A mother, wife, a career woman and also an instructor at both Flywheel Dubai and Barry's Bootcamp Dubai, Nour Mansour is one busy lady. So how does she fit life into her jam-packed schedule? We spoke to her about work/life balance and how she ended up with three jobs. We also got her advice on how busy moms can stay fit even if their career isn't in fitness. Here's what she had to say.
"My life is a bit of an organized mess," she says. "I have three jobs I need to give 100 percent to, as well as a husband, one son and two step kids. Don't get me wrong, it's overwhelming." More so, she believes, than an 9-6 desk job. How does a person end up with not two but three jobs? "I don't know!" she says. Mansour says she's always been a sporty person.
How she got into a career in fitness
When she was younger she was on all the sports teams – volleyball, track and field, football, you name it, she did it. When she relocated to the UAE she tried all sorts of workouts and classes. Soon though, she realized she had to do something with her own passion rather than just attend other people's classes. Taking the bull by the horns, she got certified and started teaching PT. Flywheel came soon after. Mansour was religiously taking Wheel classes and she loved them. It showed. Her scores were pretty high (averaging 365 and building up to 423, her highest score to date). One of the instructors suggested she try out for Flywheel's next instructor auditions. She did and here she is today.
Funnily enough, she was recruited to becoming a Barry's Bootcamp instructor through Flywheel. The General Manager of Barry's Dubai did Nour's Flywheel class and suggested she audition for Barry's (as a part-time instructor for Flywheel, there wasn't a conflict of interest, so she could essentially work at both). The training, she recalls, was brutal. "I was training all day, six days a week for two weeks. The training included doing the other trainers' classes, and I was teaching at Flywheel at the same time. I would come home and ice my legs because I was in so much pain. By the end of it I was walking funny!"
Her third job is a new job. She's the Chapter Administrator for the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) Emirates chapter. Because she teaches part-time, she was able to take on something else. Makes everyone else look lazy, doesn't she?
But because she loves what she does, she believes all aspects of her life balance each other out. We asked her to walk us through a typical day in the life of Nour Mansour and all the juggling that comes with it.
What the busy mom's day looks like
She wakes up at dawn (literally) as she mainly teaches early morning classes. This allows her drop off and pick up the kids from school on most days. After teaching her classes, she spends the first half of the day working as the Chapter Administrator for the Young Presidents' Organization. Luckily, this is not an office job so she's mostly working out of a café or at home. She then does pick-ups, takes the kids home, feeds them, yells at them to do their homework, and once in a while will take off again to teach an afternoon class, or squeeze in a workout for herself (because it keeps her sane). Then it's bath/bedtime routine and by 9 p.m. she's in bed. "I'm okay with being a nerd like that," she says.
But even nerds need a little "me time." When does she fit hers in? On the weekends. "My social life can wait for the weekend!"
Not all of us have that kind of stamina though. How do moms with a plate full of responsibilities stay fit without compromising everything else?
According to Mansour, sometimes a little compromise goes a long way. You can't wear all hats at the same time. Sometimes you need to drop the ball. "Somedays I know it's more important for me to spend the afternoon with the kids than take a class for myself. So, I don't and I don't feel guilty about it at all. Other times I'll go to dinner with my husband knowing I'll pay the price in the morning when I have to be up early and give a great, energetic class on very little sleep. That's okay too because it will be worth the price. Other days I'll skip an outing so I can get to bed earlier because I know my body needs it." But for a day-to-day scenario, you have to carve the time.
Her tips for getting the most out of the day
For working mothers, Mansour suggests either waking up an hour earlier to take an a.m. class before drop off, or staying up later to take an evening class before or after the kids' bedtime. It sucks at first, but then you end up loving the fact that you get alone time to do something good for you and only you, that the extra hour here or there doesn't end up feeling like a sacrifice.
"And if you can't find a window in your day, think of functional fitness. Carry your groceries, walk up and down stairs instead of taking the elevator, play with your children in the park instead of watching them play … all these simple things that will slowly up your level of movement and give you the push on those days when you can't make it to Barry's to see me!" Mansour says.