I tried FIT4MOM Boerne: Here’s Why I Think You Should Too
If you remember, back in January I had a whole list of different fitness places and groups that I wanted to try here in Boerne. Well, turns out I was sick for most of the month and I didn’t make it to many at all. One of the groups that I wanted to try, but didn’t get to, was FIT4MOM Boerne / Fair Oaks Ranch (FOR) and I’m excited to say…now, I’ve done it! The bottom line really is up front with this post (literally, right there in the headline), but I want to take a bit of time to tell you exactly what FIT4MOM is all about and why I loved it so much.
So, what is it? FIT4MOM is, well, fitness for moms! It’s a nationwide franchise of locally owned workout groups all led by certified instructors who are also moms, just like you and me. The owner of FIT4MOM Boerne / FOR is rockstar mompreneur and girl-mom (x2) Jen Staats.
Jen offers two different FIT4MOM workout programs and they are both for moms with stroller-aged kiddos, because YES, you bring them with you!
1) STROLLER STRIDES: a total-body cardio and strength training workout with plenty of songs, stickers, bubbles, and nursery rhymes to keep the little ones entertained while you get your sweat on.
2) And STROLLER BARRE: a core-strengthening workout inspired by Barre Pilates, yoga, and ballet which utilizes the handlebar on your stroller as a ballet barre for your workout...genius!
And soon she'll be adding BODY BACK, an eight-week moms-only high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program, to that list as well!
But FIT4MOM isn't just about working out. To get a true feeling for what it really is, you'll want to watch this quick video:
Did that last minute or so tug at the heartstrings a little? Yeah, mine too. Why is that? Well, I think because it resonates. We’re all moms and we’re all going through the same thing, but still, motherhood can be very lonely at times. Sometimes you just feel completely isolated; from old friends, from co-workers, even from family and spouses. And when your kids are all in various stages of screaming and fighting with each other, refusing to sleep or eat anything but peanut butter, dealing with things such as painful ear infections and teething, developing their independence by seeing just how far they can push the limits…motherhood gets heavy. THIS is why they say, “it takes a village”. And FIT4MOM wants to be YOUR VILLAGE.
So, how was my personal experience at FIT4MOM? Did I see a "village"? ABSOLUTELY. It was apparent in the first class. They were talking about their kid's recent birthday party, and complimenting each other's workout tanks, and giving kudos to the one who's in her third trimester and still hanging strong, and saying things like, "I stink y'all...I'm sorry. I'm still looking for a good deodorant!". These women knew each other. They were comfortable with each other, which is great, but we all know that sometimes it's hard for a newcomer to make their way into a tight-knit group of women, right? Not here. Every single person I met was so warm and welcoming and genuinely interested in my story. They asked me questions. When was the last time you were in a new group of women who were already friends with each other and yet, they still took the time to try to get to know you? Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but for someone like me who has seriously been missing a village for sooooo long, it was truly amazing!
As for the workouts? Well, they were set up in a circuit-training sort of style and repetition seemed to be key. We started with a warmup on the concrete pad by the playground then moved to various spots throughout the park to work different muscle groups...and BOY, did we work different muscle groups! I was sore all over after the first class and I'm pretty sure that a big part of that is because Jen's watch has an entirely different sense of time than the rest of the world. One minute tends to feel like three when you're holding those poses or doing those squats, but man, did I sure feel good after. And there was always a modified version of each exercise available and a quick look around was all that was needed to reassure me that there were moms of all skill levels there, working hard, and not a single one was being judged for how they were doing it (phew!). I was also impressed with the creativity involved with the workouts: we used the side of the barn at the Agricultural Museum to do wall-sits, the picnic tables to do dips, a metal railing to do arm workouts with resistance bands, etc., which really kept things fun and interesting.
Another part of the workout that I enjoyed was the transit time between stations. Not only was it a nice chance to catch my breath after all the hard work we just did, but it was also a great opportunity to chat with the person walking next to me. Here are some of the things I heard in those moments (paraphrased a bit, because I was not blessed with a perfect memory):
"I love coming here because we get to bring the kids. There's just not really any other place in town where your kids get to work out with you."
"My first month with her (baby) was really tough. Then I found this group and everything was so much better."
"When I first started, there was another girl who had a baby the day before mine was born. It was awesome to have someone else in the group who was going through the same things I was, at the same time."
"Before I started coming here, I knew what time it was by what was on the tv. It's all so much better now."
Those are real words, from real people and in hearing them, I was reminded of a few things that Jen had said to me through email before:
"After having my first child in 2011, I was lonely, working full time from my home office and desperately needing friends. Then I found STROLLER STRIDES at FIT4MOM North San Antonio. It was life-changing. I met an amazing group of friends who were going through the same things I was, I was able to exercise, and I never had to leave my baby. After moving to Boerne in 2013, I knew I wanted to start a FIT4MOM franchise here. I love the impact that this has had on my life and my children's lives and I want to share it with everyone!"
And when I asked her "What's your favorite part about what you do?"
"I absolutely love teaching classes and getting to know all of the moms. I love seeing them become 'part of the village'. I love seeing them at our playdates and our Mom's Night Outs. A lot of times moms don't realize how much they need community. Motherhood can be lonely and when your life changes so fast after having a baby, it's critical to have a village to rely on, ask questions, and just vent when necessary. This is my 'why'. This is why I do this to help other moms...because it helped me so much."
If you're reading this and thinking, "This is me. This is what I need.", then why not give it a try? Your first class is always free and if you mention this post after your free class, your registration fee will be waved when you sign up! You'll find Jen at Boerne City Park Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9:30 and at Spring Creek United Methodist Church in Fair Oaks Ranch on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30. Bring yourself, your baby, a stroller, water, and a yoga mat. You don't need to message, call, email, or sign-up...just show up. As Jen likes to say, "Come for the workout, stay for the friendship". You owe it to yourself to find your village, Mama, and there's a good chance this is the one you've been looking for.
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NOTE: This post was written in partnership with FIT4MOM Boerne.