Karin Collins Owner FIT4MOM Marin and Fit4Baby/Stroller Strides/Stroller Barre/Body Back Instructor
Kiddo: Liv (March 2012)
Welcome Mamas! I am very excited to bring FIT4MOM into your life. The day I went into labor with my daughter was the same day I bought the FIT4MOM Marin Franchise. My nesting had finally come to an end. A few months before, I had searched on Google for inspiration to start my own business. I wanted to own a business that would be supportive of motherhood, and one in which I could spend as much time with my daughter as possible. Fitness and running have always been a big part of my life and I was hoping to create a job where I could be outdoors and active. I had recently completed a yoga certification and attained a culinary degree at Living Light Culinary School as a Raw Vegan Chef and Nutritionist Educator. While searching Google, Stroller Strides popped up. I thought that the concept of working out while engaging your child was pure genius. I knew immediately that this was my calling and I couldn´t wait to create a community here in Marin County for moms and their families. So, without ever having tried a class, I bought the franchise! When my daughter Liv was 3 months old I started our playgroup, and when she was 6 months old we held our grand opening in San Rafael. A month later, I had a second grand opening in Mill Valley for FIT4BABY and Stroller Strides. After a few months of teaching eight classes a week by myself I was able to hire my first instructor. In 2014, we had our third grand opening in San Anselmo, at which point we also added Stroller Barre and Body Back to our schedule.
Today, I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without my FIT4MOM mamas and their families. My husband Ron, Liv, and I have made so many incredible friends and we have received so much support. When I broke my ankle I had families volunteering to deliver meals for me for a whole month. They took me grocery shopping and even picked me up so that I could come to our classes! Their generosity of spirit goes to show that FIT4MOM is much more than just a workout; we are a community who remain dedicated to each other, through all of life’s joys as well as its hardships. I am extremely proud of FIT4MOM Marin. We are the sisterhood in motherhood that ALL moms need. And now, we have an awesome FIT4MOM Marin team helping to reach more women. Our village has blossomed into one big family. I know that I am very fortunate to have a dream job that allows me to include my family in everything FIT4MOM has to offer, from playgroups to mom’s and parent’s night out, family events, holiday parties and more. I am honored to be helping moms on their of journey to health and fitness. My passion and purpose is my family and to help moms gain "strength for motherhood, at any stage of motherhood".
Kim Guigley, Stroller Strides/Body Back Instructor and Administrative and Communications Manager
Kiddos: Brynn (February 2010) and Emerson (January 2012)
Hi Mamas! I am the proud mama of my sweet girl, Brynn and my wild little guy, Emerson and I LOVE FIT4MOM!
I started with FIT4BABY in July 2009 when I had just moved to Northern Virginia from Boston, MA for my husband's job. I had left all my friends and a fantastic career at Harvard Business School behind, knew no one in the area, my husband was going to be traveling all the time, and I found out I was pregnant just a week after the move. So much at once! I knew I needed to join a gym to stay fit, meet people and be happy and that is where I luckily found FIT4BABY. I loved my FIT4BABY classes right up until Brynn was born and then she and I slid into Stroller Strides when she was six weeks old (and I was SUPER nervous with her in the stroller that first class!). FIT4MOM has defined our lives ever since.
When we moved to San Rafael in January 2013, again for the hub's career, the #1 requirement of our new neighborhood was nearby Stroller Strides classes - truly! FIT4MOM has filled *our* lives all these years not only with health and fitness, I am healthier now than ever, but also with true friendships and the utmost support. Nearly all of our friendships in both Northern Virginia and San Rafael have started through FIT4MOM. These two groups of amazing families have provided years of love, laughter and sanity. I don't think we could have survived my PPD with Brynn, or my many (so many) months of sleepless nights with Emerson, "firsts" of anything, or a bicoastal move without the help, guidance and love of these women. But perhaps the most wonderful thing about it all is that my kids only see fitness as a normal part of each day that's something fun you enjoy in a park with your family and friends! How wonderful is that?!
So... when the thought of both kids being in school a few days a week in 2015-2016 entered my mind, I realized our time with FIT4MOM was going to decrease significantly. I just could not leave my crew, my purpose, my THING! That is when I decided to get certified to teach, and in February 2015 I became a very proud FIT4BABY, Stroller Strides and Body Back Instructor! I absolutely love sharing FIT4MOM with other mamas, especially with the newer ones who desperately need to get out of the house and ask questions like "How do I get my baby to sleep?!" or "Does anyone else need to wear three sports bras for this?!" without judgment. And, of course, I also do it for the more veteran mama who just simply needs a safe place to completely crumble at class one day because her first baby just started Kindergarten that morning (yeah, that was me one day at class in August 2015 - I completely lost it during the warm up question!). I love that FIT4MOM is a safe place that offers friendly smiles, no judgment and endorphins to get us through motherhood.
We all need to know we are not alone on this wild journey of motherhood. We've laughed together, cried together and sweated together. It's the best community I could ever imagine and I am beyond thrilled and proud to be a part of it! I think EVERY new mom should be a part of FIT4MOM. Every. Single. One. It's fitness, friendships, fun and pure survival.more
Liz Dietrich, Stroller Strides/Fit4Baby Instructor and Marketing Coordinator
Kiddo: Maggie (July 2013)
NOTHING can prepare you for parenthood! It’s so unbelievably challenging and exhausting!! By the time my daughter, Maggie, was 12 months I was completely overwhelmed! Parenthood truly seemed to be “all of the joy, none of the fun.” But then I took my first Stroller Strides class and I was running through a park with a stroller, singing silly songs and laughing with other mommies! It was SO MUCH FUN!! Eventually my daughter, Maggie, got use to our new class routine and she was having tons of fun! My husband joined us on family Sundays and he was having fun! Stroller Strides brought us “all of the joy, and tons of the fun!!”
1 year later I became an instructor and I’m still having fun. I am forever grateful to Karin and the FIT4MOM Village. The workout, itself is quite challenging and I’m lighter and more toned than I’ve ever been. The songs and activities during class provide a very entertaining hour for the kiddos and Maggie has made lots of friends. I have found wonderful friends myself who have provided such amazing support through the motherhood journey. It takes a village couldn’t be more true. Actually, it takes a FIT4MOM Village! And that is the true magic of this program….. Whether it's Body Back, Stroller Strides or FIT4BABY, you’ll find your village of mommy friends and their families which is crucial to surviving the journey of parenthood!more
Erin Allen Stroller Strides/Stroller Barre Instructor
Kiddos: Claire (March 2010) and Elise (October 2011)
I started my FIT4MOM journey in the spring of 2012 in Philadelphia, PA. I had recently left my friends and support network of 11 years in Baltimore and was doing it all, working full time as a Speech-Language Pathologist and taking care of two little ones while my hubby finished his cardiac surgery training. Needless to say working out was the last thing on my mind! Then I met a friend who said, “you need to try Saturday Stroller Strides because they are a great group of ladies.” I went to my first class and was instantly addicted to the workout and vibe at the class. I went every Saturday and was amazed how suddenly I loved exercise (previously I only ran when being chased). I then begged the owner to start an evening Wednesday class and I was officially hooked!
Then it was time to leave Philadelphia and we were headed back home to California. I immediately went online and looked for the closest Fit4Mom franchise to San Francisco where we would live the first year while we house hunted in Marin. We arrived in California and I started commuting over the Golden Gate to attend Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre classes in Mill Valley. I loved that I immediately felt at home with the group of women that I had just met. Unfortunately, the commute was taking its toll and I had to stop coming to class but I knew that I would be back.
In the summer of 2015 we bought our house and moved to Mill Valley and I immediately came back to class. I loved seeing the familiar faces from a year ago and meet new people in my new hometown. I was the mom that came to class with an empty stroller as both of my kiddos are in school. I loved the workout and the community that I felt I didn’t get at the kid free studios. After a few months an opportunity to teach came up and I grabbed it getting certified in Stroller Strides, FIT4BABY, and Stroller Barre in January 2016. Now instead of teaching in a classroom or therapy room, I get to teach outdoors.
For the first time in my life I feel healthy and happy and that is my “why!” I want to be an example for my daughters by showing that exercise is important and being strong is the best kind of beautiful. I love seeing the excitement in my daughters’ faces when I tell them I am teaching on a Sunday when they get to come and cheer me on. I am forever grateful for being part of the FIT4MOM village!
Joanna Plocki Business Partnership Manager
Kiddo: Chloe (December, 2012)
Hello! I am a mother to an adventurous, spunky, sweet daughter named Chloe. Yet, however sweet, she definitely keeps me on my toes. :)
When Chloe was nine months old, I finally discovered FIT4MOM. We had attended other workout establishments which offered daycare, but none had worked for us. From our first class at FIT4MOM, I knew I had found our workout; what I did not know was that we had found our home (a place where we would be finding ourselves most mornings three years later). I was longing for exercise classes where I could bring Chloe, but what I did not realize was that I was longing for friendships from other mothers. I had never joined a mother’s group, and FIT4MOM quickly became the place where I could talk about my child’s milestones and my fears as a mother, but, mostly, it became a place where friendships were formed, friendships that I think are incomparable. I definitely did not see that perk coming.
I am lucky to have had the opportunity to stay at home with my daughter; yet I realize that time is limited, and we must both forge on: Chloe with school and I with a career. When the opportunity arose to become part of the FIT4MOM Marin team, I knew it was the right next step for me. Continuing the growth of FIT4MOM for many moms to come is something that I hope to provide as Business Partner Manager. There are many businesses, similar to FIT4MOM, that promote positive, health-minded practices, which I can’t wait to introduce to our moms.
Every mother deserves such an amazing, nurturing environment!
Sharon Lehm, Playgroup Coordinator
Kiddos: Maverick (June, 2013 ) and Fiona (March, 2016)
I began taking Fit4Baby classes with Karin in 2013 when I was 5 months pregnant with my first child. Instantly I fell in love with Karin's bright and cheery outlook on motherhood and life. I knew I couldn't wait to join in on the stroller stride classes once my son Maverick was born. Stroller Strides quickly became part of my daily routine and I've never looked back. During my second pregnancy with my daughter Fiona the classes kept me mentally stable and motivated to stay fit. Exercise has always been a passion of mine and I feel so lucky to now be able to combine motherhood alongside it. I am so very grateful that FIT4MOM has made me become a more well rounded mother and a happier one as well! Join me every Thursday after class at the Civic Center Lagoon Park in San Rafael for free fun playgroup activities!more