Learn more about Stroller Strides instructor Emily.
Instructor Spotlight: Emily
Who are the members of your family and where are you originally from?
For those of you who don’t know me my name is Emily. My husbands name is Jon and we have 4 children, Wyatt (9), Josephine (7), Thomas (6) and Henry (4). We also have two sweet dogs, Ashby and Shelly and some fish, Aurora Borealis, Gadget and Gizmo. I was born in Seattle, Washington, moved to Jackson, Mississippi but grew up most of my life in Atlanta, Georgia.
What are 3 of your favorite things?
2. My Grandmother’s beach house in Josephine, Alabama. That is where our daughter’s name came from ;) Really being in/on/near/around the water… The beach, in a canoe, creeks, rivers, lakes… bring on all the splish-splashing fun!!!
3. Anything music related, singing, dancing and being silly!
You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?
Is it weird that I would want to go exercise?! ;) Also if it is warm weather I would find a water hole, creek, pool or someplace to swim or canoe or hike. If it is cold I am totally down with going to a movie by myself and not having to share my large movie theatre popcorn with anyone else! Spending some uninterrupted time with Jon because with four kids there is never enough time us to catch up.
What has being a mom taught you?
So many, many things!! Since becoming a mom I feel that I have a much grater connection with my own mom and dad and can appreciate them even more for everything that they did for me and my siblings. I have learned love on a different level, also patience and negotiating skills. As a mother my life is filled with a blend of laughter, frustration, guilt, curiosity, excitement, wonder and did I mention patience. Day in and day out as mother my heart overflows with so very much gratitude, joy, kindness and love!
What is your funniest or most embarrassing mommy moment so far?
Well, two of my embarrassing/memorable moments of parenting actually both came from Bridgestreet. My first was when I had three of my kidos (Henry was not born yet) out and about for a stroll around Bridgestreet. We were playing around the water fountains next to Pieology and the old Gymboree. Wyatt probably 3 then was walking around the fountains and totally fell right in. Because I didn’t have a change of clothes and Wyatt was completely soaked I walked all three kids into Gymboree and bought him a new outfit right then and there.
The second happened in the grassy filed where we warm up by Kona Grill and Connors. It was a nice warm day and the Connors Steakhouse outdoor patio had just opened up. It was a busy lunch time in the courtyard. I had all four kids and I was having a conversation with one of them when Josephine pointed out that Thomas was peeing. I turn around and his pants are dropped around his ankles and he is in the middle of the grass field with a big arching pee stream watering the lawn. I looked around to see how many folks were watching and realized he had a good audience. Also I realized that at that point there was no stopping him so I let him finish up and made a quick exit and had a good laugh.
When was your first FIT4MOM class and what do you remember about it?
So I happened upon FIT4MOM the day that it launched here is Madison, Alabama at Dublin Park. I just happened to be taking the kids to the playground that day and we pulled in and I saw the group of moms in their exercise clothes and with their children and I ran over!! I was wearing Henry (and flip flops) while holding hands with the other three we high tailed it across the parking lot. I ran straight up to Melissa, the owner then and instructor and said “You guys look like my kind of people and how do I sign up?” Because I had on flip flops I couldn’t work out that day but I was there and ready the very next day and have been going ever since. The whole first class was pretty much a blur I just remember that for the whole time I had a huge smile on my face. I also remember after my first class as soon as I got all the kids loaded in the car I called my mom and through tears of joy I told her that I just found my new group and that this was exactly what I was looking for! Little did I know the family, tribe and village I had found would make such a huge, positive impact on my life.
Tell us your story about how/why you became an instructor?
After about a year of religiously going to classes I began to have the thought in the back of my head that maybe I could become an instructor. I remember the day that Rebecca and I let our kids play at the park and discussed that possibility. After that playdate and discussions with Jon I knew that it was the right time and the right move for me and my family. I thought that as an instructor I could set a good example for my own children and family as well as helping to have a healthy and positive impact on other moms and families.
What is the BEST thing about being an instructor?
There are so many incredibly wonderful things about being an instructor for FIT4MOM that it is really hard to just choose the BEST. Being able to coach a mother on her fitness journey while having her children present and the privilege to be a part of the children’s lives. Seeing the positive impact and ripple effect that this has on mothers, kids, and families is so special. Watching the children grow up with strong mothers as an example and healthier families because of FIT4MOM. Watching the bond and friendships made. Seeing a child do jumping jacks and push ups. The blood, sweat and tears. Every time that I have the opportunity to teach class I walk away with the biggest smile on my face and I am just so grateful for what I do!
What is your WHY? Why do you keep doing what you do?
I love helping mothers find their strength, find a connection with their children and with other mothers all while having the opportunity to be involved with their children. In many cases I am able to draw from my own personal expediencies with my four kids, my Elementary Education background and my Music Together background.
I love that as my family grows up they can participate becoming healthier and happier on this journey with me. I think that this is setting such a positive example for my crew to live healthier lives and appreciate the friends that have now become family along the way.
What is your favorite class exercise?
Well, I love a good plank or Deadlift but let’s be real… any of my stations that are my song choreographed exercises. (High Hopes, Cupid Shuffle, The Sun Is Shinning, Hand Clap, Moby…..) Music makes me happy and filled with energy. And combining music and getting strong, now that is a magical combination.
What is a fun fact that many may not know about you?
I am always really bad at this question but, I guess a fun fact might be that my nickname in college was Fun Stuff! I have always loved to play games and in general, just have FUN!
Anything else you’d like Our Village to know?
I would not be who I am today with out my amazing family who I grew up with! Family is the most important thing! I have my Mom Phebe, Dad Rick, older brother James, sister Phebe and younger brother Stephen.
Lookout for Emily on our schedule.