The first time I ran across Fit4Mom (Stroller Strides at that point) was in 2009, when I was a senior in college. I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree in exercise science, planning a wedding, and deciding what I wanted to do with my future (which is still a work in progress!). I distinctly remember being in the library with a friend, avoiding our studies by browsing the Internet, and running across the Stroller Strides website. I thought to myself, “Hey I could do that someday!”
Fast forward to 2010 - I was working as a personal trainer and fitness instructor at Calvin College where I met Kendra Bylsma, another fitness instructor who had just started Stroller Strides in Grand Rapids. She needed some help instructing and I had some openings in my schedule so I jumped at the opportunity. I loved kids and was looking forward to having some of my own so it was a perfect fit for me. I started teaching that spring and absolutely loved it! I loved bringing moms together and helping them meet their fitness goals. I was able to combine two of my greatest passions in life - wellness and motherhood. It was a dream job!
Fast forward to 2012 - Kendra decided to step down from Stroller Strides to continue growing her personal training company and asked if I would like to purchase the business. After a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to go for it! One of the biggest factors in my decision was that I wanted this group to be around when I had my own children. I wanted them to grow up with an awesome group of playmates, as well as experience firsthand moms who make health a priority.
Fast forward to 2013 - My son, Caden, was born in July and I officially became “one of the moms!” Back when I first started teaching Stroller Strides classes, there was no way I could have imagined the impact this business would have on my life. It was amazing to have a built in group of moms who I could lean on for support right from the beginning.
So why Fit4Mom? Why have I invested my time and energy into this business? It’s because I believe in the importance of relationships as well as fitness in the overall wellbeing of a woman. It’s because I believe motherhood is a calling but it is not something we can do on our own. It’s seeing a mom who walked into class tired and worn down leave inspired and energetic because of the time she could focus on her own health. It’s seeing our group embrace a new mom and her 6 week old the first time she joins our class. It’s seeing a mom do her first full plank post-baby. It’s seeing a group of women from different backgrounds come together and become the best of friends. That is my WHY.