CUSTOMER IN FOCUS - Kathryn Sliwinski

This month we are doing something a little different with our customer in focus. We are featuring one of our female customers Kathryn Sliwinski (pictured in the middle). Kat has been an amazing supporter of Maw and has purchased much of the Maw Active range for her Husband Michael (pictured to Kathryn's left) and their great friend Gav (pictured to Kathryn's right). Along with raising three young kids, work, Kat always finds the time for her health and fitness. Read Kathryn's story below: 

Where are you from?

Canberra my whole life. 

What is your Why?

I run for me time. Three kids aged 6 and under means I need time away from the chaos. It is also a way to better myself in terms of fitness and wellbeing. It was only after starting a family that I really focused on losing weight and becoming a better runner.

What got you started on your health and fitness journey?

I had always considered myself a jogger however couldn’t improve and couldn’t drop weight. When having children an autoimmune condition was found which has caused me to develop diabetes. This means I had to focus on diet and exercise more. I found a love for running, and slowly started to improve. Pre children my parkrun time was never under 25minutes. Now I can run parkrun pushing a double pram in around 23 minutes, and my parkrun PB is 20.55 which I set just before falling pregnant with baby number 3.

I have been a nurse for 12 years and know the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What motivates you to keep going?

The glimmer that I may get back to some speedier runs, 9 months post baby number 3 it has been a struggle with injury and a busy home life, I know once I return to work it will be even harder. However starting the day with exercise whatever it may be, a run, swim, some strength work, always sets me up for a more manageable day. I like to be a good role model for my children who I am yet to convince to complete parkrun, they have it too easy being pushed around in their pram!

What tips do you have for someone who is just starting their journey?

Get support. A facebook group, local parkrun, or running squad. Having like-minded people invested in your journey makes it so much more worthwhile. They will be the people who celebrate your wins and accomplishments and support and encourage you when you need it most. Those networks and friendships are so invaluable.

What are you daily habits that allow you to exercise and stay on track?

I don’t really have daily habits. I have a bit of a weekly routine. I used to drink a lot of soft drink however have changed that to only one or two on the weekends, same goes for alcohol and dessert. I ensure I continue to get up early for my training, as once you start skipping those sessions it becomes difficult to start again.

Why did you buy the Maw Active gear for your partner and friends?  

I love the hoodies for myself, they are great quality, soft and comfy , also perfect for the Canberra winter. My friends and husband wear the MAW Active gear and I have seen how it is their go to clothing for any run, be it long or short. They don’t hold the sweaty smell, plus wash well and we have items in our house over 2 years old that still look new and have been worn over and over again.

Why would you recommend Maw Active?

I love to support any small Australian business that has exceptional customer service and supports the community. It unites those through running and also provides good quality and affordable active wear for men which is a big gap in the market.

What adversity have you had to overcome to get to where you are?

I was born with severe hip dysplasia (as were all 3 of my children) and had surgery as a child to correct it. I was told by physio’s not to run hills or too far. I have managed to run 11 consecutive city2surf’s and have not had any further hip problems. I have a pretty useless right knee that has had one operation on it and is now the reason I have not been able to run for the past two months and I am hoping to avoid another operation with intensive physio and strength work. I have been swimming 3 times a week instead of running and anyone who dislikes the treadmill, let me tell you, 3km swim (60min) in the pool is much worse than 60min on a treadmill!

So whilst I never thought I would be much of a runner, I have achieved a great parkrun time, am almost at my 300th parkrun, all whilst having 3 children. I have run so many different events and really hope I am back in good form soon.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

My all time favourite event is the wings for life world run. Look it up! I have entered 3 times. I trained so hard for the 2019 event and I managed 26.5km before I was caught by the chaser car and eliminated. The crazy part is that all the world events must start at the same time, so in Melbourne it commences at 9pm. That is a strange time to be starting a race but so much fun. It was a massive achievement for me to run so far at such a good pace, my overall pace that run was 5min/km.

What is your favourite fitness event you have undertaken?

As mentioned above wings for life is a must. City2surf is also so much fun and I have run it every year since 2010. Even if crowds aren't your cup of tea, just one year have a go. The atmosphere alone is one of a kind.

What is your favourite fitness activity? 

Running 100%. I love all about running. I’ve made new friends, life long friends, learnt so much about training and exercise. Except no trails. I am not keen on trails and avoid them at all costs. Mainly because I prefer the speed of road running and am scared of snakes.

What are your goals for 2021?

To get back to running pain free at a semi decent pace. I’d love to race a 10km event as I haven't done that in a few years. To lose the last of the baby kgs would also be nice, but life is too short so I am not too worried about that one.

If you could (After COVID) what event would you like to undertake in the world?

The only time I will ever attempt a marathon would be if it were a destination one. I’d love to do the London marathon, or do the Run Disney series.

Thanks Kat for an insightful look into your life and fitness journey. 

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