Do I Need to be a Mom?
That was the question I got a few times from friends and clients who found out about my event with Randi Zinn at Athleta a few weeks ago. They were enticed by the event but were unsure whether motherhood was a requirement since we would be touching on “motherhood” themes. It was definitely a fair question.
I first heard of Randi Zinn through a dear friend, and I quickly felt like I had found a kindred spirit when I finally met her. I realized immediately that she was a truly thoughtful and intelligent person with a depth to her that I sought in good friends. Randi’s work with mothers came out of her own experience as a entrepreneur trying to find her identity beyond just “mother.” She met other women who were struggling with similar questions and who had not found a support network that really spoke to their struggles. And that’s when her business, Beyond Mom, was born.
I am not yet a mother, but I quickly realized after getting to know Randi that identity, transition, and empowerment are themes she addresses that are truly universal. We are all pulled in so many different directions — from societal expectations to mass media images to our workplaces. When Randi would talk about the ways that mothers could get lost between the demands of their family and professional lives, I recognized that this was an issue present across many categories of women.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that motherhood is so very unique and needs to be addressed in its own right. And Randi is an important voice for mothers, especially female entrepreneurs who have ambition and an identity that can be challenged when they start a family. What I soon recognized, though, is that this was a conversation that could be stretched — that all women could benefit from her insights and advice. An event focusing on self-care and personal wellness as a source of strength, and creating community in the process, was good for ALL of us.
So there it is. I told everyone to come, and we had a blast. I was blown away because we had so many different women of all ages and fitness abilities (and family situations!), and there was such an empowering and positive energy.
I have felt this for a long time, but there is something so bonding about a room full of women working hard together. Fitness in the city can sometimes breed competition, but there is so much opportunity to bring people together in fitness classes. Everyone is working hard for the same goal – and everyone is trying to do the same thing. That morning felt particularly special to me. Working out together and talking about creating community through fitness left me feeling bonded with the group and empowered as a woman. After all, we thrive better together than apart!
I have wanted to use my business to bring women together. I felt like this was a great opportunity and hope to continue working towards that goal in our events, challenges, and daily classes.
I don’t want to keep “non-mothers” from ever feeling excluded but rather find more and more opportunities for ALL of us to feel included – no matter who we are. After all, we have enough pressures and expectations as women regardless of where we are in life. If I can provide at least one place for women in the city where they can feel strong, capable, supported, and validated — then I have done my job!
Photography (except final photograph) by Michael Seto