Fit For A Mom

My ramblings of balancing my passions… fitness, family, & entrepreneurship.

Cat’s In The Cradle January 30, 2010

In the car this morning I heard the song “Cat’s in the Cradle.”  This is a 1974  folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1974. As Chapin’s only #1 hit song, it became the best known of his work and a staple for folk rock music.

The song is told in first-person by a father who is too busy to spend time with his son.  Though the son repeatedly asks him to join in childhood activities, the father always responds with little more than vague promises of spending time together in the future, which is peppered with images from nursery rhymes. While the son longs to spend time with his father, he continues to admire his father. This ultimately shapes the son’s future behavior. The final verse is a reverse of the roles; where the father asks his now grown-up son to visit, but the son responds with his father’s line. The father then reflects that they are both alike.

I am a big fan of this song for multiple reasons and it is a well-played favorite on my iPod.  This song is one of the rare few that continues to resonate with me every time I hear it.  It makes me think, “Ok, are my priorities in shape?”  There was a time, not long ago when they were not.  I remember hearing that song play and I was flooded with emotion. Trying to fight back the tears, I knew why they were there.  I was working a lot and my son was only 6 months old.  I saw him briefly in the morning and by the time I came home, we spent roughly an hour and a half together. Total time = 2.5 hours.  I compensated, or so I thought, by cramming as much time on the weekend as I could. That coupled with catching up on errands and laundry, did not lead to quality.

After my corporate lay off, I had a chance to reflect. I now realize that I DO need to work, both for financial and personal reasons.  However, I am beginning to realize that this can be on MY terms. I do not need, nor do I want a long commute, long hours, and lots of travel.

As a woman born after the feminist revolution of the 60’s, I know that those courageous women paved the way for my generation to have it all.  Don’t get me wrong, I do want it all…career AND family.  But, I want them to be balanced. I want to remember this time with my kids as much as I remember my purpose and my work. Chapin’s song is always close to heart.  I know that my children are watching me.  I have experienced them wanting my attention.  I have been guilty of pushing my 13 year old daughter away and telling her “I’m busy.”  I have done the same with my 6 year old, as well as having put my 17 month old son in front of the TV.  But I have also learned to push away other things and telling them that “I’m busy.”  Work will be there. It always will be calling your name.  Kids will not. I do not want to look back and wonder, “where did the years go?” Not to mention my daughter (who will be in college in 5 years) telling me, “I’d love to see you mom, if I can find the time.”

Find the time now.  The ride will not last forever.

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Work For YOUR Dreams, Not Someone Else’s…So Is The Entrepreneur Life January 20, 2010

I can remember the turning point so vividly in my mind.  A friend of mine recommended this book titled, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.  I had heard of it before and decided that I’d give it a read.  Little did I know that it truly would be life changing? Now do not get me wrong here, I know that term is used lightly by many gurus, however, in this case it did create a spark.  A spark somewhere deep down that I never knew existed and quite frankly, did not know how to act on it.

So as most people do, I put the thought out of my head and moved on.  Want to know what the thought was? Working for me.  Initially, it was not for the financial freedom, although I have learned that it is not a bad thing and that with financial freedom comes a great responsibility. Most importantly to give back what has been given to you. No, for me it was two-fold.  One, the flexibility of working for myself and raising my children and two, giving 120% for me.  On the surface that sounds selfish, but let me explain that it is just the opposite.  If I could divert that energy into something that I’m passionate about then I could create my own “wealth”, both freedom and financial.  Only at that stage would I be able to contribute even more good, by giving back MORE good to those who I connect with. That is what it is all about.

I read that book in 2005.  Time passed and those thoughts kept creeping back in my head over and over. I would wake up thinking about it, find myself researching and reading everything that had to do with entrepreneurship. I wanted to surround myself with others like me. Working for someone else just did not make sense anymore. I was consumed by my thoughts.  There were times I wondered what was wrong with me. I then knew that someday I would own my own business. It only took a lay off in the corporate world four years later, to give me the push to really do it.  That was last year.  Ironically, I always thought that if I was ever “laid off” I’d have the time to devote to starting something. I guess now I have to prove it.  Strange how the universe and higher power works.

Currently, I own two brand new businesses.  One is a marketing consulting business which focuses on strategy, communication and social media presence for the wellness and small business sectors.  The other is that I am a distributor for Juice Plus which is a whole-food supplement that has over a 15 year research proven history of excellence.  My passion lies within words and wellness….what better way to meld the two? Oh, I am also working on a book as well regarding overcoming tremendous personal obstacles, but that is for another day and time 🙂

I do not intend to sound “cocky”. I am just the opposite, humble.  What suits me best is “driven”. This is me and I am content, at least for a short time.  I always strive for excellence and I have to remind myself to push past my fears and be patient, it will happen.  The attributes of faith, family, tenacity and pushing my limits (guess the last two are essentially the same, huh?) have proved me well in the past.  So, it is those that I rely on now.  I want to leave a legacy and be the best example that I can be to my children now and in the future. I do not want to leave this earth and be known for mediocracy.

Keep the spark alive and do all you can to ignite it.

 

Spandex Anyone? January 12, 2010

BskinzNow that the holidays are over, I finally have time to get back to my blog.  There is just something about the holiday season and not having enough time for anything. Who am I kidding, how is that any different from the rest of the year? Oh well, I want to get to the meat of my post and talk about an up and coming mom business whose focus is Spandex. Yep, it is making a return!

Since I am a mompreneur myself, one of my passions is connecting with and  chatting about other mom’s ideas and products that I think are unique and useful, especially those that help me spread the word that:

FIT MOMS = FIT FAMILIES = FIT BUSINESS.

Mom-owned company Bskinz is just that, and is simultaneously blazing a path in the compression shorts arena. Bskinz is owned and operated by two stay at home moms from northern NJ, who decided to reenter the workforce. They started as a small sports team apparel business, which furnished local teams with custom screened apparel.  One day a team of cross-country girls approached them wanting hot pink spandex compression shorts to wear under their game shorts. On their quest to find them,  they discovered that none of the large manufacturers such as Under Armour or Nike made fashion oriented colors for girls compression.  Not satisfied with just the basic black, white and sometimes navy, they decided to launch our own line.  It was then that Bskinz was born.

What also sets Bskinz apart is their customization process.  When ordering you could get one pattern for your left leg and if you choose, another for your right. How cool is that?  My daughter thought that was awesome and based on Bskinz success, she is not alone in her thinking.  Bskinz is distinguishing themselves alright.

Bskinz sent me their product to give it a whirl.  As a runner, I could not wait to put these to the test on my next outdoor adventure. One of the first things I noticed is the quality of the capris. The stitching is top notch and the spandex itself is thicker, yet still breathable. After having laced up my shoes, I headed out the door.

Alright fellow running junkies out there, you know what “chafing” is and how it is one of the most uncomfortable things that can happen to you out on the road. After a 6 mile run in my awesome Bskinz, I returned home with nothing bleeding!  Not to mention, I didn’t have to interrupt my run by having to pull up my pants as with other pants that I’ve tried.  Best thing since the Nike Women’s Marathon’s Tiffany finisher’s necklace….well, almost!

Since that first run, I find myself reaching again and again for my Bskinz, even more so since winter.  I have discovered that Bskinz makes a great base layer for cold weather running.

What more could I ask for?  Breathability, made in the USA, developed and launched by mompreneurs, supporting girl sports teams and the local economy, stylish and true to performance, not to mention it dries quickly. Oh yeah, did I mention a couple of FIT MOMS came up with the idea?  Rock on Bskinz, you are definitely FIT FOR A MOM!

Don’t just take my word for it, check out the many styles and patterns yourself over at: http://www.bskinz.com

P.S. One teeny, tiny recommendation….placing a little pocket on the inside so us FIT MOMS could put a key or a GU in there 🙂

Patterned and colorful girls compression wear with a tag line of B-Active, B-You.  After all isn’t that what every girl wants – to be active and yet express themselves fashionably!  I could not have said it better Bskinz.

 

Candy as a reward? October 19, 2009

Halloween is just around the corner and the abundance of candy has made me once again think about how my daughter randomly has it in the bottom of her backpack. The wrappers were the first clue and then I would start to find pieces that she had yet to eat. Three weeks into the school year, I had enough. I ask her “where in the world are you getting this from? Her reply, “my teacher”.  What?  Why would your teacher give you candy I ask?  In her matter-of-fact six year old tone, she says, “Well mom, because our class was good”.   Hmm….because they were good.  Before saying anything further and risk looking like the crazy momma, I tell her to finish her homework. 

My mind becomes flooded with various thoughts such as: Why does our society have this love affair with food? Why are we teaching our children that there is a cause and effect relationship with behavior and food?  Finally, why as a healthy mom do I not have any control or say over what is going into my child’s mouth?  Now keep in mind, I am all for occasionally taking my kids to the ice cream shop or giving them a piece of candy.  I like ice cream just as much as the next mom.  However, the key is “occasionally”.  Furthermore, I as a parent, should be the one that has a voice in what I allow my child to eat.  Now, I do expect that when she is at school there will be the occasional birthday treat or holiday party treat, but a treat just because she was “good?” I would suspect that it would be just as easy for a teacher to provide “trinkets” as “treats”.  Those can easily be bought at a dollar store and used as rewards for the children that are good in class.

This issue filters in to another, which is the alarming obesity rates in this country and how are children are exhibiting chronic disease symptoms which normally would not present itself till adulthood.  Those such as high blood pressure and diabetes are becoming commonplace, when even 20 years ago were unheard of in a 10-year-old. 

Having a wellness background as a consultant, trainer and co-founder of an active living organization, I know I am biased.  So tell me teachers, is there an alternative way to giving candy based on a child’s good behavior? I think there is. Communities, parents, as well as schools are all an integral part of tackling this obesity issue.  We have an ethical responsibility to our children and their future to make sure that we give them the best start possible. As a wellness consultant, I have made an appointment with the principle to see how I can assist with making changes.  Small changes turn into big changes and you have to start somewhere. Rather than pulling out the candy from the backpack, I would be overjoyed to pull out a flower plastic ring instead!

 

Biking with Babes October 2, 2009

Having always liked biking, especially mountain, but never doing so with my two older children (for obvious reasons), I decided to purchase a bike trailer. My 13 month old son would be the recipient of this great gift and I was so excited for two reasons. One, that I would be taking him on his inaugural bike ride very soon. The second was the fact that it was an end-of-season clearance deal which heightened my excitement. Regardless, it didn’t matter. Shortly we would be on the open road, er paved trail.

After my hubby graciously put it together, because it would have taken me slightly longer and I was anxious to get going, my son and I were off. Before we could get in the Jeep, my daughter asked if she could go. She is six and truthfully I didn’t know if she would be able to ride in the trailer, even though it was a double. I read the box and deemed that it was safe since she only weighs 36 pounds…yep she’s a tiny girl. So with that settled, all three of us piled in for the ride to the trail. As we were driving, I was talking with her and we were both excited about our little adventure.

I knew something was awry when the rain started sputtering on my windshield. What happened to the sun that was shining down just a minute ago? I am determined to make this happen so we continue. As we arrive at the foot of the trail, I take my bike off the rack and hook the trailer up. The rain is still a steady, but light shower. Thank you God for the built in rain shield.

My daughter piles in and I go to the car seat to grab my son. I pick him up and immediately I feel wetness going through my shirt. Oh no! Huggies, why are you failing me now? After my mini workout of laying him down in the front seat, wrestling a new diaper on him, and the added bonus of my back getting soaked, I am finally ready for my real workout. I strap him in the trailer next to his sister and to my horror he starts crying. Why? He is part me and I know he loves the outdoors and adventure, so why doesn’t he like this? The rain has almost stopped, not to mention the shield is on, he has his favorite elephant and his sister is next to him.

I hop on the bike hoping that the situation would change. Nope, it went from bad to worse. He started going nuclear on me and screaming! After a couple of minutes I realized that he’s not stopping so I should. I make the turn around towards the Jeep and realize that a workout is not going to happen today. Such is the case sometimes.

And then the rain started again.

 

Fit For A Mom Is Born July 5, 2009

Fit For A Mom…what exactly is it and what is it about? It is the brainchild (maybe not but it sounds good, doesn’t it?) idea of me, an average mom, who just happens to be active and is raising her children that way as well. I have scoured the Internet for information on products and services to help moms who have made the choice to be fit and active a little more easier. I have found blogs and websites that talk about baby products in general, fitness products for women, prenatal fitness, maternity workout clothes, baby jogger reviews, workout clothes in general, but really nothing that could or would be a nice mix of all the above and more! What I was looking for was a truly unique mix of what a fit mom really needs on all levels. Not to mention throwing in my own thoughts of the highs and lows of raising a fit family when a McDonald’s lurks around every corner and threatens all my hard work!

Fit For A Mom is just that. A place where we look at products and services that help the everyday mom achieve a fitter, more healthier lifestyle. Easier. Thus being Fit For A Mom.

I say “we” because I want feedback from you, other like-minded moms trying to live the fit, active life with and for their children. Together we can find the best products and services out there that are Fit For A Mom! If you have a product or come across a product that you’d like to spotlight, just drop me a line at: fitforamom@live.com

Sit back and enjoy!