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MONTH OF AUGUST: MOTIVATING MOM

Each month we are celebrating a member of our FIT4MOM Fairfield County Village for her commitment to a healthy lifestyle and dedication to the FIT4MOM program.

Motivating Mom: Danielle Michalisin

Danielle is one of the most determined, hard working and kind moms I know! Even with the craziness of juggling two kids schedules, she always made it to class (just maybe a few minutes late) and put 110% into every exercise. Danielle always put her two amazing children, Tyler and Sienna first, but also made sure to take some time for herself and get in a workout, while also spending some special mother/daughter time with Sienna when her son was in school. She is a Stroller Strides "veteran mom", who the new moms always looked up to! I will miss seeing her and Sienna's face each week (and so will my kids!) and getting her great advise on what to do with baby boys! I truly hope they will come back to class on school vacations and in the summer! - Shana, Instructor

Danielle was one of the first moms I met regularly at Stroller Strides, when I first started taking classes. It was always great to chat, especially as well about our older sons, that are about the same age and actually never met, but seem to have some similarities in their temper :-) Danielle also was one of my very regularly joining moms when I then started teaching Stroller Strides - and she really gave me confidence in this transition! Danielle is always hearty, welcoming and understanding; she can cheer up by just listening or sharing experience and even if she had a rough morning herself, she joins class, shares what’s going on and makes it easy to see what Fit4Mom is all about! Too sad our schedules don’t fit together so well anymore - but every now and then it does, and it always makes me happy to see you enrolled for class! - NIna, Instructor

I love seeing Danielle at class and have really enjoyed watching her beautiful children grow. We have shared many laughs, compared many stories of motherhood, shared tried and tested tips and tricks for “those days” and Danielle has always managed to brighten my day even when my toddler seems more strong willed than my coffee. Danielle always shows up (no matter what time to class!) with a smile and gives it her all. - Hana, Instructor

I met Danielle couple of times when I started coming to Stroller strides. She always came to class with positive energy. Seeing a mom that have such a great vibe like Danialle makes me love coming to stroller strides and stroller barre classes. - Chalalai, Instructor

Danielle is one of the first moms I met when I was just starting Stroller Strides. I was so intimidated getting started and just remember how nice Danielle was - really made me feel part of the group. I remember one time her telling me that after class her daughter was talking about my son, and I don’t know why that memory stuck in my head so much, but it really made me feel included, part of the group, and like I belonged and that my son had peers! She is just such a sweet mom and while I see her less often now that I teach in Stamford, I’m always so happy when our paths cross! - Lauren, Instructor

1)Who are the members of your family?

My husband's name is Eric, my son is Tyler (age 5) and my daughter is Sienna (age 3).

2)What is/was your career?

Magazine publishing. I'm currently a stay-at-home mom, but my last job was Senior Integrated Marketing Manager for Money. I also had the privilege of working in marketing, as well as research, for Harper's Bazaar, Conde Nast Traveler, Parents and Working Mother.

3) How long have you been a member of FIT4MOM Fairfield County, and what has it done for you?

I've been a part of the FIT4MOM family for the past five years, and it has seriously whipped me into shape! And through all the blood, sweat and occasional tears (from my children, not me!), I've made some pretty amazing friends.

4)What is your favorite class exercise?

My favorite exercise targets the glutes. Positioned on your hands and knees, you work out to the tune of Ants Go Marching. Using resistance from an exercise band, you stamp the sky, do straight-legged lifts and do rainbow arcs. I love feeling the burn!

5) What keeps you coming back to Stroller Strides?

Beginning with the very first class I took at Cummings Beach, Stroller Strides has given me the best workouts of my life. Hands down! It has also provided me with countless opportunities to meet new moms and make connections that I otherwise might not have. In short, I've always gone for the workouts, but I've stayed afterwards for the conversation, camaraderie and laughter.

6) What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?

For me, the most surprising thing about motherhood is the incredible capacity I have to love and protect my children. I never knew I could love so deeply and unconditionally, and that I could put the needs of these two little people so far above my own. I also never thought I'd survive with so little sleep, but here I am :)

7) What are your 3 favorite things?

My three favorite things - besides my husband and two children - are:

1. Exercise

2. Prosecco

3. Red velvet cupcakes

8)What is your proudest mommy moment so far?

It's difficult to pick just one, but one of my proudest moments was when Tyler's pre-school teacher brought him to the car at pick-up time and told me that he had given his classmates a lesson about bugs earlier in the day. With all eyes on him, he had excitedly shared some of his vast knowledge about different kinds of bugs. His passion not only for bugs, but also for dinosaurs, sea creatures and animals in general, knows no bounds, and is clearly contagious. I can't wait to see where it takes him in the future, and who he inspires.

9) What advice would you give a new mother?

Know that you're going to have both good and bad days, ups and downs, highs and lows. But also know that you're not alone. Reach out to family/friends/colleagues, and you'll discover just how many shared experiences you have. All of the trials and tribulations will help you grow and mature as a mother, and your children will benefit in countless ways. At the end of the day, that's what motherhood is all about.

10) Anything you'd like to share about yourself?

On the career front, if I could do it all over again, I would be a photographer. I absolutely love taking pictures of my family and putting together photo books. Perhaps it'll be my second act!

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Thank you Danielle for being a special part of our village xo