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Meet Erin - our resident blogger and Body Back mama!

Hello Fellow Fit (or in my case attempting to be fit) Mamas! I was so flattered, nervous and, most of all, excited when Natalie asked me if I wanted to try blogging for Fit4Mom RVA. Her business has changed my life in so many positive ways! I'm excited to give something back, and hopefully help encourage and support other moms along the way.

(Don't my kids look so thrilled to be in this picture?)

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My Story

I'm originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but my husband Brian and I moved to Richmond in 2007. I spent my first three years here continuing my career as a special education teacher in Henrico. In 2010, I gave birth to my first child, Ben, and began my life as a stay at home mom. Violet and Nora soon followed in 2012 and 2015.

Important Things to Know About Me:

1. I complain the loudest during every workout, but I really do love being pushed to my limit.

2. I am addicted to La Croix sparkling water, especially the pampelmousse flavor, even though it makes me look 3 months pregnant.

3. My dream job would be to perform in musical theater professionally. Since that's not very realistic due to lack of talent, you'll often find me singing karaoke.

4. I can come across as very outgoing on my blog and around people I know well, but I'm actually a shy, introvert who loves to listen and observe others.

5. My three kids are my favorite people and the loves of my life, but if they were my entire world, I'd go crazy! That's where Fit4Mom comes in.

(Here I am, 35 weeks pregnant, singing Bohemian Rhapsody with my husband.)

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My FIT4MOM Journey

In January 2016, I decided to join the Body Back Winter session. I'd done a few months of Stroller Strides back in 2011, when my son was a baby, and I remember being surprised by how intense a workout it was. especially considering that the word stroller was in the name. Maybe I was just a lot more out of shape after having three kids, but Body Back felt like that times ten! The first day we only did assessments, such as seeing how many sit-ups, push-ups, squats, etc. we could do in a minute. I was so winded that I wondered how I would ever get through the actual workouts. But you know what, I kept coming back and I kept improving. That first day I only managed to do one sit-up, IN A MINUTE! By the end of that first session, I could do 16.

Seeing an increase in my strength and stamina was awesome, but, for me, it wasn't the best part of my journey. The best part was learning that it wasn't selfish to take time for myself. I could put myself first and still be a good mom and a good wife. After I realized this, I actually became a better wife and mother because I wasn't feeling burned out all the time.

I also fell in love with the community of supportive moms I was working out with. When I started my first session, I was the only one there who didn't know anyone, but I immediately felt welcome. It's been great to have this amazing group of women to talk to about the challenges of motherhood, marriage and getting older. No topic is off limits. It's so much more than your typical workout class at the gym, and I recommend it to every mom I meet. I'm so glad you're a part of our village and hope to meet more of you soon. If you're reading this because someone told you about Fit4Mom and you wanted to check it out, welcome! I hope you join us!

On the Fit4Mom blog, I'll sometimes be writing about how to keep yourself and your family fit and healthy, but mostly I'll focus on topics that will help and support you through the challenges of motherhood. Motherhood is one of the hardest things I've ever done, and, though it's been the best job I've ever had, there are times when I want to lock my door and hide under the covers when I hear that first, "Mom!!" of the day at 6:30 am. I'm going to keep it as real as I possibly can here because I want you to realize that you aren't alone. No one can wake up feeling all rainbows and unicorns about motherhood all the time, and THAT IS OK. We're all in this together, mamas!

(I'm the one with the pants that are burning your retinas right now!)

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