society

‘Mothers can do anything and everything’

A mother who has broken 11 Guinness World Records says being a mum is the toughest challenge she has had in her life

18:03 March 20, 2017
NAT Eva Clarke
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Abu Dhabi: Mums really can do everything and anything, is a message from a mother of three who has broken 11 Guinness World Records on this Mother’s Day.

Eva Clarke, a 38-year-old Australian expat living in Abu Dhabi, works as a physical fitness trainer, is studying at university, works daily towards her fitness goals which include breaking world records, skydives, supports charities and is a very hands-on mum to three children aged 17, 11 and 6.

“Being a mum shouldn’t be an excuse to not be the best that you can be, you should want to want to be the best for them,” Clarke told Gulf News at her Abu Dhabi residence as she juggled her children’s after-school activities and prepared to rush to a meeting with one of her clients.

“As a parent I believe in leading by example, so when it comes to pushing the limits, taking on challenges, raising awareness and giving back to those in need I hope that my kids will do the same when they get older. That’s my biggest ambition,” she added.

Clarke’s journey to get to where she has so far, has been filled with challenges. However, she just “finds a way round them” in order to achieve her goals.

She was diagnosed with Kienbock’s disease in 2006, a condition that required her have a pin installed in her right wrist which has restricted her range of motions, including the ability to do push-ups.

The limitation on her wrist movements led Clarke to change her push-up routines and do them on her knuckles, a far tougher exercise.

The active mum then got the idea to see if she could try and break world records as she increased the number of her daily knuckle push-ups.

“I started with a 100 push-ups and then just kept increasing them.”

Clarke went on to break 11 Guinness World Records for a number of fitness challenges including knuckle push-ups, burpees, fastest marathon carrying a 20kg-pack and pull-ups.

“If you really want to do something, you will find a way. There are certain exercises that I can’t do, but I just look for things I can do.”

She also decided to overcome her fear of heights by taking on skydiving, which has now turned into a hobby for Clarke and her husband.

This mum’s ambitions of being the best role model that she can be for her children does not end with fitness challenges.

Clarke also decided to sign up for a part-time Bachelor course at an open university last year in an effort to have a better understanding of what her daughter will be experiencing next year when she starts university.

“It’s been tough taking up studying, but I really wanted to do it for my eldest daughter. As a mum I want to feel what they are feeling, because times have changed and things are different from when we were growing up.”

Clarke said she believes anyone can achieve anything as long as they plan and prioritise their goals.

“My family and my fitness are very important so I prioritise. If I can’t be somewhere I will not be,” said Clarke.

Clarke admits that her husband’s continuous support, especially with evening chores, has been crucial in achieving her goals and being there for their children.

She also confessed that of all the challenges that she has took on in her life, being a mother has been the toughest of them all.

“Being a mum is the hardest title that I have earned and the most rewarding, it has given me the most emotions that I have felt in life.”

“Doing a Guinness World Record is easy (compared to being a mum). If you have been with a kid that cries for 24 hours, you can do anything,” she adds with laughter.

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The UAE is among some of the countries, mainly Arab, that celebrate Mothers’ Day on March 21. [International Mothers’ Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May every year.]

Mother’s Day is dedicated to celebrating the role of mothers in nurturing strong generations for society building and nation building, and it is an occasion to reflect on and mark the invaluable role played by mothers in humanity’s overall progress.