I Love My Job – Interview with a Fit4Mom (Stroller Strides) Franchiseeby Ken Clark • June 15, 2014
•In your own words, what is it that you do for a living and how did you get into this line of work?
I teach fitness classes to moms! More specifically, I own a Fit4Mom franchise and I teach Stroller Strides classes to moms with stroller aged children. I also teach Body Back classes to moms of any age. As a new mom, I was searching for a way to become more fit and healthy so I could have an active role in my children’s lives. I discovered Fit4Mom (formerly named Stroller Strides) and knew I had to bring it to Little Rock.
•Why do you love Fit4Mom and Stroller Strides? What is your favorite memory or highlight that embodies why you love it so much?
I love leading Fit4Mom classes (Stroller Strides and Body Back) because I have the privilege to help women to become empowered with their own body. I bring women and children together who may have never met and help them form friendships and a support system. I also get to be fit and healthy for a living! Some of the highlights include watching babies as they grow into toddlers and “big kids” – some of my members have been with me for over 4 years!. I also get to watch as moms grow stronger both physically and mentally. It’s also very rewarding to see toddlers mimic our exercises once they’re out of their strollers at the end of class.
•Describe 1-2 aspects of your job that most people would be surprised to learn about.
It takes a lot of education to lead a group fitness class for moms. In addition to my Group Exercise certification, I’m a prenatal and postnatal specialist, which means I am required to maintain education hours for certification. I’m basically a cross between a drill sergeant and a preschool teacher. For every class I teach, there is a lot of thought placed on the exercises, the songs we sing, and ways to include the kiddos in that day’s workout. For each one hour class I teach I spend at least one hour prepping. I often bring props to support our weekly and monthly educational themes for the kids.
•What do you wish you had known prior to pursuing this career?
How addictive it is to work out! and how much I would come to love the families I touch. It breaks my heart every.single.time. someone leaves our program.
•What training or advice did you receive that helped you the most in this career?
I’ve had incredible business advice from our founder, Lisa Druxman. She has also really helped me learn how to balance family and work and still make time for me. Our National Fitness Director, Farel Hruska, is also a phenomenal teacher and leader. She is the backbone of Fit4Mom. Without her, I’m not sure I would be as great an instructor and leader as I am.
•What kind of weekly hours and annual income can a talented person in your field hope for? What is average?
I have set class times, but flexible office hours and make my own work schedule. What makes owning your own fitness business different than teaching for a gym or fitness center is that it’s not just about teaching great classes. You have to be skilled at marketing, budgeting, social media and time management. A Fit4Mom franchise owner will make her income based on the number and types of classes her franchise offers. For example, Fit4Mom programs include Stroller Strides, Fit4Baby, Body Back, Stroller Barre and LEAN. Having a strong team of instructors allows for growth and increased income.
•Who do you think should consider a similar job?
Any woman, mom or not, with a passion for health and wellness. She must be outgoing, energetic, engaging and trustworthy. I work with a very special clientele with very special needs – it’s not for everyone! If you can act silly and keep kids entertained and at the same time instruct proper form for the moms, while projecting your voice, singing, laughing and even sometimes consoling, Fit4Mom might just be for you.
•What are your best pieces of advice, tips or recommendations for anyone on
(1) Earning a good living:
I think to truly earn a good living, you have to look past just the economical and toward the personal fulfillment. If you love what you do, the money doesn’t matter as much as the inner peace that comes with contentment.
(2) Playing and living life in memorable ways:
Live in the moment! Think about the here and now, and don’t dwell on what you should have done, or what you “should” be doing.
(3) Caring for self and soul:
Always make time for YOU. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day for quiet meditation. There will always be demands for your time and your energy; if you haven’t recharged and taken care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.
•What resources would you recommend for someone interested in learning more about pursuing a similar career? (websites, books, blogs, favorite fictional depiction of someone in your field, etc).
To learn more about Fit4Mom, visit Fit4Mom.com; there’s a great blog on the website too, and educational information for moms. If you want to know what our programs are like, visit some of my classes; our local website islittlerock.fit4mom.com. Some must reads for business: Start With Why, The Purple Cow, The One Minute Manager, and the Four Hour Work Week.