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Team Spotlight - January 2019

You probably already know this, but we have an amazing, dedicated and talented team of instructors and playgroup captains here at FIT4MOM Montgomery County. I thought it would be nice if you could get to know a little more about each one of them, and I'm excited to continue our spotlight this month with....Marie Marino!

I remember the day that Marie first came to class (which she talks about later in this entry). I remember it as if it was yesterday, except I also feel like I've known Marie forever because SO much has happened since then! Marie jumped right in as a client and attended classes regularly for a long time before becoming a Body Back instructor. Now she's taken on an additional certification and the role of Fit4Baby Program Manager on the #dreamtoo too.

Marie constantly amazes me with her ideas, her ambition, her willingness to jump in and help with almost any task, and her attention to detail is like none other. If I ask Marie for something, it's as if she's done it as soon as I even asked. I'm beyond thankful for her support, encouragement and help as we try to reach all of the moms (and moms-to-be) here in Montgomery County.

It's been so much fun watching Marie's journey with us. From beginning Body Back classes that day, to her running career blossoming and running a full marathon the same year (!!), to her multiple roles on the #dreamteam,...Marie isn't afraid to set and achieve goals. If you haven't been to one of Marie's classes, check out our Body Back and Fit4Baby schedule and go join her for one. You'll be so glad to know her; I know I am!

Thank you for all you do for our village, our mamas, the #dreamteam and for me, Marie! I appreciate you and your efforts more than you know!

xoxo, Heather

1. Who are the members of your family?

The Marino crew consists of myself, my supportive husband, Mike, my sweet 4 year old daughter, Aubrey, and my spirited 2 year old son, Jack.

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2. Where can people find you? What is your role within FIT4MOMMOCO?

You can find me teaching in Germantown on Monday nights with the FIT4BABY mamas-to-be and in Gaithersburg on Tuesday nights with BB HIIT mamas. I also attend Ewa’s MWF crack-of-dawn classes, Maya’s Thursday night classes, and Katie D.’s Saturday morning classes. I’ve also been known to pop up in a Stroller Barre class whenever I have a day off (does that even exist?), have done Run Club, and can’t wait to literally jump into 360 classes. So…. basically I’m just always around.

There is no real distinction for me between when I instruct classes and when I attend classes because in both situations, I am right there with my fellow mamas pouring my whole heart into every move, feeding off the energy from the room, and pumping adrenaline. I just love every opportunity that I get to experience that in any capacity!

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3. Tell us your {entire} FIT4MOM story!

It was exactly 2 years ago. There was a trial week for BB classes being offered and I decided that I would just try to take advantage of a couple of free classes, not intending on actually committing in any way. I had not stepped foot in a gym for years and had just kind of assumed that what I looked and felt like was the new normal. I had zero confidence, at best. I was so hard on myself during the first couple of exercises and in such a negative place. Then, I got out of my head and started listening to the instructors. I heard their words of encouragement and positivity. I started to look around the room to notice the other moms who were pushing just as hard as I was. I felt the vibe of the room and it was nothing I had experienced before. There was this balance of physical toughness with emotional gentleness. At the end of class, I remember going up to Katie H. and Heather to thank them and I just started unexpectedly crying. I think that class was kind of like a therapy session for me. Opening myself up to others and accepting the idea of self-love created such a vulnerable feeling that I knew I would need to settle into. I signed up that day and have never looked back. It’s my mission now to give back and help other moms rediscover that same hope and positive sense of self.

4. What is your favorite thing to teach in class?

My favorite thing to both teach and experience is a good group challenge at the end of class. I love a solid plank or ab series that just pushes you physically and mentally past what you think you are capable of. Such an awesome way to end class feeling like a freaking warrior. I’m always so amped afterwards like clapping and cheering and boxer shuffling around and then I’ll look down on my pants and see the applesauce smeared from dinner time or feel the boogers crusted on my neck from the bedtime hugs and I’m like, “Oh yeah. I’m supposed to be a tired middle aged mom.” But for those few moments in that plank, when I’m shaking and pep talking myself, I am a youthful, well-rested, fresh-faced immortal American Gladiator named Lioness. Sometimes we just gotta go to that place, you know?

5. What do you LOVE about being an instructor?

I love the intensity and focus that the mamas have during class. I can see the looks in their eyes as they push their limits and crush their goals. It’s those moments when I see a mom narrow her eyes and sit an inch lower, jump an inch higher, or hold 10 seconds longer. It’s powerful and inspiring. Every single time I see those looks, I get goosebumps.

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6. What is your WHY? Why do you keep doing what you do?

My WHY is the motivation to stay ACTIVELY engaged with my children as they explore their world. I want to be right alongside of them each step of the way, able to keep up, able to push them even further. It all clicked for me this past winter when I was running their sled up a hill for them after each of their turns. I must have sprinted up that hill through the deep snow pulling that heavy sled about a million times without getting winded or slowing down. Each time I made it to the top, I got to see their smiles, wonder, and excitement before they zoomed back down and I was like, “Yessssss. This is it. THIS is why I want to stay healthy. This is why I’m a part of FIT4MOM.”

7. What is a fun fact that many may not know about you?

I never ran more than 2 miles until about a year ago and could never have even imagined being brave enough to enter a race of any distance. With the encouragement from this village, I took a huge leap and signed up for Run Club to train for a half marathon. As usual, FIT4MOM guided me towards a goal that once seemed so unattainable. Crossing the finish line with my mama friends after that race was so emotional for me. I found a new love of running and decided to keep going with it. One year later, I crossed the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon after running 26.2 miles (!!!). Still processing it! Run Club taught me that it is never too late to set new goals and aim high with them. We CAN reach the highest of goals when we have other mamas who are there to help lift us up to them.

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8. Anything else you'd like Our Village to know?

I just want every single mama in our village to know how connected I feel to you, even if our paths have only crossed once or twice or even if we have never met. I know that all of us are experiencing moments of shared celebrations, can relate to shared challenges, and have so many shared feelings. We are in this together.

I headed into a Saturday morning Body Back class the other day thinking, “I’m the only one who had such a terrible night. I’m the only one who is this sleep-deprived and out of it. Nobody understands how I am feeling right now.” Then, the warm-up question was, “How many hours of sleep did you get last night?” and as each mom answered, I heard, “5, 4, 5, 5, 4…” and we all laughed about it. It kind of hit me right in my heart. I was instantly reminded that there is no “alone” in this village. We are all in this together. We all “get it.” I was in a room full of tired moms who still showed up to SLAY.

Thank you, Marie, for being our spotlight this month! Check back next month to learn more about another member of our #dreamteam here at FIT4MOM Montgomery County!

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