A Day in the Life of Georgie Burke

Trainer Georgie takes us through a Day in the Life during Lockdown. She also explains how she manages to keep up an exercise routine whilst looking after her children.

7AM –  I have been setting my alarm for exactly the same time I would normally get up, 5.45AM, so that it isn’t such a big shock when life goes back to normal. I have, however, been allowing myself to get up later and LOVING it. The children, Ralph who is 11 and Bluebell 3, are great sleepers and love a lie in luckily and my husband, Tim, needs no persuading to sleep. Even our dog, Dilly, will bury her head in her bed until mid morning. If I am teaching online I get up at 7am to practice and set myself up with a cup of tea. One of the joys of lockdown has been the simple pleasures I’ve had time to recognise and enjoy, for example clean sheets and sleep spray!

8AM – I have taken Barre Tone online and have surprised myself with how much I’ve been enjoying this way of teaching. I have had to demonstrate all the exercises, so not only has it kept me fit, it’s also taught me to connect with my body in new ways. Removing the ability for hands on corrections with clients, which is normally such a large part of class, means there is no excuse for me not to work a little harder and really feel each move and I think ultimately helping my cues. One of the biggest joys of lockdown has been the amount of male partners and sons joining in with classes and now have a new found respect for their female barre loving mothers!. Barre stereotypically attracts females, but as with all forms of exercise – it is for everyone.

9AM – After class I will head to the kitchen were everyone is starting to eat breakfast, make coffee and pester Dilly. I will have a coffee with frothy milk and likely have whatever the kids are having. At the start of lockdown we went through a spell of pancakes, maple syrup, Greek yoghurt, homemade granola and fruit, then I managed to get the kids to love All Bran – result! But toast with marmite is a firm family favourite and Crunchy Nut cornflakes last about 5 minutes. Our dog is the pickiest eater and I try to keep her back some protein to sneak in with actual dog food!

10AM – I have been trying to get in a run or some form of resistance training in 5 days a week. If I am not instructing online I like to exercise in the morning, I am without a doubt a morning person. I am fortunate to have weights, a TRX and a Bosu ball amongst my kit and have been tackling my personal favourite workouts I would have done in the gym pre lockdown with a few tweaks. When I just don’t want to think for myself I have been following IG videos from fellow Barre instructors or Pilates workouts. Shona Virtue, Redefining Strength are a couple of my favourites and the online retailers, e.g. Carbon 38 have had fun 30 minute workouts which have been great to inspire me.

However, throughout all of this I have a little companion who pops in to bounce on and steal my equipment. But lockdown is just as hard for the children’s normal routine as it is for us, so I have surprised myself with being cool with interruption. Another thing I have learnt to be okay with is that although I may have lost a little upper body strength ( I love hanging from a bar) not having access to my usual equipment in the gym. I have picked up my running again and seen the gains in my glute training to power me on in my last sprint towards home. I also know that this will end, and before I know it the gym will be my second home again and therefore not to worry about sticking to exercises I did before – these can be picked up again in good time.

My top tip for exercising with children is to negotiate time with your partner or your children and set that time aside. Everyone is happier if they get a little of what they need and thankfully Tim understands this is a priority for me to stay sane. However, I may also save TV viewing time for when I’m trying to workout to reduce the amount of interruptions I get!

11AM – Tim, being a teacher, has taken on the roll of home schooling Ralph. This is great as I’m appalling at maths and am really only any good at the arts – be kind to yourself if home schooling as its bloody hard and even the teachers find motivating their own children tough. This means I hang out with Bluebell, we have done a little ‘learning’ but a lot of making. I have passed my love of fashion onto her and we enjoy picking the days outfit. It allows me to channel a little of my old job, styling and visual merchandising.

12AM – This mid morning time I juggle working and entertaining Bluebell. I try writing programmes, instructing and researching all whilst colouring and building castles out of loo roll. This is just how it has to be because devoting single time to anything would mean someone being neglected, but a couple of tough days are likely to be followed by a couple of bangers and it is a period of time, life will return to ‘normal’.  I might make a banana chocolate milkshake for the kids and perhaps a smoothie or protein shake for me. The weather has been amazing so we have been enjoying these outside.

1PM  – Lunch is a bit of a free for all, leftovers from dinner, a sandwich, an ice cream or fruit for pudding. I am very relaxed about food for the children, this is because essentially they will eat anything including vegetables and getting enough exercise during the day – thankfully there are no picky eaters in our house, bar Dilly.

2PM – 4PM This afternoon slot tends to blend into one chunk of time, its a mix of work, household tasks and keeping everyone happy in some way. We have been baking lots, I wanted to try to teach Ralph a little more home economics and ‘life skills’ during this time and that’s been a win as his banana bread is great (very ‘on trend’ in lockdown) and the Kenwood mixer has made a reappearance after being forgotten for years.

We will all take Dilly for a walk, the kids will cycle, scoot or run in an open space and its been really lovely family time. Not only have we all got to know our new puppy a lot better, she is getting us all out for our daily exercise in some form.

This can however be one of the most challenging times of the day when my patience gets shorter as I get more tired and I often have pick myself back up to teach again around tea time. It can sometimes feel like every 5 minutes someone needs a glass of water, a bottom wiping or a 20th hoover of the kitchen floor. A lockdown treat has been sharing a big bag of crisps around 4/5 O’clock and this gives me a boost before teaching, which always perks me back up.

6PM  –  This tends to be tea time and we have all been eating together. I would be happy with cheese and chili jam but I try getting a few more nutrients into us. Everyone loves a rice based dish with veg, meat and fish and we try to eat a ‘colourful’ balanced meal 5 evenings a week, but beans on toast will often be cooked if short of time.

7PM – I will often have clients at this time but lockdown has scaled that back so getting into PJ’s and showering early as the kids bath is a real treat. I love looking at rubbish on my phone, in particular indulging my love of ‘online window shopping’. Since getting out of corporate uniform I now can’t see the point in buying anything other than leggings or activewear. I love Sweaty Betty and if I could would live in PE Nation and my Nike trainer collection is a guilty pleasure. I will get a pang of anxiety that I should be promoting my work on IG. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with social media – being a natural introvert I sometimes have to force myself to do it and hate how long it takes me. However being a visual person I love colour and imagery so IG feeds that passion and I feel my personal account reflects me much more than my work one, so perhaps something to work on!

8PM Bluebell should be in bed at this time and this leaves us watching something that’s suitable for an 11 yr old boy. Exercise is a must for me, non negotiable, even when pregnant I exercised right up until the week I walked myself into hospital for both children. That is why I am passionate about training pre and post natal women, it is the constant before and after birth, to keep hold of ‘you’ before and after until life levels out again. But in contrast I do love doing nothing, by the end of the day I’m exhausted and love sitting with a cup of tea and some chocolate.

9PM -Like most people in lockdown we have done a few online quizzes with family and friends and had some true belly laughs. We have watched ‘Normal People’ along with everyone else, which I just loved as I met my husband when we were 19 years old and could totally relate to it. Recently we have picked up playing scrabble together and this time has really reminded me my husband is truly my best friend.

10PM Normally I would absolutely be in bed by now having got in from Luxe and crashing, now bedtime has been relaxed but the routines are the same. We cuddle Dilly, kiss children and check they are still in their own beds, pop on a podcast in bed, ‘Real Life Ghost Stories’ or ‘Criminal’, and fall asleep quickly. My sleep has been so lovely whilst in lockdown due to a few less life admin stresses, its really making me evaluate what makes me and our unit truly happy and I hope we can make a few lasting tweaks to take forward.

Then its back to the early wake up, first in the house and start all over again…..