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Les Mills Combat at Great Park: Midlife Mum Confessions

As a seasoned career woman turned sleep-deprived guardian of Baby Cyrus, my goal was to build my tribe and that’s how I stumbled upon Great Park Community Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Uncharted World of Community Centres

Confession time! I admit I’d never graced a community centre with my presence before the arrival of Little C. Not out of disdain, mind you, but simply because adulting was a full-time job, and community centres were on the back burner – somewhere between unicorn riding lessons and mastering the art of juggling flaming torches.

Lost in Motherhood

Post-birth, I found myself in a world where midwives and health visitors have bid adieu, leaving me to make the best of motherhood with H and his family via a tablet. Surrounded by friends still sprinting in the rat race, I decided to build my mummy network, armed with a baby sling and a determination to conquer the world, one Harrods baby bag at a time.

Back to the Office

Ever the go-getter, I strapped on my baby sling, loaded up on baby essentials, and waltzed back to the office. I was a bewildered mum at my desk, colleagues cooing over Cyrus, with an eerie thought that I may end up like Carole from ‘The Brittas Empire’, storing her kids in desk drawers. I suddenly realised that balancing the demands of motherhood with my personal ambitions and goals was going to be a delicate juggling act.

Combatting the Midlife Crisis

A chance mention at work unveiled the world of pop-up body combat sessions at the local community centre. And once a gym-dabbler, I coulldn’t wait to renew my love for Les Mills Combat classes. Because, let’s face it, aerobics was so last season, and step classes? An ankle catastrophe waiting to happen!

Budget-Friendly Fitness

Reality check: Gyms with creche facilities are pricier than a golden buggy. I searched far and wide, only to discover Les Mills Combat at the Great Park Community Centre, complete with a supportive instructor, Nichola Burns. Budget intact, endorphins released!

The Community Centre

As I entered the community centre for my very first combat class, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of excitement and trepidation. Six weeks postpartum and armed with a pelvic floor that had seen better days, I was ready for the challenge – or so I thought. We lunged, we squatted, and we did jumping jacks that could rival any aerobics class from the ’80s. All the while, our tiny spectators – including my baby Cyrus – watched on.

There were brilliant moments, like when my pelvic floor managed to hold its own during a particularly enthusiastic round of high knees. And then there were the moments of sheer panic, like when I attempted a burpee and wondered if my pelvic floor had taken a holiday without informing me.

But the true highlight of the class? The cries and giggles from our mini audience. As we sweated it out, our little ones sat in their buggies, looking on with a mix of confusion and sheer delight. Baby Cyrus, in particular, seemed to be evaluating my form with a critical eye.

So, to all the mamans out there contemplating a postpartum workout adventure, I say this: Strap on those trainers, unleash your pelvic floor, and let the combat games begin! Your body (and your baby) will thank you for it.


The Great Park Community Centre has emerged as a lifeline, offering a sanctuary of fitness, friendship, and the occasional spilled baby formula. As I juggle nappies and Les Mills Combat moves, I wonder if there’s enough time to conquer all the classes before returning to the daily grind. Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure – the community centre wins as the ultimate accomplice in this comedy-drama called motherhood.


Saffron and Cyrus is a Newcastle-based family lifestyle blog, covering health, wellness, days out, travel, reviews, recipes and more from our family life.
The blog is written by new mum over 40, Aranda, with input from hubby H and son, Little C.

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