Annie - February 2018

Annie is one of the most enthusiastic, positive, and energetic mamas I know! Annie is mom to three sweet kiddos and she's a loyal WI Badger cheering wife to husband Rich (literally she cheered at WI AND it shows in the best way possible). She is also a super hard working, dedicated career mama! With everything she has going on Annie makes time for her workouts and religiously tracks everything with MyFitnessPal--she is so committed to her goals--it's impressive & inspiring! Annie has attended Stroller Strides, our Boost classes, and recently completed two sessions of Body Back with some absolutely amazing results! She always comes to class ready to give 100% AND is our team cheerleader! She's constantly encouraging others and cheering the group on when things get tough--it is so refreshing to see how much she cares about ALL the other mamas in Our Village. Annie is truly a kind and caring person and I'm so honored to call her friend! We love you, Annie and thank you so much for touching the lives all of the mamas in Our Village! You're the BEST!!!!

Tell us about your little one(s).

My husband Rich of 6 years completes my party of five with three little ones: Trey (5) who starts kindergarten in the fall (what?!), my middle Finn (3) who is our family ham, and Eliza (10 months) who apparently isn’t afraid of anything and I hope will be tough as nails with two older brothers someday.

What has been your proudest mommy moment so far?

Watching my oldest care for both of his siblings. And when he parrots what we’ve said to him to them (‘don’t put those PJs on all by yourself or people will think you’re a 4 year old!’ was last night’s gem)’ it makes my heart smile. Learning how to be a parent at times seems so daunting, we have our good and bad days, but when it’s good – it’s SO GOOD.

What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?

The guilt. For me, it came with every decision I’ve made: stay home/head back to work, be there for my family/take care of myself, and on and on. As I’ve had more practice, and I know those feelings will surface, I just have to trust my gut and know we have the best plan in place that works for our family. The questioning of yourself and the guilt never goes away, but you just have to tell yourself that you, like all parents, are doing the best that you can.

List three current obsessions.

With the new year and getting a bit out of the newborn haze, my mind is open to thinking of new things. Allie Casazza’s #declutterlikeamother challenge has me embracing my inner clutter buster. Zella leggings. And catching up on Suits when I fold laundry or commute to better appreciate Meghan Markle before she takes on her new role (4am wedding watch anyone?!). She’s fantastic.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village." Is it important for moms to join a village?

Absolutely! I found Stroller Strides was the perfect complement to each of my maternity leaves. Week 6 I was out there pushing away with each baby. It felt scary but liberating. The community at Fit4Mom includes many thoughtful moms who were so supportive and chuck-full of insights that I could learn from. Mom dating is impossible and can be so awkward, it definitely cut the ice and the conversations just started flowing. Plus -- I was so inspired by the strength these moms had. Mental toughness (caring for young kids is no joke) and planks, the best of both worlds.

Speaking of which – Body Back (three sessions for me as well) was the best ‘hold me accountable’ group I could ask for. It felt like a New Year’s Resolution I actually followed – meal planning, lifestyle change and fitness all in one. The village did that for me.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I have always been motivated to do things perfectly at a pace of 120% - in work, in life, and got a lot of satisfaction in that. That was my lifestyle. But with children, they really don’t care about perfection, they care about love. They have taught me how to prioritize what’s important, and that imperfections and flexibility open your heart to moments that are truly special. Had I not changed my pace I would truly miss out on being there for the coolest people on the planet. Life at a solid 80% at work and home is pretty rad.

Favorite app(s) or website(s)?

Apps: MyfitnessPal for meal/fitness tracking and Cozi for list planning (hubs and I can pop our Target run lists simultaneously)… and for an escape from daily life I love the blogs Elements of Style by Erin Gates and Centsational Style by Kate Riley.

What is your favorite family activity?

Dancing in our kitchen. We always eat to music, whether it’s the soundtrack to Sing or Hamilton. I love watching everyone shake their hips and work it … even if it’s in the middle of the meal (sorry Emily Post). This is such a special time with these little ones, I hope my kids always find channels to express themselves and find joy as they grow older.

Moment of truth: What did you think of those first few classes?

I was definitely afraid to push myself, and wanted to talk myself out of it for countless reasons– hadn’t slept the night before, was terrified of burpees, and had plenty of baby weight to shed. But once I was there, it was like a found this secret happy place. Everyone there totally had it going on – I wanted to BE like them! I’ve always been a group fitness person but had felt too behind to get back in. But I felt so much kindness. If you’re ever not sure, just try it (first class is free, people)! You’ll thank yourself later.

Favorite FIT4MOM exercise? Least favorite FIT4MOM exercise?

I have a love/hate relationship with burpees. Three years ago I was so anxiety ridden before Body Back I would have to psych myself up in my car before running into class at the last minute. But when I ‘got over myself’ and stopped being afraid I started becoming ‘that girl’ – yup, the one that cheered when it was time to begin. And – ready, GO! Let’s do this!

Would you like to meet more amazing moms like Annie? Try a free Stroller Strides Class!

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