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I hope you had an enjoyable long weekend and are ready for June to arrive. I had the pleasure this weekend to participate in two distinct phases of goal achievement and reflect with the achievers on their journeys.

On Saturday the Fairlington Stroller Strides class completed the Utah Street hill for the first time this summer. What goes down must go back up and all the mommas shifted into their power gear and made their way up with strength and determination. If you haven’t run or walked Utah Street, you’re missing some glute-burning fun! It can be a daunting task to contemplate, especially for the first time after a winter of classes inside. However, by breaking down the challenge into manageable pieces-- moving car to car or tree to tree, for example-- all the moms rocked the hill. As an added bonus, now that we’ve done the hill for the first time, there are no more daunting first times; instead there are opportunities to tackle a challenge each of the women knows they can complete, and complete well. The first step towards a goal can be intimidating and seem...

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Life, especially motherhood, is fraught with doubt and moments that cause us to question ourselves. When we face unfamiliar situations, whether they are new motherhood challenges, a tricky task at work, a challenging conversation, or a tough workout, we very often question ourselves unnecessarily. Very often, however, once the situation has passed, we realize we had the internal strength, knowledge, and keen intuition to successfully navigate the challenge. I have seen the strength in each of you: whether pushing through a tough set or detailing a challenge you navigated adeptly during your day, you are strong.

Can you imagine how powerful it would be if we could trust ourselves from the start and charge forth into life believing in ourselves? And sharing that beautiful self confidence and strength with the ladies alongside us? Even if it seems hard to imagine, I challenge you to silence the little naysayer voice that questions you. Believe in your strength. Believe in your intuition. Believe in your intelligence. Believe in your mommy ninja skills. Believe you can....

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I will do _____. It is a phrase with so much promise. It clearly communicates purpose, resolve, and commitment. It is a powerful and empowering phrase that far outdistances “I will try.” If we think about the most important accomplishments in our lives, they are likely ones where we resolved to do rather than try. When the rubber hit the road and an important task was in front of you, you did it. Trying it implies an escape option, and the likelihood that you will use it. As Lisa Druxman noted in her recent Motivating Mom podcast on the subject, we don’t ask our children to try to clean up their rooms. We ask them to do it.

Resolving to do your big hairy goal can be daunting and overwhelming. That’s where we can learn from our families. Many of us have watched our littles or those of friends workhard to take their first steps. The littles often start by sitting, then crawling, then pulling themselves up, then cruising from one handhold to...

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Springtime seems here to stay and it feels like we’re already getting a preview of early summer. Where did January and our New Year’s resolutions go?!

Motherhood, even before we hold our baby for the first time, revolves around being prepared. Whether we are trying to conceive, carrying our little ones, or caring for our little ones, our checklists of things to do, the right foods to eat, what to pack in the go bag, supplies and snacks to pack are endless! Sometimes being fully prepared is easy, sometimes it’s a shot in the dark and is based on guessing at contingencies. I laughed when an acquaintance likened parenthood to being a roadie for a band. I’ve learned it’s a pretty apt analogy.

As much as we roadie and care for our families whatever the day or moment might bring, it is equally important to care for ourselves! We often let our caretaker selves look past our own needs for those of others. While that is appropriate in some instances, we can’t forget the adage “put your own oxygen mask on first.” Self care is immensely important and the foundation of...

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Motherhood completely redefined the value of a minute, or five for me. As a swimmer, I grew up counting seconds of rest and intervals and figuring out how many seconds, minutes, and hours elements of my workouts would take. Remembering the whole and not the parts, I transitioned these lessons into investing big blocks of time at the gym and similarly long blocks for other endeavors.

One of the first lessons of motherhood I faced after my son was born, and especially when I returned to work, was that my life of luxurious minutes and hours working out were over. Really, luxurious long minutes doing many things were over! Forced to shift from finding big blocks of time to use for workouts or hobbies, I was amazed to experience the value of one, two, or ten minutes. Two minutes is better than none, and you can get your heart rate up or start your creative juices flowing before they are over and before baby needs you or work beckons. Five minutes of walking before class, during your day, or after the little’s bedtime doesn’t impact your overall schedule heavily, but it...

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Just say “Thank You”

“Thank you.” These two words are so simple and so powerful. They are two of the first words we teach our kids. “When someone compliments you, what do you say? ‘Thank you.’” And yet … What do we do as moms, as women? Is our response to a well-intentioned compliment to say “thank you?” So often – too often – we choose self-deprecation in place of the response that we’ve taught our children. Stay with me.

“Katie Lee, wow - you are great at riding your bike!” “Thank you!”

“Henry, I’m so proud of how you wrote your name!” “Thank you!”

“Amanda, you were so strong in class!” “No really – the tube I was using was just old and stretched out.” (If you are a FIT4MOM mama, you know what I’m talking about with the stretched out tubes!)

Why do we do this? ALL of us – we choose to put ourselves down or laugh it off in response to a compliment. Did someone just say she looks great? “No, trust me – it’s not me, it’s just these amazing jeans.” Did you compliment her on her ability to get so much done and with such grace? “No, really it’s...

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I know, I know, a green smoothie can look a bit… intimidating, but hear me out- they are delicious! Despite their very green appearance, these smoothies taste sweet, creamy, and wonderful.

Green smoothies are the first thing I make after an indulgent weekend, or if I feel like I am coming down with something. This smoothie is a great way to get in an extra serving of leafy greens with breakfast or as a snack. The addition of nut milk gives them a nice hit of protein, and you can add more by adding a scoop of protein powder, or some greek yogurt.

The versatility is the best part of this smoothie! Below is my basic recipe, but you can add in so many wonderful, healthy items to make these smoothies even better. Some of my favorite add-ins are:

Pitted dates

Flax seed

Avocado

Peanut or almond butter

Greek yogurt

Protein powder

Frozen strawberries or pineapple

The possibilities are endless. Use my recipe below as a base, and experiment! You will find that this is so tasty that your kids may even love it...

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What a week! We have made it through Pi day, the Metro closing, the Ides of March (almost), St. Patrick’s day is here… Just when life seemed like it was going to slow down, it picked back up!

No matter what is going on in your world and family-- whether it is the hustle and bustle of life, special events, or life and work challenges, remind yourself you are STRONG! You have immense inner strength to draw on. Even if you think you can’t take another challenge, or another burpee or mountain climber in class, you CAN. One challenge at a time, step by step, you have the strength to work through what you’re facing. As you push through, don’t forget to breathe. It’s amazing what pausing for a deep breath can do to give you energy, clear your head, or help you regain composure.

Always remember you have a village around you. Your momma friends, your FIT4MOM village, is a call or a class away.

If you have two free minutes tonight, pull up Jennifer’s instagram plank inspiration. (fit4momarlingtonalexandria) She’s sweating it out to provide us inspiration. One...

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Fit4Baby® is a program designed to strengthen the body for all the changes it will experience during pregnancy. These classes exclusively focus on pregnant moms! (Other FIT4MOM® classes may include dads, nannies and other child caregivers.) Regular activity such as Fit4Baby® classes can help to reduce many maternal aches and pains, increase energy during pregnancy and may speed the labor, delivery and recovery process. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), exercise is just as important during pregnancy as any other time of life.

We train and certify our Fit4Baby® instructors so they are fully equipped to lead pregnant woman in exercises that are safe and appropriate for her changing body. Fit4Baby® classes are interval based, combining elements of strength training, cardiovascular exercises and stretching and balancing exercises.

Pregnancy is the perfect time to commit to health; and exercise is an important component to well-being for pregnant women and new moms. We encourage each member of any FIT4MOM® program to seek a...

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I have exciting news! While we were winding down from a fun class on Saturday, one of our regular moms, Christine, headed to the hospital to deliver her baby girl. Mila Renee was born on Saturday at 2:14 PM weighing 7 lbs 1 oz and 18.5 inches long. Everyone is doing well and hopefully Christine, Mila, her son and husband are home now resting and settling into life as four. Christine plans to be back in class once she’s cleared to return by her doctor. What an inspiration!

Having a tribe of like minded momma-friends is an amazingly powerful influence in our lives. Our tribe shares the joys of new precious beings arriving in the world, as well as the lows. Having a village around us helps smooth out the lows a bit and sometimes softens the hard edges of new, and seasoned parenthood. I encourage each of you to deepen your connection with the mommas around you in class. You might be surprised by how much you have in common with the strong woman sweating next to you and that woman might form part of your support system during a tough time.

Is there someone in your life who...

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