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Looking Back- My FIT4MOM Journey

In the craziness that is motherhood and business ownership -- and all those other parts of life as I know it -- sometimes I like to sit back, quiet my mind, and just remember what brought me to this crazy beautiful happy place. I remember when I tried my first class and made my first neighborhood mom friends. When I first met the mom down the street who would later become my business partner. I remember the moms who came, who saw, who conquered; those who have been with me since the start and those who have moved away. All that remembering leads me right back to today. I thought I'd share some of these moments through pictures and a little story-telling.

Let's start with September 2013. It took me FOREVER to join the Federal Hill family ListServ. This thing was and is the most amazing resource. More than a thousand parents in my zip code seeking advice, selling used gear, sharing local events, planning play dates, and more! I saw a post about a Body Back preview class in the park right next to my house that read "Whatever your goal!! -lose inches -decrease body fat -eat cleaner -meet other moms -Give dad time alone with the kids." I don't think my husband had ever been home alone with our daughter before this night, so that last point was a good one! And so I went... and he survived the hour... it was great! Later that night, I took to Facebook:

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The next six months went by. I completed two sessions of Body Back, attended Stroller Strides every now and then, lost something like 28 pounds, was in better shape than ever before in my life, and I made friendships that have proven to stand the test of time. Here are some of my very best mom friends and me at a class warm-up in October 2013. I think this is the only photographic FIT4MOM evidence of me pre-ownership. :-)

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I had started a local playgroup in March 2014. A few moms and nannies came, including Rachel Felling who I had met a time or two at Stroller Strides. Another neighborhood mom was there, and she suggested that we start a monthly moms' night out. The idea was a hit, and at our first night out in early April, there were about a dozen moms, including Rachel, other playgroup moms, some Body Back moms, and a few other friends. It was at that meeting that Rachel and I had a conversation that went something like this:

"I heard that FIT4MOM is up for sale, but I don't think I want to own it alone."

"I heard that, too, and I was thinking the same thing."

"So do you want to do this together?"

"OK. Let's do it."

"Cheers."

We had met one another less than 10 times. Maybe even less than 5. The next morning we texted, wondering if we meant what we said the night before.

Were we going to go into business together? We sure were.

Our planning meetings over the course of the next month looked something like this...

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And then on May 22, the deal was done. FIT4MOM Baltimore City was ours. We celebrated at the bar where we cheers-ed to our plan the month before.

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By June 14, 2014, we were ready to get this party started! Our Grand Opening was so much fun!

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It took some time, but Our Village and our classes grew. We offered Stroller Strides, Body Back, and Run Club pretty much right away. Rachel and I lived and breathed FIT4MOM. We became the best of friends, hardly going a day without talking, texting, or seeing one another. Our kids had also become the best of friends. We did EVERYTHING together. And then she got pregnant. And then I got pregnant. We both knew that 2015 was going to be a crazy year.

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Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Rachel dropped the news that she and her family were going to move halfway across the country to be closer to their families. The actual move didn't happen until almost a year after she first told me, but oh man, what a year. That year was personally very hard for me -- I had just lost my dad, I was new to being a mom of two, I took over a business, and then one of my very best friends moved away. I snapped this pic the morning they left. <3

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Through it all, I always found comfort in FIT4MOM. Whether I attended a class, taught a class, came to a Stroller Strides playgroup, hit the town for moms' night out, or just saw mamas from our village out and about, this business brought me so much joy. It still brings me so much joy.

I was so excited to finally make it to the national FIT4MOM conference in San Diego this year. I was surrounded by women who love to do what I love to do. Who understand the crazy beautiful life that is stay-at-home motherhood and business ownership. That weekend let me know that I'm right where I belong.

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FIT4MOM offers fitness, sure. But it's so much more. It's having adults to talk to when you spend your days with babbling babies. Sometimes those adults become your closest friends. It's sweating and getting stronger and realizing you're not so winded after running up and down your rowhome steps. Go you! It's learning that we all might do things differently, but that none of us are bad moms. We're all just trying to enjoy our kids and make it to bedtime.

Whether your happy place is fitness, catching up with friends, entertaining your kids, stealing a moment away from your kids, or a combination of those things or something totally different, we welcome you to find your happy place with us. I always do.

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To learn more, follow us on Facebook and check out our programs here. You can also sign up for your first free class, and I'll be in touch! ~Rachel

grand opening 6-14-14.jpg

In the craziness that is motherhood and business ownership -- and all those other parts of life as I know it -- sometimes I like to sit back, quiet my mind, and just remember what brought me to this crazy beautiful happy place. I remember when I tried my first class and made my first neighborhood mom friends. When I first met the mom down the street who would later become my business partner. I remember the moms who came, who saw, who conquered; those who have been with me since the start and those who have moved away. All that remembering leads me right back to today. I thought I'd share some of these moments through pictures and a little story-telling.

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