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Mom of the Month: Nicole Vann

Meet Nicole, She is a fierce mama, whose determination and positive spirit are truly inspiring! Nicole just crushed a long time goal of completing a half marathon. Way to go, Nicole! We are so happy you joined our village!

Where are you originally from?

I'm from Shaker Heights, Ohio, which is a suburb of Cleveland.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

May 2017

What classes do you attend?

I did Stroller Strides for a long time, and Stroller Barre, and I've done a bit of Strides 360. My kid is much more independently mobile now, so she's much less likely to stay content in the stroller, especially when there are ladies "getting strong" around her. I started Body Back last October and have not missed a session since!

Who is/are your workout buddy(ies) and their age(s)?

My little girl, Miranda is 2.5

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

It's a real community. It's about being healthy physically, but also mentally. It's the first group of women I haven't felt totally awkward with, and you're surrounded by people who are constantly encouraging you.

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

I was a barista at Starbucks, and basically the best at it.

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

Absolutely. Motherhood can be isolating and in my experience most of the initial advice/help I got was from the older women in my family who were so many years beyond having had a child that they had forgotten the struggle of it, or were from an entirely separate generation. You can have friends that don't have kids, but nobody is going to understand you when you're in the trenches like someone else who is in them, too, or someone who has recently gotten out of them (and sometimes into a new one). It also reminds you that you really DON'T have to do everything on your own. We get so much pressure to be everyone's everything as moms, but much less encouragement to be ourselves. The village is as much for the mom as it is for the kid, more so, even. When you surround yourself by authentic people you feel more comfortable and capable and that's the kind of mother I want to be.

What is your favorite beverage?

Ideally, something fancy like… watermelon agua fresca. In reality, coffee. Ethiopian, if possible, just with some cream and a nice pastry to accompany it.

What is your favorite dessert?

Tiramisu. Or, anything with chocolate and raspberry together.

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

Go get a fancy bowl of ramen, which I would eat hot, then see some epic 2.5 hour movie in one of those theaters with the reclining seats.

What is your ultimate child-free vacation destination?

New Orleans. Harry Potter World is a close second.

How has becoming a mother changed you?

I've never been an adultier adult than I am now, but I've also never been as keenly aware of all the ways in which I could improve myself… and then actually putting in effort to try to follow-through with those improvements! It's definitely made me much stronger, but that was sort of a tempered steel strength; I had to go through the fire several times before coming out of it better on the other side. It's also made me more accepting of other people as they are. We're all just surviving out here. It's so much easier to be kind than it is to be a jerk.

I am happiest when...

Watching one of my favorite television shows or movies with someone who is watching for the first time. All the better if there are snacks.