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September's Mom of the Month

September 'Mom of the Month'

Congratulations to Julie Leonard, our 'Mom of the Month' for September!

Julie is a dedicated Fit4Mom participant, joining us at Stroller Strides and Running Mamas for the past few years. In fact, she loves Fit4Mom so much she has decided to train to be our newest Body Back instructor! Julie will be leading the early morning crew at the Academy for the Performing Arts in Apex on Mondays and Wednesdays starting this month! Help me in welcoming our newest addition to the Fit4MOM Cary/Durham team, we are SO happy to have her aboard!

Julie has made great strides in fitness, motherhood, and life, and we are so thankful that she is an integral part of our team!

Join us in congratulating Julie and read on to get to know her a little better!

Hometown (where you grew up): I grew up in Hutchinson, Kansas

Current part of the Triangle that you live in: I just moved to Willow Spring

Education (optional): I graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor of science in horticulture

Fit4Mom Member since (what programs you do/have done): I briefly did stroller strides after my second son was born before returning to work and joined the running mamas last January for 1/2 marathon training and then 10k training

Members of your Family: My genius husband and lover, Wes, and I have two sons, Isaac who is 6 and Sam who is 3

Current/previous Career: I am the grower at Plant Delights Nursery and spend most of my day as taking care of plants

What was your childhood ambition? As a child I wanted to be an astronaut, journalist and a mother, at least I accomplished one of those!

What does motherhood mean to you? Being a mother is a lifelong dream, I always wanted 4 boys when I was growing up. Though after 2, I am reconsidering, maybe just 3!

What is the furthest you have been from home? I have traveled around Australia with my best friend from college while she worked there

What has Running Mamas done for you (or meant to you)? Running Mamas is one of the best decisions I have ever made! Living here without family close by is a challenge when you have kids and Running Mamas really has filled a much needed community I as looking for! And it gave me an excuse to make time for myself while getting exercise, which makes me a better mama in the long run!

What is your favorite exercise? My favorite exercise is an obstacle course race, the best of both worlds mixed together- cross training and running!

What is your proudest moment? My proudest moment was this year when I RAN my first 1/2 marathon the whole way and I had only ever run one 5k the year before, s huge accomplishment that I really wasn't sure was possible.

What are three of your favorite things (besides your family!)? I love to travel, Mexican food and Kansas State football, go Wildcats!

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us or makes you unique. I competed on an all girls crops judging team at a national competition and traveled to Italy by myself after quitting my first job where I wished for my husband in The Trevino Fountain in Rome and meet him shortly after moving to North Carolina for my new job.

If we asked your spouse what they think your best qualities are, what would they say? My husband says I am dependable, honest (maybe to a fault, though he didn't say that) and motivated

What advice would you give to moms looking to get back into shape? To any mom who wants to get back in shape, first I say take the time for yourself because you will feel better and be a better mama for it. Second, it is mind over matter, you can achieve what you put your mind to!

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