Meet the super-mum whose bootcamp helped conquer her depression
- Credit: KELLY GOODY
A mother who suffered postnatal depression after the birth of her second son has revealed how her fitness group helped her overcome crippling anxiety.
Former children’s TV actress Kelly Goody, who lives in Framlingham, has travelled the world as an air stewardess and is now a qualified personal trainer, self employed massage and exercise specialist.
Despite a high-flying career and heaps of confidence, what should have been a happy experience turned into months of anxiety and depression for Kelly when her second son Lucas was born.
Three years ago she was in an extremely dark place – and even the simplest of daily tasks became daunting during her depression battle.
The 41-year-old, originally from Colchester, admits to being scared to cross the road with her son Lucas and having negative thoughts, which embarrassed her at the time.
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But through her passion for exercise and community spirit, Kelly has realised her feelings were completely normal.
Now she wants to encourage mothers who are suffering to speak out about the taboo subject.
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“It doesn’t make you a bad mother – if anything it will make you stronger,” she said.
Over the last two years Kelly’s group fitness training (GFT) in Framlingham has soared in popularity, with both men and women attending. Sessions are at 7.15pm – just after the typical bedtime for young children.
Wanting to make classes suitable for mums, Kelly decided on this time after speaking to fellow parents at toddler groups.
“During my depression I would force myself to go along to toddler groups to get myself out of the house,” said Kelly, who moved to Framlingham seven years ago where her husband James works as a visual optician.
“The women I met at the groups would complain that there were no classes suitable for mums,” she continued.
“As a mum you never know if you can guarantee your commitment because of illness, bed-times, and all the other responsibilities you have to consider when you have children.
“You can’t pause life as your family has to come first.”
Kelly decided to set up a pay as you train system to allow parents to turn up if and when they can, avoiding the hassle of long-term plans.
“I now have partners who take it in turns to attend my sessions, so that one person stays at home to care for the kids.”
Kelly’s boot camps last an hour long and cost £5 a go, which is perfect for parents who want some time to release stress, enjoy some fresh air and get things off of their chest.
“After each session you really feel like you’ve achieved something for yourself and a lot of people are really grateful for the safe space to talk, work out and focus on themselves,” said Kelly, whose acting career has helped develop her showmanship for leading her boot camp sessions.
Kelly’s practical career choices have been essential in helping her focus and have given her time away from the duties of a parent.
“I have always juggled lots of things at once and last year I set myself the ultimate challenge of running the London Marathon.
“The lead up to the event really helped me overcome my depression as it gave me a clear goal to give my time to and acted as a real distraction,” said Kelly who still takes medication but has began to wean off them since her illness has improved.
“I used to call my marathon training my ‘thinking time’ and my ‘Forrest Gumping’ where I would run away from anything I was struggling with,” laughed Kelly, who completed the 26.2 mile stretch across the capital in four hours and 48 minutes.
Using exercise as an escape is important for the mum of two, who tragically lost her 15-month-old brother to meningitis just a week before her third birthday.
“The lack of therapy back then was a real shame as my mum was just left to get on with it.
“It must have been really hard for her to lose her youngest child and then days later celebrating my third birthday,” admits Kelly, who said the loss of her brother changed the whole family dynamics. “After what happened I’ve always tried to impress my parents and I have put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed and be a good mum,” she continued.
“The boot camp sessions really make me and many other parents feel like we’ve achieved something for ourselves.
“It’s nice to have a whinge with other people but also to have a good laugh and to forget about everything else around you for an hour.”
Next weekend, more than 30 people from Kelly’s boot camp are taking part in the Bosshog at Wantisden Hall in Woodbridge, which incorporates over 35 obstacles through seven miles of mud and water.
Kelly is even planning to start a boot camp next year for parents to attend with their children.
She hopes this will help parents through the struggles of postnatal depression.
The 41-year-old urges people not to struggle in silence and believes “it doesn’t make you a bad mother, if anything it will make you stronger.”
You can find out more about Kelly’s group training sessions by visiting her Facebook page.