Ette founder Sarah talks about strength, movement and workouts
At Etté we believe that strength comes as much from your mind and soul as your muscles. Tell us when you’ve felt the strongest mentally and when you’ve felt strongest physically.
I would’ve always said that my strongest was when physically I felt the fittest. Just before my wedding I had the time to workout a lot and loved that. Physically I was really strong and felt it. With my strength came a lightness – my body just felt as if it functioned better.
Mentally I think I feel strongest when I have balance. When I’m moving lots, eating a really good range of food and when life feels the right side of busy – manageable and not overwhelming.
As I have gotten older, I have realised it’s all so fluid – you have times of strength and times when you feel less so and it comes and goes. Nothing is static, it’s always changing.
We believe within every human spirit there is the most amazing inner strength. When times are tough and you feel your weakest, these are the moments you prove how strong you really are. Have you experienced this?
Definitely and I didn’t realise how true this was until I came through the other side. Just after I’d had a baby my body felt broken; I’d not loved pregnancy, my labour was long and complicated and recovery was very slow with further complications. My mind wasn’t doing so well either – not being able to move as freely really impacted me and then add to that a pandemic and it’s not surprising I wasn’t feeling great!
As I look back though on that period I see how far I’ve come, how I prioritise movement, am kinder to myself and have learnt to respect the journey of recovery. Actually I see that within all that perceived weakness there was a burning sense of strength to carry on, get through and break through to the other side. I feel proud of that process now.
Movement is medicine - a strong belief of ours – how do you use movement in your life?
I find that I move both for my mind and my body but in very different ways. When I need to clear my head, my go-to workout is either a run in the countryside where I can breathe the fresh air and focus on my pace and my music or a sweaty weights session with my music blasting and all I’m thinking about are the reps.
If I’m moving for my body, perhaps I’ve been sitting at my mac all day, I love Pilates or Barre. They’re the perfect combination of strength, stretching and endurance.
Tell us about your favourite forms of movement?
I am such a sucker for exercise and love everything from weights to running, Pilates to Barrecore, and intense spin to a country walk. I’m not as much of a fan of HIIT but having said that I did have a bit of an obsession with the Psycle spin classes and 1Rebel Reshape sessions! For me movement is really fluid – it’s whatever I fancy that day. I think when your movement regime becomes very set it starts to feel as if you ‘should’ do things whereas moving intuitively I always find more motivating.
Tell us about your relationship with movement?
I’ve always been fairly active but as I’ve got older, I have realised that exercise is so key to my mental health. As soon as I start a workout, especially a run, I always feel instantly better. Moving is so natural, yet nowadays we all sit still for so much of the day. When I find something where I can just dive into it, focus on it completely and ignore everything else, that’s a winner for me.
Do you use weights within your workouts and when did you start doing this?
I mean I couldn’t not, right?! I genuinely do and my house is full of dumbbells including random samples from over the years as the perfect Etté colours were established. I’m lucky to have a big range and enjoy using a 1kg for a Barre workout as much as a 10KG for a strength session.
I started working out with weights just before I met my husband and the transformation I felt and saw was huge – bigger than any other type of movement in the past. I began to see real definition in my muscles and feel the strength develop. My progress was marked and it’s when my obsession started.
Tell us about your favourite moments of movement.
So many! From the big moments such as completing the London Marathon through to those sweaty classes on a spin bike with music so loud, I can feel it in my chest. For me, my favourite moments are all about when I lose myself to the movement and I’m riding along with it, totally absorbed. It’s the best form of escapism and meditation.