If you've ever struggled to do a single pushup, you are not alone - this week's #wingwoman has been there and now inspires women everywhere to make small, sustainable changes in their daily lives - meet Tara Abel! Tara is the owner of Tara Abel Fitness; she is also a mom of 4 kids (yes, FOUR), a certified personal trainer, a pregnancy and postpartum coach, and a nutrition coach. Tara originally got into the fitness industry to inspire women who didn't align with the all-or-nothing mentality that most programs have and instead teach them how fitness can enhance their lives (and how to conquer those dang pushups). In our interview, Tara shares how she loves having honest, vulnerable conversations with women, how she knew she found her purpose when she could spend hours talking about that one thing, and how she strives to keep her circle of friends small. Continue reading to learn all about Tara!
1. What makes you happy?
Honestly, it’s the little things for me. Watching terrible reality tv shows and eating candy with my best friend, spending time with my family, Crossfit, home design, board games, seeing new places, and moments of quiet and alone time (with four kids, this is so rare!) I also absolutely love coaching and celebrating progress with my clients. Watching that moment where something clicks and seeing how much fitness can change their every day life and motherhood is powerful!
2. What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to not be held back by fear, uncertainty, or perfectionism; to do the hard thing and know that I can handle any outcome. I would also tell myself to base my choices on what I wanted or what I thought was right and not to worry about others’ expectations or opinions.
3. If you could magically solve one problem in the world, what would that be?
I would have to say understanding and treatment of trauma and mental illness, including increasing awareness of basic psychology and sociology. I truly think having basic understanding and tools in these departments is at the root of understanding and beginning to tackle the many important nuanced issues we face in society but on a personal level for all of us as well.
4. How did you find your purpose?
I don’t know if I believe in having just one purpose, but I can say with certainty that when I started to pursue the things that kept me up at night or that I realized I could talk passionately about for hours, how I spent my time started to feel meaningful to me.
In becoming a coach, I realized for myself what a gap there was between returning to fitness and life and the pregnancy and postpartum chapters. In seeing how difficult it was to find answers for myself, particularly when it came to issues such as diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction (eg. prolapse, leaking, etc.), I realized that there needs to be so much more support for women to navigate this. I wanted to be that for them.
In having honest, vulnerable conversations with women, it also became apparent that often the fitness industry has a specific box it tries to fit women into. It didn’t see them as whole people and this wasn’t helpful at all for women achieving long-term success. This has led me to focus on making fitness practical and sustainable, while also sharing openly about where fitness intersects with things like postpartum anxiety and depression, body image, motherhood, and social issues women face.
5. What is your biggest pain point in building relationships?
I’m incredibly introverted and it takes a while for me to truly be close or comfortable with someone. Coming from a big family, I’ve learned how to manage really well in social situations so people wouldn’t suspect that I hardly leave my house and keep my circle small!
6. What have you learned from past friendships that didn't work out?
I’ve come to learn that people come in and out of your life and that people being in different stages at different times or just changing in general can really impact a friendship. Time is so limited, especially for moms, and if you aren’t excited to spend time with someone or you find a relationship stressful, you actually don’t have to keep those relationships up! Sometimes, respectfully moving forward without that friendship is the best choice to make for both of you and it can be freeing to let go.
7. Who are your SHEros (AKA female heroes)?
My mom. I honestly don’t know how my mom has been through as much as she has and admire the way she faces it all with determination, strength, and perseverance.
8. What podcasts/books are you listening/reading right now?
I just finished re-reading one of my absolute favourite books, The Glass Castle, and am reading The Body Keeps The Score and A Promised Land. I’m kind of all over the place but I love hearing and being inspired by people’s stories and also learning about why we humans are the way we are.
I listen to so, so many podcasts but I would have to say that lately I’ve been loving and keeping up with Armchair Expert, This American Life, and Judge John Hodgeman. For work related podcasts, To Birth and Beyond has a ton of great information for pregnancy and postpartum.
9. Where can we find you?
I’m on Instagram @taraabelfitness, on Facebook @taraabelfitness, and you can contact me through my website www.taraabel.com.