I met Ruth about a year ago, thanks to an introduction from a mutual friend. When she first reached out to me after checking out my website, she exclaimed – “Harry Potter? Craft beer? Wisconsin? All things fantasy? Yes, yes, yes, yes, lol!!!”
Right then, I knew we’d get along fabulously!
And let me just tell you the minute I met Ruth, I instantly felt connected to her. She is one of the most energetic, enthusiastic, warm, and genuinely caring people that I know.
Ruth is the franchise owner of the SE Portland and Happy Valley FIT4MOM chapter.
I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know Ruth and much of her FIT4MOM tribe throughout the past year.
And this woman is an absolute warrior in EVERY. SINGLE. WAY. She recently tore her ACL but that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to show up for her team and her community. I’ve seen her out there still working out with her tribe, even with a boot on her leg.
Ruth is a PNW native and has always been an athlete. From soccer – to volleyball – to running – fitness has always been a main ingredient in her life, after family of course. But when she was pregnant with her second kiddo and living in a new town, she found it challenging to balance regular workouts in her daily life. One day while at a local park in Austin, Ruth stumbled upon a group of women working out with their kiddos in tow. She approached them, learned who they were, and joined their classes the next week.
Ruth’s Fit4Mom Beginning
Two months into taking classes with FIT4MOM in Texas, Ruth started taking fitness instructor courses and then eventually she started teaching regularly at a beautiful park in Austin. But, after a few years Ruth and her husband felt the pull to move back to the Pacific Northwest to be near family again. They started looking for ways to move back to Portland and then the opportunity to take over FIT4MOM SE Portland/Happy Valley came up and Ruth just knew it was meant to be! She has been the fearless leader of this chapter for 2 years now.
FIT4MOM classes are BY moms FOR moms. Several types of classes are offered, but their flagship is Stroller Strides. In Stroller Strides moms get to workout with their little ones in tow, and they make it FUN for the kiddos. Stroller Strides classes include both cardio and strength training. A typical class consists of: a warm-up with introductions, 4-5 stations as they all move throughout the park, core workout, and stretching. At each station there is a cardio burst followed by strength training using either body weight or resistance bands.
FIT4MOM also offers prenatal workout classes, appropriately titled, ‘FIT4BABY.’ Moms are welcome to join at any stage during pregnancy and exercises are structured to prepare the body for the many changes women experience during this time. Classes include cardio, strength, balance, flexibility training and they all end with a relaxing meditation. Pregnancy has been shown to be one of the best times in a woman’s life to adopt an exercise routine. FIT4BABY classes are kept small so mamas really get to know one another and make connections with other expectant mamas. AND there is a guest speaker after every class, featuring experts in all types of baby/birth related fields such as a pelvic floor physical therapist, a craniosacral chiropractor, doulas, and more!
Not only does Fit4Mom provide top notch fitness, but more than that they are a welcoming supporting group of mamas. What really hooked Ruth into FIT4MOM was that she suddenly had tons of friends who all were going through similar life experiences as herself, and her kids gained tons of friends too!
One of the best parts is that you get to workout WITH your kids. They get to learn that exercise is FUN and they SEE mama working hard and getting stronger.
There is zero judgement in FIT4MOM classes. The instructors are all specially trained to work with the pre and postpartum mama. There are mamas with distasis recti, pelvic prolapse, sore backs, carpal tunnel, you name it, and everyone gets a great workout that is safe and appropriate.
And even more than that, to foster a deeper community, they have lots of opportunities to connect outside of class. There is a weekly play date, usually directly following class. Additionally, every month there is Mom’s Night Out, where mamas get to make connections without the distractions of kiddos. They also have Facebook Groups for each of the locations to foster closer connections.
FIT4MOM mamas support each other in good and hard times, they share funny memes and kid pics, they bring new mama’s meals, they lift each other up when mamas face life challenges, they celebrate each other’s wins, they share recipes and life hacks, they watch each other’s kids, they give recommendations and share resources…
In short – Motherhood was not meant to be done alone, it takes a Village and that is what FIT4MOM is all about.
How to find Ruth and FIT4MOM
Interested in checking out a class? Your first class is FREE and you can sign up right here.
Not in the Portland area? No worries, there are FIT4MOM groups all across the country. Find the location nearest you here.
It has been such a joy getting to know Ruth and her amazing FIT4MOM community over the past year or so. I’ve had the great privilege of photographing FIT4MOM events as well as maternity, newborn, and family photos for so many lovely Mama’s in this group.
Thank you Ruth, for taking the time to chat with me for this post! I look forward to many more opportunities to work together.
Here are some photos of some of the classes I’ve had the great honor to photograph for Ruth.