Model Mama (to be) | Samantha Gash

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...talks about the journey from ultra marathon athlete to mama-to-be.

Running for more than two months would have most of us sweating at the prospect, but it's just one of the many endurance projects our first Model Mama-to-be, Samantha Gash, has tackled and conquered.

As she embarks on her next (and perhaps biggest) project yet, motherhood, we chatted to Samantha about her health, beauty routine and how she's maintaining her fitness throughout her pregnancy.

Born: Bendigo, Australia • Raised: Melbourne  • Star Sign: Libra • Lives: Dandenong Ranges • Nickname: Ferret • Significant others: Mark (my partner), my parentals (have never loved them so deeply as I do now)

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Twitter version.

Running connects everything I do together, but is the least important part. I use my capacity to run long for social impact projects, specifically exploring the barriers to why children are unable to access quality education. I am an endurance athlete, corporate presenter, lapsed lawyer, World Vision Ambassador and soon-to-be-mama. 

Next big project.

It certainly was, although I never quite knew when it would happen. I was running from the west to east of India last year, a 77 day project that had me cover 3253kms on foot. My paramedic reminded me that on one of my tougher days she was trying to distract me from the discomfort and she asked what was my next big project. Apparently I said to her, I think I am ready for Motherhood. 

Pregnancy: Glow or Slow?  

BOTH… It has been everything and the biggest lesson is learning to listen to the different signals my body is giving me. I am loving being pregnant - the moment I found out I was pregnant I felt incredibly grounded and the calmest I have felt in years. It just felt right, despite the fact that it was a surprise for my partner and I.

Amongst the glow I have had some more challenging days. Especially in the first trimester with ‘day-sickness’ and more recently towards the end of the second trimester I am learning to adapt to carrying a very large baby for my small frame.

Change of pace.

I don’t consider that I am training as an athlete right now. My focus is looking after me and my baby and I am constantly learning and exploring what that means for me. What feels right for me on one day may not the next.

I do have a large capacity for movement and I was in a good shape prior to falling pregnant. This is despite the fact that I essentially deprived my body of nutrients and calories for three weeks as a contestant on Survivor a couple of months earlier. All of my blood work came back surprisingly strong and vital - I have a naturopath who helps me monitor and maintain this.

I would consider my work pace has stayed the same; I am still travelling up to 3 times a week for speaking engagements. What has changed however, is on those weeks, I value every other moment for rest and recovery. I don’t try and jam pack in social events, as I would have previously.

My physical pace looks different. For the first 8 weeks of pregnancy I couldn’t do much more than hiking on the trails near my house and the occasional strength and conditioning session. From week 8 to 16 I was able to return to more consistent trail runs - obviously more gently and shorter distances. I found that I needed to hike every hill as opposed to running up them. From week 16 to now, I only run when it feels right and I have upped prenatal Pilates classes, hiking and strength training. 

What has maintained consistent is the desire and enjoyment of moving my body - even if it now looks different.

All the bumps.

Changes include BREASTS and a beautifully large tummy! The rest of my body has stayed relatively the same at this point. The larger breasts have taken some getting used to; I found that I was having to buy a larger sized bra every week. I am loving the belly however and my favourite past time these days is rubbing and loving on it.

One of my closest girlfriends is also pregnant right now and we laid on her bed the other day moisturising each others tummies. I wondered how that would have looked if her husband walked in, haha.

I am more conscious of using natural products, moisturising my skin and using eye cream.

[The best piece of advice I’ve been given is] “Your days of being pregnant will fly by so take the time to enjoy it!” 
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0 – 90 minutes

My partner and I both work for ourselves, so on days that we are not travelling interstate or in the city - we wake up naturally, without an alarm clock. He has a cup of coffee in bed and I will read for a little bit. We then make breakfast and eat it on the deck outside having a chat about our day.

I will then either head to some type of training: Pilates, run, strength & conditioning or a walk OR we both go to a local cafe to start our workday. 

Routine Vs Adaptability

I have to be honest in that my routine can change on a daily basis and I am comfortable with it being so. I spent years working for other people and I felt as though I had limited control over how my day would turn out.

I do ensure I do some type of physical activity every day. The only exception is on days when I fly into Sydney and back in one day. I eat avocados every day and I tell my partner I love him multiple times a day. 

Invest in you.

I am a pretty minimal lady but over the past few years I’ve invested in hydrating facials a couple of times a year. 

Beauty kit essentials?

A great SPF

Nourishing lip balm

Moisturising body oil

A DAY IN MY LIFE…

Wake 6.00am

Breakfast 7:00am

Work 8am to 6pm

Train 9am, 11am or 4pm

Lunch Typically at my desk (varies)

Dinner 7:00pm

Shower / Bath AM & PM

Bed 10:30pm 

Thanks so much Samantha, for being our first 'Model Mama-to-be' and sharing with our community! 

For more of Samantha's life and adventures, you can find her @samanthagash 

Love, Us x

Model MamasTamara Hansen