When I first bought the FITMOM Ottawa business seven years ago, I don’t think I could have envisioned all the joy and satisfaction that these past seven years would bring. I have met so many wonderful moms in communities across Ottawa who have all supported the idea that they didn’t need to sacrifice staying fit during their pregnancy, after having their baby or once they were back to work. When I took over FITMOM Ottawa, there were no classes in Old Ottawa South, but because the community is so welcoming and because I call this neighbourhood my home, I knew I wanted to offer classes in this area. I am so happy that I did, since this location has been far better received over the years than I ever expected.
So what exactly is FITMOM Ottawa all about? It is more than just a fitness class. It's a safe, fun and challenging place where you're surrounded by other incredible women. It shouldn’t amaze me anymore how many friendships are formed and strengthened in these classes, but it still does. That might be one of my favourite things about what I do, especially since I met my own group of mom friends through the Boomerang Kids Strollercise Program on Bank St. over 17 years ago, and it was one of the most important pieces of both of my maternity leaves. For seven years, the FITMOM Ottawa instructors and I have tried to establish our classes as a place where you go not only to become stronger, fitter, faster and even more beautiful each class, but where you go to meet other women who are going through exactly the same things you are. Although fitness is usually top of mind for our participants, as this is where they come to learn everything they need to know about exercising during their pregnancy, in the months after their baby is born and also when they go back to work after their maternity leave, we recognize that women during this particular stage of life need more than just fitness and strive to provide a safe, comfortable and encouraging environment for them to workout in.
I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has helped support my journey into business ownership. Those early days, after I quit my corporate job and started my small business, were often a little frightening, overwhelming and sometimes discouraging. Soon after taking over FITMOM Ottawa, I was introduced to the Old Ottawa South Women’s Business Network, where I met amazing women who helped me believe I could do this and provided guidance along the way. I have since connected with many other small business owners and entrepreneurs who continue to provide advice, community and support to me on a regular basis.
I need to say a HUGE thank you all of the women who have attended FITMOM Ottawa classes in the past seven years. They are not the only ones that have formed new friendships through the years - I have as well. It's these women, who have supported and encouraged me over and over again, that have kept me moving forward and have made it easy for me to continue offering FITMOM classes in Ottawa.
Through FITMOM, I have been introduced to a handful of exceptional instructors. I know that I am very, very fortunate to have these women on my team. They are reliable, engaging, positive and they all teach a kick-a$$ class. I couldn't ask for much more really! Thanks to Lindsay H, Chantel, Marie and Janis for always taking care of our FITMOMs and for allowing me such peace of mind when I'm not the one teaching.
My journey would have gone nowhere without the love, support, encouragement, guidance and help of my business partners - our FITMOM founder Andrea, the owner of FITMOM Durham, Jen and the past owner of FITMOM Kansas City, Janis. We have spent countless hours together planning, helping, doing and executing so that all of our businesses can continue to be successful and I am so grateful to have these women in my life.
Finally, the success of FITMOM Ottawa wouldn't have been possible without the unwavering and never-ending support of my biggest cheerleader - Chris. The choice to leave the security of full-time employment was not an easy one, but when we look back over the past seven years, we can see just how much our family has benefited from this move and have absolutely no regrets. Many of you have actually met Chris, since he's often the token dad at FITWOMAN classes.
It’s an exciting, momentous occasion to celebrate seven years in business, but I know that I am not celebrating alone.
As I continue to work with women across the City, I look forward to meeting others who want to join the motherhood!