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FIT4BABY: Bree's story

FIT4BABY is our prenatal program for expecting mamas. Hear from FIT4BABY gradBree on her FIT4BABY experience with FIT4MOM Madison.

Tell us about yourself! – who are you, family, job, hobbies, etc.

My name is Brianna, but you can call me Bree. I was born and raised here in Huntsville, AL and I received my accounting degree at Eastern Kentucky University which is where I met my husband. My husband had a dream of becoming a physician, but it wasn’t in the cards for him so after four excruciatingly long years in Pikeville, KY we were able to get the chance to move back to Huntsville in 2018. We have one little boy, Gavin, who is a year old. I am the Operations Executive for Aleta Technologies which is a cyber company here in Huntsville. To be brief, I am the leads for proposal writing, business development, business support, and IT support. I am also the Director of Events for Cyber Huntsville and the Executive Secretary for Energy Huntsville. My hobbies include not losing my mind and sleeping.

How did you find FIT4MOM?

Tange Awbrey introduced me to FIT4MOM when I was 7-8 months pregnant with Gavin. I worked with Tange’s husband which is how we knew each other, and she said I had to join FIT4BABY with her because she had just found out she was pregnant with her second child. At the time I had just quit Crossfit because it was getting difficult for me to do the moves. I was itching to do something exercise-wise, so I decided to go for it.

Tell us about your FIT4BABY experience? Do you feel like it helped you during pregnancy and postpartum? If so, how?

While living in Hell, oops I meant Pikeville, I got into running and Crossfit to pass the time. I have always been athletic, played softball for the U.S. when I was 18, completed 6 half marathons, and did Crossfit up to 29 weeks pregnant so working out was a comfort for me. When FIT4BABY started I think I was 34 weeks. Barring the fact that I was very limited in the workouts and lost my core completely, Allison made the class meaningful and informative for me. It was a total change of scenery though. I remember thinking I used to be yelled at and told I was weak when I would drop a bar in Crossfit and now here I am being told I am a strong, beautiful mama with a wet wipe on my forehead as I lay on the floor. I needed FIT4BABY though. It brought me comfort as I was about to enter a new phase in my life, and it connected me to a community of mothers who were inclusive and kind. I knew there was something special about this group and I was excited to be a part of it.

Favorite FIT4BABY experience/memory?

Allison wanted me to do a move which was simply skipping for maybe 15 ft then turning around and skipping back. I thought she was out of her mind because I was 37ish weeks and was terrified I was going to jump in the air and have a baby propel out of me. She promised me I would be fine though. I managed to skip back and forth once, and I am happy to report I gave birth at Huntsville Hospital and not the Main Street Church in Madison.

How are you involved with FIT4MOM now?

I attend Body Boost and Strides 360 with Katie and Kelly at the wonderful 5 o’clock hour. I’m pretty sure I have near perfect attendance, but I would have to double check with them on that 😉. My cat and I also enjoy the virtual Body Ignite classes with Rebecca at 5:30 am, and occasionally we (the cat and I) will wander into a virtual Body Boost class at 8:00 pm. I also join in on the Mom’s Night Outs and Book Clubs when I can figure out which book we are reading. FIT4MOM is my self-care. My workdays are long so any opportunity I get to be with friends and laugh rejuvenates me more than a spa day ever could.

Why did you choose to come back to FIT4MOM?

Well first off, I could not have won “Best Male Actor” anywhere else but at Mom’s Night Out with FIT4MOM. In all seriousness though, I chose to return to FIT4MOM over Crossfit because I felt understood and accepted. I didn’t have to explain to Allison how there was no way on this planet I was going to be able to do a toes to bar 7 months pregnant. I really struggled with my body image after I had Gavin. I remember a week after I had him I just stood in the mirror staring at my body wondering what I had just done to myself. I was swollen, stretch marks were everywhere, and I had this glowing scar from where I had a c-section. It was devastating to look at and I was determined to get back into anything because I thought I needed to get some semblance of my old life and body back. What I got though was an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement to embrace what my body had just achieved and to be proud of what it could do. I have never felt shamed for my body or my progress at FIT4MOM and for that I am grateful. The understanding and unlimited amount of support from the instructors and the other mamas makes FIT4MOM worth its weight in gold. This group is truly a treasure.