It’s a Wednesday afternoon and Cristine Schlandt is hefting homemade sandbags around her garage while her three little girls (ages 6, 5 and 3) keep her company, cheering her on as she works through the MTNTOUGH HP20 Heavy Pack Program. Across the garage, she moves onto her homemade pull-up bar that hangs near a cooler now scuffed from overuse and a yoga mat crisscrossed with imprints left from her sneakers. This is sweat equity in a different form and proof that you don’t need fancy equipment or a backcountry mission to train hard.
Schlandt juggles a lot as a full-time working mom. By day, she’s an audiologist in a Tennessee school system, but once she’s home, she’s an efficient multi-tasker as she cares for three kids, a dog named Broccoli (that doesn’t actually like vegetables) and nine chickens while running a pretty tight household. Yet, she’s thankful that she can incorporate a steady diet of fitness in her jampacked schedule.
“What I love about MTNTOUGH is that my girls can come and do parts of the workouts to the extent they can,” says Schlandt, “and if they can’t do the exercise, they're still in the garage playing or in the driveway playing and we’re in the same space, still able to talk and hang out.”
The family of five (plus their dog Broccoli) spends a lot of time outdoors camping, hiking, biking and skiing so staying fit is a natural part of Schlandt’s life. She credits MTNTOUGH to keeping her ready for anything life throws her way with plenty of strength training to keep her interested and always on her toes.
Why Cristine Schlandt is MTNTOUGH
Schlandt first learned about MTNTOUGH on a podcast and decided to give the two-week free trial a try. As a former CrossFitter, Schlandt had a hard time fitting her workouts in around a new school schedule once her oldest began kindergarten, noting, “That school schedule is no joke.”
“I was instantly hooked despite not being a backcountry hunter or former military officer,” says Schlandt.
For Schlandt, it was the quality of the workouts offered along with the added flexibility of being able to complete them at home without having to travel to a gym. She says that aspect makes MTNTOUGH “conducive to having a young family.” MTNTOUGH also provides the perfect opportunity for Schlandt to “model a life of fitness” for her kids because they can either work out with her or play beside her the entire time.
"It’s inclusive and family-friendly in a way other programs are not."
“And if I’m not doing a set program and I’m just doing the daily workouts, I can mix it up and go for a run one day,” says Schlandt. “You can always jump in and pick back up where you left off.” She calls that versatility a “game changer,” especially with school-age children.
Discovering MTNTOUGH has reinvigorated Schlandt in other ways – not only by giving her more motivation to get up and get going each day, but she says she’s also eating better and is more aware of the nutrition necessary to build upon her MTNTOUGH workouts.
Schlandt is proof that you don’t have to be a mountain warrior to use MTNTOUGH. And she’s spreading the word, recruiting friends and family to MTNTOUGH who might not have been aware of its top-notch, kick-ass programs.
By Kristen A. Schmitt