find out more about Claire's business, LeadingEdge and to enquire about classes, click here.