As we celebrate mom’s everywhere this Mother’s Day we sat down with Liteboxer trainer and mom Mary Onyango to talk about all things motherhood. Mary shares what she loves about being a mom, how motherhood has made her a stronger boxer, and how she plans on celebrating Mother’s Day this year.
Take some time to celebrate Mother’s Day as we get to know Mary and where you can sweat it out with her in your next trainer class!
Quick facts about Mary
Favorite Liteboxer song to workout to: “Runnin (With A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Nicki Minaj)” by Mike WiLL Made-It, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Nicki Minaj
“Because I’m so musically driven, I always gravitate towards EDM. But I love anything with high energy, great beats, and different instruments and sounds to pull inspiration.”
Boxing inspiration: Oscar De La Hoya
“He was able to adjust to his opponents’ weight and fighting style. I believe that life is all about making adjustments to meet whatever comes at you. If you can do it in the ring, you most certainly can do it outside, in the real world.”
Favorite boxing advice: Be patient and have fun!
“First, breathe and allow your body to sink into place, your boxer’s stance. Second, be patient and focus on learning and mastering one skill at a time, and apply it to the next session. Third, don’t take yourself seriously, laugh when you mess up, celebrate your success at the end of each workout. Boxing takes a lot of time and practice to master. I’m still working on mine.”
Favorite way to cross-train: Strength training with plyometrics and agility
“Growing up doing gymnastics, volleyball, and track, I have a greater appreciation for cross-disciplinary training. What good are power without speed, speed without strength, and strength without flexibility? One feeds into the other.”
Talking motherhood with Mary
What do you love about being a mom?
“What I love about being a mom is the journey. It’s like reliving my childhood but existentially. Everyday day is different. Every day brings a new challenge and a new lesson. When you have to teach and nurture someone to become the best human possible, it forces you to look inward and either change or adjust. And in turn, you too become the best human possible."
What's one thing you've learned from raising your daughter Valentina?
“One thing I’ve learned from raising Valentina is patience and time. I am very driven and always working on the next project. She has forced me to slow down and focus on each moment as it comes because she is growing up so fast, I don’t want to miss anything. She has also taught me the power of laughter. I laugh so much more when I’m with her.”
How does Valentina make you a better boxer? A better instructor?
“As a boxer, I am more methodical. Everything has a purpose behind it. As an instructor, I’ve become better at cueing and coaching. I’m smarter and simpler in my direction, but also more forgiving in my programming. I want everyone to feel successful.”
We love Valentina's workouts on your Instagram. Does Valentina want to be a fitness instructor like her mom?
“Her workouts on IG started as a way to keep her physically active but also engaged with her friends during the lockdown. But she is definitely more of an outdoor/playground kind of person, so that’s where we spend our time these days. She is an artist at heart and her current focus is her drawing and creativity which has grown exponentially. Only the future will tell which direction she goes. After all, I didn’t really get into sports until I was 10 years old. And now I’m going back to college (Columbia University) to finish my degree.”
Do you have any advice for the moms out there who are trying to make time for themselves with Liteboxer?
“Any amount of time that you fit in is enough. Parenting can be exhausting and it’s easy to get down on yourself for not getting to everything. But it’s even easier to put yourself last. Start with five minutes (one song) a day and make it a habit. Force everyone to see and understand that five minutes is your time. Eventually, it will turn into eight and then 20 and then 30. Just start small and don’t feel guilty about it. You’ll come back a better person when it’s done.”
Does your family have a Mother's Day tradition? How will you be spending it this year?
“Mother’s Day usually starts with me sleeping in late (8 am) and then a breakfast/lunch visit with my mother-in-law, and dinner with my mom and my family. But we generally play it by ear. And I’m okay with that as long as I have my coffee first. My daughter and husband know that it comes with 30 minutes of quiet time. I had to train them to understand that.”
What to expect in Mary’s classes
With over 19 years of fitness training experience, it’s safe to say Mary knows a thing or two about taking your home fitness journey to the next level. But she also gets that working out is not always easy. Mary plans on helping you towards that journey of a healthier body and mind and inspiring you along the way.
“I want people to feel inspired and strong after taking my class. Working out is not always easy. And no one else can make it easy except for you. So if I make it fun, while still pushing you, then before you know it, you are doing the unexpected. And that is a huge accomplishment.”
Not only will you have a blast, but Mary knows that boxing is an empowering experience. Expect to build your confidence and power in her classes. You’ll come out stronger on the other end as you work with Mary to train your body and your mind.
“I believe that your mental strength is connected to your physical strength and that they have a direct relationship. Having the discipline to train and overcome physical stressors will give you the mental capacity to withstand and overcome mental and emotional stressors.”
How to box with Mary
Celebrate Mother’s Day with Mary in the ring! As Mary says, it’s important to set aside that time for you. So get on those boxing gloves and join Mary in one of her confidence-boosting trainer classes today:
- Mary – 30-minute Advanced
- Mary – 4-song Sparring Hip Hop
- Mary – 10-minutes Express
- Mary – 3-song Sparring Dance Pop
Want to learn more about our other Liteboxer trainers? Check out our other spotlights to find the perfect trainer to workout with next: