We are so excited to introduce to you this week’s #featurefriday mama. This mama is 4 months postpartum with her gorgeous baby boy, noah. She is the owner of the Dailey Method barre fitness studio in San Francisco. A health/fitness enthusiast and dedicated runner (She has the Boston marathon under her belt!), Kiley also teaches a tough Barre class that will leave your thighs sore for days.
Kiley is a clean eating and fitness queen who is all about empowering other women and building a community. she truly represents everything we stand for here at Moving Mom!
Meet Kiley Lucan
Can you share with us a little background on your journey from the corporate world to making a career centered around movement?
I first found Dailey in the midst of a part time MBA program and working full time. Coming to class was my solace. I was always the last one to leave the studio. Never did I consider becoming an instructor until the studio manager, Maggie (@mmwithmaggie) approached me. Once I finished grad school, I dove in and it was the best decision I ever made! A new part of me had come alive. Everyday I would be rearing to leave my desk job to go and teach class that evening. There is something magical that happens when you touch students and light up their day. It helped me find my calling - encouraging others to feel more connected to their bodies and confident internally, manifesting itself externally.
All of the sudden, my office job seemed less fulfilling. I had been working in the non-profit sector on the program and fundraising side for over a decade, primarily for environmental non-profits and women's empowerment organizations. I enjoyed what I did but once you discover what you're put on this earth to do, you just owe it to yourself to go and do that, even if the road is uncertain. I didn't ever think I'd own a business and felt like the most un-entrepreneurial student in my MBA cohort, but when the opportunity arose to own The Dailey Method Cow Hollow, it all clicked and I suddenly understood why I was drawn to the MBA program in the first place.
When did you start exercising again after having Noah? And what was that journey like for you?
This is so subjective therefore I hesitate to share specifics, as it's so easy to set expectations based on one's story. First and foremost, listen to your body. Give yourself the grace and permission to do what you feel it needs most. Just like nobody knows what your baby needs better than you, I truly believe that nobody knows what your body needs better with you and you should trust this intuition that you were born with.
Thanks to being able to do Dailey Method classes until the week I gave birth and having a vaginal delivery, my recovery was relatively smooth. I also attribute this to staying in my hospital bed for an entire week. It was maddening but that week of intensive recovery made all the difference.
Week one, I was walking around our neighborhood hills with Noah in the stroller and carrier. Week two and three, I layered on yoga and Dailey exercises at home the way I modified during my pregnancy. Week four and five, I incorporated Dailey Interval moves and attended a few classes. Week six, after my postpartum appointment where I was told I didn’t experience any diastases (abdominal separation) and was cleared to workout again, I did a bit of cardio including Dailey Interval, spin classes (seated entire class) and hot yoga . It wasn't until 12 weeks postpartum that I started running again. Sweat is my therapy and I felt amazing when I could finally sweat again. These first six weeks are not an easy time and getting outside and moving my body was a lifesaver for my mental sanity.
What tips would you give to moms exercising throughout their pregnancy? Any specific modifications you made?
If you're someone who exercises regularly, it's easy to compare yourself to your abilities and even frequency of workouts pre-pregnancy. Some weeks I was so tired I could only teach my classes and that felt like enough. Whenever that feeling of guilt or laziness began to creep in, I'd remind myself that working out during pregnancy should be purely based on how you feel, rather than keeping up your fitness regime. Since your body's #1 focus is making a human, everything else, including working out should be secondary. So ultimately, if it makes you feel good (both mentally and physically), do it but if it's going to leave you feeling drained, it's not worth it.
That's why I loved Dailey classes during pregnancy because no matter how I was feeling physically that day, I could modify the workout to my needs and energy level. Dailey classes even helped my nausea early on because I think it increased my circulation and helped me focus on connecting my breath with movement. Oddly enough, Dailey Interval felt better for me in my third trimester as the plank holds and abdominal work in a Dailey Barre class became harder. Interval was great because I could modify the movements while still getting my heart rate up enough to sweat and walk out feeling lighter and stronger at the same time.
Can you tell us a little bit about your studio’s Dailey Baby classes and what is your focus in training new mamas?
What I love about Dailey Baby is that it's so interactive. Not only are you connecting with other mamas and babies in the class, but you're playing with your baby as you move your body. The class utilizes your body weight (plus the added weight of your baby) to strengthen your muscles in functional movements that you do with your baby throughout your day. Rebuilding your strength postpartum is not just about how you look or even how you feel, it's also about keeping your body healthy so you can be more active with your child. I was surprised at the tension in my low back when bending over to pick up Noah in the middle of the night. My abdominal muscles just didn't fire up the way they used to so I'd have to be very intentional about the way I'd pick him up so as not to throw out my back or cause other injuries.
I've loved seeing countless moms walk out with a completely transformed expression on their face compared to when they came to class, perhaps a little more stressed just trying to get themselves, their little one, and all the stuff that comes with, out the door. Now as a mom, it really makes my day and I enjoy every moment I get to spend with this community of fellow new moms.
Do you have a weekly workout routine? What else do you do to stay healthy and active?
I like to think of workouts as a pyramid, with the base layer of a practice that you #1 love the most #2 are trying to master #3 is sustainable for your body. For me, my foundation is barre classes at The Dailey Method. It's something I can do everyday and it makes me feel great, without fatigue. The second tier of the pyramid should be a rigorous cross training. Something you enjoy but maybe could not do everyday. For me that's running. I love it but know my body would not be healthy if I ran daily so depending on what I'm training for I aim for 3-5 days a week. The tip of the pyramid should be a good recovery practice. Personally, restorative yoga classes realign me both mentally and physically enabling me to better connect with my breath and my body in running and Dailey. I aim for this 1-3 days a week. Right now it seems to be popular to do a different type of physical modality everyday and constantly change up your routine. Personally, I find that three is a good number of different modalities so you have a barometer for improvement and you can truly dedicate yourself to mastery of a practice.
What you do the other 90% of the time has that percentage of an effect on your health and wellness. That includes your sleep routine, who you spend your time with, and where you chose to spend your 9-5 days. I try to be intentional about making time for fostering relationships and meaningful connections with others, as much research supports that this is the best way to stay healthy.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far since becoming a mother?
I've learned to measure success differently. After feeling defeated on days that I didn't check everything (or anything for that matter) off my to do list, I realized that it's not about doing more but about doing less, better.
Looking back, I wouldn't have had it any other way as I feel more equipped with an awareness of myself, unconditional love for my body, and gratitude for the beautiful little human being that God brought into my life.
Can you share with us a little bit about your journey to meeting Noah?
My 5 year journey to meet my son was filled with many tears, moments of despair, questioning myself and wondering if maybe I just wasn't made to be a mother. It feels like a decade ago but even as I share this, my eyes are tearing up because these feelings are so deep and intense, I'll could never forget them. Now when women share that they had a similar journey or are still on that road to motherhood, I empathize with them. I'm so thankful for the tribe of women who were willing to open up to me about their experiences, cry with me, and let me know that I was not alone. It's more isolating than anything and I don't know how I would've made it through without them. Looking back, I wouldn't have had it any other way as I feel more equipped with awareness of myself, unconditional love for my body, and gratitude for the beautiful little human being that God brought into my life.
What is your advice to hopeful mamas who may be going through something similar?
Focus on your fertility long before you have a baby, even if you don't plan on having kids. Your cycle is your body's way of communicating with you. It's a symptom just like any other illness. In my 20's I ignored the fact that my cycle never returned after going off birth control and doctors didn't seem concerned, so I just figured it would be like a switch I flip on when I wanted kids.
Be patient with your body. One day when I was pregnant, I had this epiphany that it takes 9 months to make a baby so most women should expect that it would take at least 9 months prior to getting pregnant to prepare your body for pregnancy and then 9 months after to recover from pregnancy. These are more realistic expectations that we should reinforce as a societal norm.
The timing of your baby's entrance into your life is THEIR PERFECT TIME, and yours! Similar to meeting your partner or spouse, you look back and say "of course! It was always you!" Especially if it took you awhile to find that person, you know the journey getting there also shaped you to be the perfect partner for that person and made you more grateful for them.
Don't be afraid to seek out support. The fertility journey is one of the hardest seasons of life to endure and should not be walked alone. But thankfully there's an amazing tribe of women who are willing to share, connect and support you.
Thank you for your open and honest answers, Kiley, and for sharing with us your journey to meeting Noah.
You can find Kiley at The Dailey Method Studio in the Cow Hollow/Marina neighborhood of San Francisco. Kiley teaches Dailey baby for moms with pre-crawling babies every Wednesday at 11.00am. Check out her full teaching schedule here.
Keep Moving, Mamas!