Inspirational Woman: Claire Cole | Founder, Movement for Mums

Claire Cole
Image credit: Brandon Douglas – follow him on Instagram, @brandon.p.douglas

Claire Cole, founder of Movement for Mums is challenging us to think differently about fitness.

Claire believes that physical exercise is just as much of a powerful mental workout for your mind as well as your body.

Movement for Mums is born out of Claire’s passion for intuitive fitness that supports our mental health, she believes working out can be as enjoyable and as addictive as a Friday night Netflix binge with a big glass of wine!  She tells us that physical exercise generates happy neurotransmitters like popping candy in the brain, these endorphins wash away the stress and anxiety chemicals and help boost our mood for the whole day.

As a working mum with more than 20 years of experience in a high powered and high-pressured corporate space, she is now on a single-minded mission to inspire women to achieve their full wellbeing potential.  Understanding first-hand the struggle of balancing career and family life helps Claire relate to the challenges faced by her clients.

She has combined her extensive knowledge of driving successful behaviour change in the workplace and her fitness and wellbeing knowledge to deliver effective and motivational coaching, that comes from the heart.

Claire’s drive and ambition to support mental health comes from her own experience of agoraphobia in her 20s and post-natal depression in her 30’s.  She’s on a mission to get women feeling good about themselves and her enthusiasm is infectious. You can find Claire teaching free online classes streamed live three mornings a week, to find out more check out www.movementformums.com

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I recently left the Corporate world and launched www.movementformums.com, my ethos is fitness to boost mental health to help support women and mum’s with fitness that makes them feel good.  I was working full time, juggling being commander and chief of my household and trying to meet the kids, husband’s and boss’s demands with very little time for me.  During this period my mental health was taking a battering and I had always been a lover of going to the gym to make myself feel good.  So I decided that there were probably other mum’s who didn’t have the time, energy or money to try and fit fitness into their busy lives and I would provide a platform of free live streamed fitness three times a week to support those mum’s and Movement for Mums was born.  I am now on a single-minded mission to inspire women to achieve their full wellbeing potential.  Understanding first-hand the struggle of balancing career and family life helps me relate to the challenges faced by my clients and I’ve combined my extensive knowledge of driving successful behaviour change in the workplace and my fitness and wellbeing knowledge to deliver effective and motivational coaching, that comes from the heart.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I left University with a degree in French and Media (specifically Chinese cinema!), I grew up at the bottom of the Welsh valleys, my mum didn’t fully learn to read and write until she was in her 40’s but she inspired to have a work ethic of steel and go out and achieve whatever it was that I wanted to achieve.  Leaving my fulltime Corporate role last year was a big decision but I truly believe I can help support other mum’s and make a difference.  I love what I now do, fitness that supports your mental health has been my passion for many years and I believe by having had a Corporate career in investment banking and consultancy this has given me some of the skills I need to deliver my ethos.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

I was Agoraphobic in my 20’s and I had postnatal psychosis in my 30’s, supporting maternal mental health is very close to my heart, I want every woman if she chooses it, to have the right to the motherhood that she wants to have, and if like me it doesn’t go to plan then I want that mum to know where she can get support and know that she is not alone.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

My children, I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.  They have shaped me physically and mentally in a way that I was always prepared for, taken away my sleep and at times my sanity but they give me the strength to go and be the kind of role model I want to be for them.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I have an unwavering belief in myself and when I meet a mum that doesn’t believe in herself I give her some of my belief in her.  Be brave, choose who you trust carefully and surround yourself with love, be passionate about what you do and do something that you will believe will make a difference to someone’s life.  Never go into anything doing it for money, it will never make you happy.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I think mentoring is a great way of sharing knowledge, I have mentored colleagues in my former Corporate life and would always take the opportunity if presented to be a mentee, we never stop learning and I believe we should never stop sharing.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

Work life balance, I find myself wondering if my husband would love to work flexibly, I think we assume that as women and mother’s that we are the ones that need the flexibility but how many men would love to be more present in their kid’s lives but don’t feel that have that choice.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Listen, always be prepared to listen, don’t form judgements without the facts and surround yourself with people who believe in you as much as you believe in them.  Stand tall and proud of who you are, you are unique and it’s ok if not everyone likes you.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I would love to publish “The Movement for Mums Method” book that I am writing, at the age of 18 I took the entrance exams for three Journalism colleges and I was rejected from all three so I am now living that dream again by writing regular press features about fitness and mental health and writing my book.

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