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Motivating Mom Of the Month...Meet Jean Marie

What better way to kick off the NY than introducing you to our first MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month)!

This month we honor Jean Marie, one of our Stroller Class and Run Club Mama's.

“Talk about inspiring! Jean Marie has truly been on a roll motivating and encouraging this Fit4mom tribe lately! Her love for her children and family, running, healthy eating and science is a joy to be around. She has been committed to getting stronger and healthier through challenging workouts and healthy eating. She has been on a mile-a-day running streak while she brings her smiling babies along for the ride with healthy home made snacks. It puts a smile on my face when I get to see Jean Marie in class or on the running trail! ”

~ Emily Woolley, Instructor

“When Jean Marie asked me to join her in this running challenge I had to really think about it. Could I actually do that?!?! I wasn't sure if I could, but I decided to give it a try to support my friend. Jean Marie and I would text almost daily. We would send each other encouraging messages, sweaty selfies, but most importantly having her as my accountability partner was the real key to success! On days when I didn't feel like running I pushed through. I didn't want to disappoint my friend. On those days she was always there to cheer me on! Because of this challenge she's become more than a friend, she's my "sole sister"!”

~Missy Mishtawy, Sole Sister & fellow FIT4MOM Madison Tribe member

Jean Marie recently completed a intentional 1 mile a day run between TDay & Xmas...with a 41 day running streak she inspired the team here at FIT4MOM Madison to take up the challenge and create our January Run Club 1 1 mile a day Challenge. Jean Marie is currently on a 50day streak and here's what she had to say on her 1 mile a day journey.

“Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. 41 days. One intentional mile each day. I did not know what to expect when I started this. I did know that I am stubborn and when I commit to something I am all in.

My fitness journey has been all over the place. No fitness in college (unless drinking and running home after 2am pizza counts). I ran 2 full marathons and multiple half marathons in my mid-late 20’s. Crossfit and weightlifting in my early 30’s. I continued this throughout and after having my first baby in 2015. However, in late 2016 I had a miscarriage and stopped all fitness. Moved to Alabama in 2017, had a second healthy baby, and struggled a lot with postpartum anxiety. I found Fit4Mom, met a great group of women, and got back into exercise. But, since I am being honest, I was going through the motions; and not pushing myself. The baby turned one in November and I needed a change - a personal one that was just me against me. Enter the 41 day challenge.

Some days were easy. Some days were hard. I enjoyed easy runs, solo runs, great weather, good friends. I struggled to run after the kids went to bed, pushing a double stroller, rain and cold, forgetting my inhaler, and after traveling with the kids for 7+ hours in the car.

But, I kept going. Support from my husband was great. An amazing accountability partner was my daily push to keep going. My son (3.5 years old) asking if I ran my mile — now THAT was motivation. I knew even if he wasn’t with me when I did it; he was internalizing my commitment, and how being active is a part of life. The physical changes have been good; I find running one mile is easier and have been adding some longer runs in. But, the mental benefits are immeasurable. I am happier, more focused, and less stressed. The 'runner's high' is real!

So now I am 50 days in. And I will keep going for as long as I enjoy it. I have a hard time saying 100 or 365 days; because I don’t know the future. But I do know that this has become a part of my daily routine as much as brushing my teeth.”

Congratulations to you Jean Marie! We are so proud of your accomplishments! Keep up the great work and thank you for all that you do and you constant inspiration to those around you!!

Learn more about the wonderful Jean Marie:

Who are the members of your family and where are you originally from?

My husband Gilbert, myself, 3.5 yo Andrew and 1 yo old Catherine.

When was your first Fit4Mom class and what do you remember about it?

February 2018. I was a nervous wreck; but Melissa and the other moms made me feel welcome. Also, it was more of a workout than I had expected; which I loved!

What is your favorite class exercise?

Emily's plank with feet on a wall ball.

What is your current job? Or what did you do before staying at home (if you don’t currently work outside the home)?

I was a high school science teacher for 10+ years. I love being able to stay at home with the kids; but I am looking forward to getting back in the classroom.

What are 3 of your favorite things?

Comfy clothes, coffee, music

You are given 4 hours of FREE babysitting. What would you do?

Date with my husband at a winery or brewery.

What has being a mom taught you?

So much! Patience for sure! Most of all it has taught me how much I can love and how love can grow. When I watch my husband with the kids; my love for him grows. Everyday I love my kids more. I didn't know how much love I had!

What is your funniest or most embarrassing mommy moment so far?

Our 3 yo old is obsessed with peeing outside. Mostly in front of our house to "water the bushes". He has dropped his drawers in more public places than I can count!

Any words of wisdom for other moms?

Take some time for yourself! Don't feel guilty; it will make you a better partner and mother.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM? What would you tell someone thinking about joining?

I love the community. However, my favorite thing is how my children are witnessing me becoming stronger and making fitness a priority. If you are thinking about joining; just do it! The hardest thing is coming to the first class; but once you arrive you'll find a community of strong mothers.