Meet Celinda Smith, Owner of FIT4MOM Memphis

fit4mom memphis
We recently spoke with Celinda Smith, the owner of the Memphis FIT4MOM franchise, to better understand why exercise and community are so important for pregnant and postpartum mothers, as well as to learn what classes and services she’s offering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This organization offers a wide variety of exercise classes for moms that meets them where they’re at in pregnancy and postpartum. And perhaps the best part of this group is the level of support and care you get by being a member. It truly takes a village to both raise a child and support a mother, and FIT4MOM is here for that very reason.
Check out our conversation with her below to learn how you might benefit from a community- and exercise-oriented mom tribe.
 

Babypalooza: What inspired you to purchase a Fit4Mom franchise?

Celinda Smith: FIT4MOM is the nation’s largest pre and postnatal fitness business. With over 300 unique locations nationwide, it offers fitness classes and wellness programs created to provide Strength in Motherhood®.

Over the past 6 years, I have had the honor of operating the Memphis franchise. The birth of my first daughter inspired me to start this local branch. I was simply a new mom looking for community, support, and friendship. FIT4MOM gave me all of those things and so much more. It allowed me a safe place to begin my motherhood journey and a way to safely move my body again.

BP: Tell us about your F4M Memphis Village. What does it mean to be a part of that “mom tribe?”

Smith: Our local F4M Memphis Village is a beautiful mix of moms from all walks of life. From first time moms with newborns to moms with older kids, we have a place for you. The desire of my business is to create a judgment-free zone for women to come as they are. It’s a place where we learn to move our bodies safely, strive to lift one another up, laugh, and encourage healthy habits for ourselves and our children. We have daily workouts, playgroups, moms night out events, and family-focused gatherings.

BP: What services does Fit4MomMemphis offer?

Smith: FIT4MOM Memphis offers a variety of workouts and events. The most well-known classes are Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre.

Strides and Barre are mom-n-me workouts where the children stay safely tucked in the stroller while mom gets an hour of me-time to sweat and connect with other moms. These classes are great for newly postpartum and pregnant moms. We have kids attend Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre ranging from 6 weeks old all the way up to 5 years old.

We also offer a wide variety of specialty classes such as our Strides 360 running endurance class, Body Ignite strength-based workout, and Body Boost HIIT class. We also host several Run Club sessions throughout the year for moms who may be looking to get back into running or have decided to train for a 5k, 10k, or half marathon. Finally, we have a special 8-week session-based program called Body Well. It combines fitness with nutrition accountability in a small group format. It’s focused on body positivity and meeting moms where they are to build healthy habits.

We typically host weekly in-person playgroups after Strides and Barre to let the kiddos play and make friends. However, COVID has rained on that parade for the time being. However, we are offering fun virtual pop-up playgroups (i.e music & movement). We also host monthly moms night out events, family events, and coordinate a lot of meal trains for newly postpartum moms or moms who just need a pick-me-up.

BP: Tell us about your instructors.

Smith: The instructor team at FIT4MOM Memphis is incredible. They are moms just like you! They have completed training to understand the pre and postnatal body and hold workouts based on the most current recommendations. It’s fun to see women connect to different instructors and their unique teaching styles. You’ll see real-life motherhood happening in class. You are not alone if your hair is in a messy bun and you needed 2 cups of coffee to get out the door. Your instructor will greet you with big energy and a smile.

BP: Which stage of motherhood is FIT4MOM Memphis’ target customer base?

Smith: FIT4MOM offers workouts for all stages of motherhood. Here’s a breakdown of our offerings:

  • Prenatal MomsFit4baby is our prenatal workout designed specifically for pregnant moms! In addition, all virtual workouts are currently prenatal friendly. You will also find pregnant moms attending Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre (especially if you have other kiddos in tow).
  • Newly Postpartum MomsStroller Strides and Stroller Barre will be your place to shine! You’ll be with other moms in a similar stage of motherhood and the workouts are a great place to start moving again. It’s also fun for the kids as we sing songs and bring lots of bubbles.
  • Postpartum+ – You are always welcome at Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre! Strides 360, Body Ignite, Body Boost, Body Well & Run Club are a great place for moms in this postpartum+ range (you’ll see moms with a mix of ages from 6 months old all the way up into middle and high school).

Learn more about the class offerings here.

BP: What advice would you give to expecting mamas who may be anxious or nervous about what’s to come? 
Smith: To the pregnant mama, I say:
  • Take a deep breath and enjoy this special time in your life.
  • You are strong and capable.
  • And keep moving (if you’re cleared by your doctor)! Moms who move during pregnancy tend to have smoother recovery and fewer complications during pregnancy.
  • Additionally, working out at a moderate level can help reduce stress, increase energy levels, and boost your immune system.
BP: What about new mamas who may be struggling in the postpartum period?
Smith: To the newly postpartum mom: we see you! Please don’t struggle alone. There is a village here for you if you need one.
  • Be real with others about how you are doing and find your mom tribe.
  • Be gentle to return to movement. Heal and breathe to begin. When you are cleared by your doctor, start back slowly and be mindful. Seek help from additional professionals such as a pelvic health physical therapist.
  • Don’t forget to fill up your own cup. Exercise and movement do that for me.
  • Lastly, you don’t have to be what culture defines as “fit” to start moving. Take it one step at a time and learn to love the body you are in.
BP: Speaking as a Memphis transplant who knew basically no one here at first, F4M was a godsend in so many ways even beyond my physical needs. It gave me the opportunity to make friends and feel like I was a part of a community. Would you say this is a goal of F4M — to welcome mamas who are new to the city?

Smith: Absolutely!  That was my own story. I moved to Memphis about 6 years ago and only knew one mom in the area. F4M gave me a community and made this city feel like home. It’s the women in the community that make a difference. It is always a goal of mine to create a place where people feel welcomed.

We have an amazing mix of native Memphians and transplants. You can come to a new city and have a village of moms ready and waiting to greet you. Moms who attend classes often and actively seek out connections with other women in classes really reap the benefits of our local Memphis village. You can also always ask us to help you get connected. Within our village, there is usually a mom who knows someone that can answer your questions or maybe is the new best mom-friend you didn’t know you desperately needed.

BP: What would you say to that mother who may be new to Memphis and feeling alone or isolated and overwhelmed in motherhood?

Smith: You are not alone. We’d love to meet you and be part of your journey.

BP: Tell us about your beautiful family! How long have you lived in Memphis? Have you always envisioned owning a business like F4M?

Smith: My family moved to Memphis in 2014 after several years of moving around. (#militaryspouse) I have two beautiful spunky little girls, Cora and Scarlet. After the birth of my oldest daughter, I knew I wanted to do something, but I wasn’t sure what that was. I found FIT4MOM, and it was an immediate YES! I took a leap of faith in a brand new city and started this local branch. I cannot believe it has been 6 years! Time flies when you’re having fun.

BP: How has FIT4MOM Memphis adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you offering virtual services?

Smith: COVID-19 has not been easy on small community-based businesses. However, it has shown me how loyal and amazing our local village can be.

The moms who are regularly attending classes during this hard year are nothing short of amazing. They are flexible and have let me try out new things.

COVID has changed my business and pushed me to be creative, flexible, and patient. I’ve transitioned to a full virtual workout schedule offering classes 6 days per week. And the virtual classes are here to stay! I love the flexibility of virtual workouts. It’s convenient for the busy moms who are juggling a lot but also want a great workout with a live coach online.

We are also slowly re-launching in-person classes that are socially distanced with capped class sizes. Join us at Overton Square or Shelby Farms Park!

Check out our schedule to learn more and find a class that works for you.

BP: What can we expect from F4M Memphis the rest of this year and into 2021?

Smith: Here are some of the exciting things we have planned:

  • New fall Run Club sessions launching in September and October. Moms can choose between in-person group runs or virtual coaching.
  • New Body Well sessions! This program has been completely updated, and it is INCREDIBLE.
  • A full schedule of amazing virtual and in-person classes!
  • Monthly moms night in for mental health, laughter, and fun :)

Are you looking for a fun, challenging workout tailored just for moms? Find Celinda on Facebook and Instagram, or visit memphis.fit4mom.com. Your first class is free!

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