Finding balance in work and family isn’t always an easy road.
My journey as a fitness business owner along with being a mother has been a long one with its own ups and downs. I often call it my roller coaster of life. There were many upside down, backward points but it always ended with a smile.
However, I would not be where I am today, had I not become a mother.
You see, it all began when my first daughter Ava entered this beautiful world. After I gave birth to my first child, my husband and I decided it would be best for our family if I went back to work. After all, we were living in a condo and we had dreams to one day own our own home with land for the kids to play on—maybe one day have a pool and even a garden.
My husband wanted what he grew up with, but I did not want the same things that I had in my childhood. So I applied to numerous jobs and was offered a pharmaceutical sales representative position with a large pharma company. It was a great opportunity with competitive pay. It almost seemed too perfect—so how could I not accept this amazing offer?
On my very first day of work, Ava was three months old and I left her home with my husband. She was set to begin daycare at my husband’s company childcare the very next week. I felt nauseated as I dressed in my fitted blazer and pencil skirt.
The sheer thought of being away from my baby all day made me feel so weak. But I pushed myself out the door because I felt this was the right thing to do. I needed to work to help provide for our family so I needed to let go of my attachment. So I kissed my husband and daughter goodbye and set off on my journey to work; a 45 minute commute.
I never actually made it to my first day because my mind was in such a daze that I rear-ended the car in front of me. I vividly remember that day because I called my husband—tears streaming down my cheeks.
I couldn’t bear to be away from Ava.
This deep attachment as a mother was something I never knew I could feel. I felt lost, sad and afraid. Other than some damage to the front of my car, the van I rear-ended barely had a scratch. So I drove home to my family.
After a lot of discussing, my husband and I decided it would be best that I stay home to raise Ava. I was a running coach on the side because my passion of running has always been strong and I enjoyed inspiring others to do the same. I had run over a dozen marathons at the time. But I never thought this could be a career. One night, I lay in bed thinking of how I could change the world and be an inspiration to my daughter. How could I possibly be her hero and make a difference in this great big world? And then it dawned on me to begin a bootcamp where men and women could come to for health and fitness transformations.
I thought of all the people I had met over the years that struggled with weight gain and how much I wanted to help them. I got up, with pen in hand, and wrote out how I could help people to lose weight, better their health and make new friends. Now I was on a mission and nothing was going to stop me. I felt safe and content being at home with my daughter, and I finally had the time to think about my true passions.
The next day I told my husband my idea and he chuckled. I knew he thought it was silly but he supported my passion and purpose to change lives. He backed me every step of the way. That day I made flyers on the computer and I went to pass them along at the mall, local stores and even at the doctor’s office while I was bringing Ava for her check-up.
In a matter of a few weeks I started my first class at 6am—and much to my amazement, the class was full!
Months later, I added a 7am class, then a 5:30pm and soon a 6:30pm class followed. I had waitlists of people itching to get in my classes and I felt a new purpose each day. People achieve great results in my class because I care, I have the knowledge and I feel the passion for what I do every morning when I wake up.
Fast forward a decade later, my life had greatly changed we have moved twice since then and we now have the land we always dreamed of, four children, and a dog. I have run 32 marathons and written well over 1,000 articles on health and fitness! But I had to make a business shift because I could not work every evening with bootcamp and miss my children’s sporting events.
I think I sometimes needed to be there even more then they needed me. So I changed my business direction to focus solely on personal training and only have bootcamp one day per week. Now balance is a big part of being a successful business owner.
If you want to make your dreams into a reality you need to have balance in your life.
So with this shift, I am able to be there as much as I can for my children while training my one-on- clients. And I am showing my children, friends and family; yes you can have it all. You can put your kids on the bus, cook dinner, clean, be there for their sporting events and still work. Sometimes you just have to think outside of the box. Just make sure you go for your passion, plan it out and be ready to roll with the punches. Life is what you make of it.
I promise you this roller coaster ride of a career has and continues to be well worth the ups and downs!