#WCW: Marissa

Marissa has built FIT4MOM Grand Rapids to what it is today! We have her to thank for bringing us all together to this amazing village! Learn more about this amazing mom and instructor:

1: What do you teach/do to help with FIT4MOM Grand Rapids?

I am the owner of FIT4MOM Grand Rapids. I have owned it for four years. I also teach Stroller Strides classes. I am on my 6th year of teaching!

2: How did you get started?

I was approached by a fellow fitness instructor who was the owner of FIT4MOM Grand Rapids (actually just called Stroller Strides at the time) to see if I would be interested in teaching some classes. I started teaching in the spring of 2010. Then in the fall of 2011, she let me know that she wasn't going to continue on with the business and wondered if I would want to take it over. I didn't have kids at the time but I knew this would be the perfect business to have with children. And even more importantly, I wanted my kids and I to be able to be involved in the program when that time came! I am so glad I made the decision to buy and keep this amazing group going!

3: What is your favorite exercise to participate in?

I like to run but I would say my favorite type of exercise is circuit based, group classes like Stroller Strides or Body Back. I have really grown to enjoy the variety as well as the accountability and relationships that come with group exercise.

4: Tell us about your family!

I am married to my best friend and partner in crime, Jeff. We have two kids - Caden (2.5) and Haddie (1).

5: What is your favorite food?

I LOVE Mexican food! One of my go-to meals, especially in the winter, is this chicken and rice stovetop recipe.

South of the Border Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 c salsa

1 package taco seasoning mix

2 c water

2 c minute rice

1 c canned black beans, drained

1 c frozen corn

1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Place chicken, salsa, taco seasoning mix, and water in a large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Bring back to boil and stir in the rice, black beans, and corn. Sprinkle the cheese and cover. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes.

Serves 4

6: What is one piece of advice for moms out there?

Love your season. Too often I find myself wishing for tomorrow - for Caden to stop throwing tantrums or for Haddie to stop needing a morning nap. But one of the many lessons I have learned so far in motherhood is that NOTHING lasts forever. Everything - both the good and the bad - will come to an end and I don't want to spend all my time today wishing for tomorrow because I know that tomorrow will come sooner than I can imagine. So embrace having to answer "What's that?" a million times a day because with those constant questionings comes the joy of developing a little mind. Embrace nursing ALL. DAY. LONG. because it comes along with sweet snuggles from a little baby. This season is EXACTLY where you are supposed to be.

7: What makes FIT4MOM Grand Rapids unique?

FIT4MOM Grand Rapids is unique because of how close we are as a group. Whether you have been with us for 6 years or 6 days, you are instantly drawn into a circle of friends who truly care about you. Yes - you can get great workouts at other places but I know that you could never find the love and support anywhere else that you get here at FIT4MOM!

8: What do you like to do in (rare) "me time"?

So while my jobs set me out to be a big jock, my hobbies bring out the nerd side of me :) I absolutely LOVE to read - mostly novels - but pretty much anything. My favorites range from The Hunger Games to Jane Austen, murder mysteries to The Chronicles of Narnia. I also enjoy sewing and knitting, even though there doesn't seem to be very much time for those activities these days! My latest hobby is hand lettering whatever I can--quotes, song lyrics, my menu for the week, etc.

Just another amazing mom and instructor that makes up Our Village!

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