I am a social person, very very social!
So imagine how hard it was for me when my husband and I moved, eight- months pregnant with my first baby, in the middle of winter, to Boise, ID. We didn't know a soul. We were an eight-hour drive from family and friends. By the time my sweet baby arrived I was so lonely, probably depressed and absolutely craving a village. I had heard of Stroller Strides and decided to see if there was a local franchise. There was.
I was unsure of what to expect. Was this a walking group? Would I sweat? What should I wear? Did I have anything that would fit my six-week postpartum body? I was so nervous, I didn't even know how to unfold my stroller! Truth!
Stroller Strides was like an instant family. That first class was fantastic! The workout was hard, but the instructor offered me modifications and the other moms were so welcoming. I signed up on the spot.
Fast forward exactly a year and I found myself on a plane to San Diego to become certified in pre and postnatal fitness as a Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby instructor! I had no idea what I "wanted to be when I grew up," but this seemed like a great fit for the time being.
I LOVED leading class. I loved adding a sports component to the workouts and being able to pay the love and support forward to other new moms. Teaching Stroller Strides filled my cup, I knew I was making an impact in other moms' lives.
As life often does, we were thrown a curve ball six months later.
We were being relocated to Seattle. Much closer to home but so far from our village in Boise. I was devastated. I was going to have to start all over again. This time I would be moving with a 16-month-old toddler and six months pregnant with baby boy number two. It was daunting.
Immediately I turned to my friend Google and discovered that yes there WAS a Stroller Strides in West Seattle. Hallelujah, I was going to be okay!
My experience in Boise had been amazing: so comfortable, so welcoming, I assumed the same would happen here in Seattle. But you know what they say about assumptions... My initial experience with Stroller Strides was much different the second time around. Not bad, just different. I was pregnant with my second baby, my expectations were different, my body didn't move the same...I had a toddler to contend with. I wasn't sure if this was going to be the right fit for me after all, I didn't know if I'd find my village through Stroller Strides a second time.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
The previous West Seattle Stroller Strides owner was looking to sell her franchise and offered it to me. "Sure!" I said, "I have a two-year-old and a five-month-old, why not a business too?"
BEST. DECISION. EVER!
As the new owner, my personal mission was to ensure every mom who joined Stroller Strides in West Seattle felt like she was home; felt like she'd found her village.
I spent those first couple months rebranding FIT4MOM West Seattle like a crazed mama on a mission. This was NOT going to be a little part-time gig on the side. I was all in!
Not only were we returning to Alki Beach that first month, but we hosted a kickoff event with 80 moms in attendance AND we were launching the new FIT4MOM program, Body Back.
There was a lot to do and I was over the moon to be able to do it! I quickly surrounded myself with a fantastic team who were equally committed to bringing the FIT4MOM secret sauce to every mom who was interested! WE WERE BUILDING A VILLAGE TOGETHER!
It's been nearly three years since I made the fantastic decision to become a FIT4MOM franchisee.
In those three years since, I've added a third baby boy to my family, launched Fit4Baby, grown Body Back into a thriving program, developed strategic partnerships with many, many local businesses, grown our West Seattle team to 21 hard working mamas, received a FIT4MOM Franchisee of the Year Top Three Finalist Award, connected with and built lasting friendships with countless West Seattle moms, ran our community 4th of July Children's Parade with 3,000 in attendance, and have fostered a community that I could not be more proud of.
Two months ago another amazing opportunity fell into my lap; a brick in mortar studio space in a fantastic location!! We launched one of only three FIT4MOM studios in the country and the response has been over the top positive! I can't wait to see where we go next on amazing journey as a FIT4MOM franchisee.
Six years ago I found a village with Stroller Strides when I really needed one.
Today that village is my gift to every mom who is looking for one as well as those moms who didn't know they needed one.