FITfamily Summertime

School’s Out for Summer! 

It is that time of year that all parents of school-aged children simultaneously welcome and dread.  The end of the school year…

The end of the blasted routine! The end of packing school lunches! The end of homework struggles! The end of sports practices, ball games and organized activities!

BUT ALSO…

The end of that blessed routine. The end of well thought-out, sensibly packed lunches. The end of professionally-led brain stimulation. The end of organized group exercise for the kids.

And for a lot of us, the end of a great chunk of our “Mommy Time.”

Yes, summertime can be as bittersweet as the lemonade sold on the sidewalk. And FITfamily is here to help you find creative and fun ways to keep yourself and your  family FIT and ACTIVE when “RELAX” is the message of the season.

No More Autopilot

My school-year exercise routine is a no-brainer. Drop Will (7) and Anna (5) at school in the morning and autopilot to the gym for a class led by a perky and creative instructor whom I blissfully and mindlessly follow. No thinking or planning required!  But in the summer, when PJs have the potential to be worn well into the afternoon, there is no such thing as “autopilot.” We summer mamas have to be intentional and pro-active.

So in the spirit of planning, here are some ideas to add to your arsenals:

  • Family bike rides: Now that both kids have ditched the training wheels, this has become really fun. We have big plans for some fun rides this summer. I’ve heard the trails on Roosevelt Island are shady and not crowded.
  • Family hikes: We love to take our golden retriever on hikes through Battery Kemble Trail, which runs along a creek and has fun bridges to cross and lots of nature to take in. We “power hike” one way and keep a more leisurely pace on the way back, taking time to stop and wade in the creek, hunt for toads, sort rocks and be explorers.
  • Swimming: The pool is a summer staple, but how often do you find yourself watching the kids get their exercise while you lie sloth-like in a lounge chair? Well, this summer, when the “adult swim” whistle blows, I’m plopping my kids at the end of a lane and tickling their toes when I come up (gasping!) for air after each lap. They think it’s hilarious to watch Mommy suck wind, and I sneak in some cardio, 15-minutes at a time!
  • Playground: Have you tried to do the monkey bars with your kids recently?  It’s harder than they make it look! While they’re getting great exercise without even thinking about it, I’m getting in a little work-out for myself with wall-sits, ladder climbs, park bench triceps dips, and yes, monkey bars!
  • Jogging the Track: There are several great tracks in DC. I taught my kids to ride their bikes at Horace Mann Elementary  and American University because their bouncy, rubbery tracks made for less-scary falls. They’re also better on my knees for jogging/power walking while the kids speed-cycle past me!
  • Foot races: I used to let Will beat me; now I can’t win if I try!
  • Play Ball! Here are the most popular in our family… basketball in the driveway, “wall ball” with a tennis ball against the garage (requiring poor mom to sprint to touch the garage before getting pelted with said tennis ball), baseball and soccer. Cardio workout, anyone?!

As for that lost “Mommy Time,” I am instituting one hour of “Quiet Me Time” every day this summer. For one hour, everyone does something they like to do QUIETLY and IN THEIR ROOMS. For Anna, that will be reading, drawing, playing dress up or dolls. For Will, LEGOs will be in full swing, along with drawing, reading and some time-monitored Nintendo DS. But as for me, I plan to pull out the yoga mat and my FITgal recommendations of either Tracey Anderson’s Metamorphosis DVD or my favorite CoreFusion DVD, lock the bedroom door, and have my Zen moment with a creative instructor who lets me zone out and follow in that blissful, mindless state.

Happy Summer days!!!

FITfamily

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FITmama Leans In

I’m thrilled and thankful to be a part of the Lean In community. 

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Just three short years ago, I lived in New York City and was chasing my dream of becoming a model and actor. I had anticipated living in the Big Apple my whole adolescence and couldn’t believe it was all coming true! While I wouldn’t change one moment of my New York City experience (I had many career highs, wonderful friends, and fell in love with my husband there), all in all, New York living was a daily grind. I worked dozens of jobs: personal trainer, health coach, bartender, waiter, babysitter, restaurant manager, actor, model, dog walker, bookkeeper, and wedding planner—all at the same time. New York really is the city that never sleeps.

Shortly after getting married, my husband and I decided to invest in his career (aka his MBA) and our future family by moving closer to our families in Washington, DC. This provided me with an opportunity to reassess. What is it that I really wanted to do? Before dreaming of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I had wanted to be a dancer. As a child, the plan was to own a dance studio like my aunt. When I finally asked myself what made me truly happy, I realized I achieved the same high from exercise and yoga as when I was dancing. While I was tiring of cattle calls and the odd modeling and acting jobs here and there, I was becoming more and more driven by my yoga practice and helping my clients get healthy. So, with the move, I decided we weren’t just investing in my husband, but I was ready to fully commit to one path and launch my fitness and nutrition consulting company, FitTrition.

Like any new business, the first year was tough. After a few months of saying yes to everything (Yes I juice! Sure I would love to teach that yoga class! You need a trainer 20 miles outside of my usual location…why not?), I was able to identify my target market and develop a network of consistent clients. I also tapped into many of the wonderful resources available for women entrepreneurs in the area.  By my second year in business, I had a full schedule and was hitting my goal of weekly clients.

Then, I found out we were expecting. While this was incredibly blessed news, I was concerned about what this meant for my (finally) blooming business. It was a complete sink or swim moment.  My husband was flourishing in his job (while still working towards his MBA), which provided me with a choice: Do I take a step back in my career and stay home or lean in and grow my business? While I was grateful for the ability to have a choice, it also presented a dilemma. Will I feel guilty if I am not home all the time? Will my salary justify paying for child care? After going back and forth about it for months (thank goodness for long gestation periods), I realized my perception was off. Why do we value the worth or cost of child care solely on the woman’s salary and not as a household expense? Child care benefits both the mother and father so that we can provide for our family together. After changing my perspective and realizing the potential for growth in my business, I decided to commit to myself and start leaning in at every workout. I also started asking for help. I would ask clients to share how they handled work/life balance. I had been timid before, as though asking for help was showing some kind of weakness, but I found the opposite to be true. The responses were overwhelming and, frankly, it’s the reason why I’m where I am today.

Thankfully those early years in my 20s not only taught me the skill of functioning without a sleep (a skill that came in handy when my son decided not to sleep for eight months), but also time management, hustling, perseverance, and a strong work ethic.As the saying goes: “If you can make it [in New York], then you can make it anywhere.” Once I committed to leaning in, FitTrition became a real business. I wasn’t just a personal trainer anymore, but an entrepreneur with employees. I worried about marketing and growth. Now, in my third year in business, my FIT team includes myself and three other trainers, a brand manager and social media interns. We have acquired two large corporate wellness clients in the DC area, not to mention being featured through various forms of media. Living in NYC, I saw success as only being attainable with an Ivy League education or by having those “right” connections. I let this perception cloud my judgment but have finally embraced that just like my clients, CEOs and entrepreneurs come in all different shapes and sizes. It just so happens that my professional attire is a pair of Nike sneakers, Lululemon pants (not the see through ones!) and my hair in a ponytail.

 

Xo

FITmama