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Motivating MOM of the Month!

We are so excited to announce our MOM (Motivating Mom of the Month) for May! Each month we will take a moment to honor one of our local FIT4MOM LSBWK NoVa Moms for her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and for her dedication to the program. This month we honor Dana Russo from our Springfield village!

Dana leads a busy life trying to pack so much into a day, but she is also making that crucial time to take care of herself with Stroller Strides & Body Back. Although I have only known her a few weeks, I love her focus, determination, and honesty. She is an inspiration!

~Barb Archambo, Body Back Instructor

Dana is such an inspiration! She works full time, takes care of her two girls, and takes care of herself each week at Body Back and Stroller Strides. I am always amazed watching her with Janie and Tessa at Friday playgroups. She is able to balance it with a smile.

~ Jenna Parkhurst, Springfield Stroller Strides/Barre Instructor

Talk about determination! This woman is unstoppable and admirable. I remember meeting Dana early last fall at one of our Body Back open house events and I will never forget our conversation that night. She felt defeated and overwhelmed by everything around her. I encouraged her to come to Stroller Strides first to connect with other moms that would be able to support her on this crazy ride of being mom to twins! She signed up on the spot and never looked back. Here we are 9 months later with her in Body Back as well and she is fully committed to both programs. She attends Stroller Strides if and when her schedule allows; she has a supportive hubby, Dan, who shows up with the gang at our family workouts. On top of Dana’s busy schedule she finds time to really listen to others around her and gives amazing support in just the right dose (That’s a big thank you from me Dana! 😉) YOU ARE TRULY AN INSPIRATION TO ALL OF US! Thank you for believing in us and our programs to give you strength and empowerment to be YOU!

~Shannon Link, Franchise owner

Where are you originally from?

New York City (Queens). I had a pretty thick accent up until college. It comes back when I talk to my mom and friends from the “neighborhood” or if I ever get angry or a bit tipsy.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

September 2017

What classes do you attend?

Stroller Strides in Springfield every Saturday and every other Friday when I’m off from work and Kingstowne Body Back (I’m doing an AM/PM combo).

Who is your workout buddy and their age?

Janie and Tessa who are about to turn one.

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

Everything! Seriously, I love everything about it. I love the Stroller Strides classes where I can exercise, socialize, and entertain Janie and Tessa all at the same time. The other moms are super supportive, non-judgmental, and always have good advice. I love participating in the Friday playgroups and cherish the friends that we have made. Janie and Tessa LOVE the “smile song.” We sing it at home and they always laugh and smile, even when they’re in the midst of a minor meltdown.

I recently started Body Back classes and I love the more intense workouts, the “me time,” the meditations, and I especially love that I’m seeing results – I can now wear some of my pre-pregnancy clothes!

How has FIT4MOM changed your lifestyle choices?

The Stroller Strides and Body Back classes (even the ones at 5:15 AM) have made me WANT to exercise. And the nutritional component of Body Back has made me (and my husband) start eating healthier and controlling portion size.

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

I’m a civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Education. I took about three months off last summer and then went back to work fulltime. The work is often rewarding and I love being able to help students, families, and schools. Luckily the agency offers flexible schedules – I work very long days, but I have every other Friday off, and I usually work from home two days a week, which is another nice perk.

Share your thoughts on the concept of “it takes a village” – is it important for moms to join a village?

Absolutely! I love this village and can’t imagine the past nine months without it. Some examples of how great this village is – the other day I packed food and bottles for the babies but left everything on the kitchen counter as I rushed out of the house to Stroller Strides. I felt so defeated, but Stephanie generously and without any judgment, gave me a cup of Cheerios and a sippy cup filled with water so that Janie and Tessa could remain content through the class and during playgroup afterwards. One day in the winter I had forgotten my regular stroller and couldn’t figure out how to use our new stroller that was in the car. I was just about to head home in defeat when I met Amy and her twins in the parking lot. She helped me setup the stroller and saved the day (literally!). Jen introduced me to Mum Mums, Bex shared advice on surviving toddlerhood with twins, Brittnay is great to swap stories with since our babies are around the same age, and Shannon and all of the other instructors provide amazing support and motivation during each and every class! These are just some of the examples, there are so many more. I hope to help other moms in our village as much as they are helping me!

What is your favorite beverage?

These days it’s definitely a Starbucks latte with soymilk (sometimes a grande will do, but many days call for a venti!)

What is your favorite dessert?

A warm chocolate chip cookie (or a cold chocolate chip cookie, or really any type of cookie!)

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

Take a nap! And if my nap didn’t last the full 4 hours (which, likely it would), I’d take a relaxing bubble bath without the company of the baby monitor.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

An all-inclusive in Jamaica. We went there for our one-year anniversary and hope to go back one day.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I’m definitely plumper and more sleep-deprived. But, also more fulfilled and happier than I ever thought imaginable.

I am happiest when...’

I come home from work and the babies clap and kick their feet in excitement. I pick each one up and give them a huge hug and tons of kisses. Also whenever we have a leisurely Sunday morning and my husband and I can have a cuddle fest with the babies, dog and cat.

Thank you DANA for being a part of OUR VILLAGE and for sharing some of your story with us! We are lucky to have you and your family as a part of this amazing support system

Check back in June for another MOM of the month announcement!

#FIT4MOM #themotherhoodisreal #strengthinmotherhood #Fit4MomLSBWKNoVa #ourvillageisyourvillage #motivatingmomofthemonth

#December2017MOM #thanksforyourdedication #ourmomsrock #momfriends

#beingthebestpossibleME #youarenotalone #SafeNonjudgementalZone

#regainingconfidence #bodybackHIIT #strollerstrides

#wearethegluethatholdsthefamilytogether