It's not a walk in the park for Fit4Moms
Mother of two young children, business owner and fitness instructor at Fit4Mom are a few titles Amy Rosso holds.
Fit4Mom focuses on exercise programs and creating a community of support. Rosso said when she had her first child, like many other mothers, she was unaware of all the other things she had to do for her children. She joined Fit4Mom as a client in D.C. and loved it. But when she moved to Chapel Hill, there wasn’t anything like it — so she decided to start her own franchise two years ago.
“Never in a million years did I think I’d have the courage to be a business owner," Rosso said. "So, it’s been very rewarding.”
She added that bringing together families and communities and making people feel strong is what she loves most about her job.
Fit4Mom in Chapel Hill has no specific location — just various outdoor spaces where the classes take place. Rosso said if the weather is bad they rent rooms in Hyatt Place off of Route 15 in Chapel Hill. Otherwise, classes are held in Chapel Hill at Southern Village Park and The Parlour Chapel at Mann’s Chapel, or in Carrboro at Fleet Feet Sports and Wilson Park.
Nicole Brown, an instructor at Fit4Mom in Chapel Hill, said anyone is welcome to come. They offer variations of workout levels from low to high impact. The classes are also for women in all stages in motherhood.
“We have women in our classes who have 6-week-old babies, and we have women who have children in college,” said Brown.
The 2-year-old business is about the same age as some of their “clients” — mothers get to bring along their young ones for Stroller Strides®, which is one of the six personalized group workouts offered.
“It’s a win-win. It’s fresh air, it’s a chance to get outside,” said Rosso. “Especially with our stroller-based classes, they’re a win-win because moms are getting outside and a workout, and babies get to go outside and see things with their moms.”
Callie Tramantano, a client and mother of three young children, said the classes are a stress-free environment.
“There’s this whole other part of me that (my children) see, they see me working out and see me with other moms and they become excited about it," Tramantano said. "So it’s a bonding experience and another thing we can do together.”
The mothers cheer each other on for things as small as doing laundry or telling their children, “I love you,” Rosso said.
“Everyone is in the same boat as you. Everyone has kids, everyone has things going on," Tramantano said. “You all have goals and show up and give the best that you can give, and if that means you’re holding your toddler the whole time then it is what it is, and you got your workout in anyways.”
Brown and Rosso said they do their best to keep both the moms and babies happy throughout class. If someone has to step aside to do that, whether it be the instructor or mom, it’s OK.
"In our stroller-based classes, which is a walk, jog, run class, we sing along with the children," Brown said. "We blow bubbles, read books, bring in finger puppets and a variety of toys. The children do have to stay in their stroller the entire time, for safety reasons, so we try to make it fun for them, too.”
Rosso believes it’s all about inclusiveness and women helping each other. The support that comes from this community helps each of them have a better life for themselves and their families, she said.
“It really takes a village,” said Rosso, “I know it sounds cheesy, but it does take a village. The more you let yourself ask for help, the better things will be.”
“After having my third kid, I’ve never had this type of community," she said. “This idea of bringing back, ‘It takes a village to get through this’ is so true and I just feel so much more confident with what I’m doing now, because I have a group of people and we are all going through this together.”
Rosso said they have recently formed a partnership with Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation to bring their programs to the local parks.
“We are very aligned in our mission and values of promoting fitness, activities and things that are beneficial for the whole family, so we are super excited about that starting,” Rosso said.