Fun Facts about our Toledo FiA and Things we have done throughout the year:
November – Veterans Day Ruck money donated to the Local VFW Post 2898 and the Hickman Cancer Center
December – Ronald McDonald House household items donations
February – Book and Toy drive items donated to the following
-Books 4 Buddies
-Elizabeth Scott Nursing Home
-St. Francis High School mission trip to Jamaica
March – food pantry drive for St. Patrick’s Church
May – Habitat for Humanity landscape project
July – new infant and toddler toy drive for Toledo’s Children’s Hospital
August – garage sale collection for Chad Tough foundation and Cornucopia of Toledo.
Java’s – My FiA Story… FiA came along in my life as a complete answer to prayer. I know not everyone here may believe the same things I do about God and that’s ok, but I found myself praying a specific prayer last summer that God would help me to connect with a group of women. My husband had been working nightshift and I found myself in a season where it was hard for me to connect with friends or make new ones because most people hung out in the evenings and we couldn’t do that as a family. I felt like I was missing out on relationships. About a month or so later, after praying, I found out about FiA through a gal at church and I immediately felt so excited about it. But I was nervous at the same time. I was nervous because I had just gotten over some health issues and I hadn’t been able to workout for several months. I started going to the workouts and felt NOT strong. BUT… the negative voice inside of me was quickly overpowered by the positive voices of many of the women here in this circle today. Words like “you got this, you can do this, push hard, finish strong, don’t give up, keep going” transferred way beyond the bounds of an early morning workout…. I began to be excited to be there, working out, even though I wasn’t at my best physically. Little did I know that in this past year I would go through miscarriage loss. This was where the “stronger in mind” and “stronger In heart” mission of FiA really be leaving behind are the many voices of my FiA sisters cheering settled in with me. Some days I showed up to workouts physically capable, but mentally and emotionally I was crumbling. My FiA sisters got me through some really dark days by sending texts, messages or emails that gave me just the boost I needed to keep going. I’m so thankful to have found this group, to see it grow, and to have let it change me for the better. As some of you know, my family is going on an adventure soon and we will be leaving Toledo. What I WON’T me on in body, heart and mind. I’ll have that always.
Nurse Ratchet– My FiA Story…. Last summer I knew I wanted a workout in my life. My third child was nearing one and I was finishing nursing and pumping for him and knew I was getting a little time back for me. I had heard about this group beginning and came to the first parking lot prelaunch workout praying I would live through it. After one workout, I marked my calendar for the next few and found myself continue to go back. I felt special when I got texts from HT (but eventually figured out it wasn’t just me she was texting). Somewhere in the course of the year something happened… I don’t know where or when… but I felt a part of something bigger than me. You see in “life,”
Janet is rigid, uptight and inflexible. NR on the other hand is fun and relaxed
Janet didn’t pray in public (only at the dinner table, bedtime or church)… NR would lead the group in prayer anytime.
Janet never needed “girl groups.” NR couldn’t get enough of these “gals.”
Janet is reserved and doesn’t talk much. NR socializes all the time.
Janet has no sisters. NR has found a sisterhood in FiA like no other.
Janet doesn’t like to ask for help. NR has found women who she never would have known who she would reach out to in a time of need.
Janet isn’t a huge fan of working out. NR hardly skips a workout.
Janet is NR now and is proud of it! I have run a duathlon, some 5ks, a bike ride… etc… and is BLESSED with the relationships I have found through FiA Toledo! women who I wouldn’t otherwise know are now some of my closest friends and allies and I can’t imagine life without this group.
Chick-fil-A– My FiA Story …. When thinking about WHY I come to FiA, WHY it’s so important to me….it really comes down to one thing- friendships. The workouts are great and I love becoming healthier and stronger but the reason I keep coming back is the friendships I have made through this group. When you come to this group it doesn’t matter if you’re the strongest or weakest, fastest or slowest- no one cares and everyone is always there to cheer you on. Something about FiA inspires me deeply to become the best version of me. When I come to FiA, I am not worried about being judged for my shortcomings or scared to make mistakes. I know that this is a safe place that I can just be myself and a place where I don’t have to be scared to fail. This is a place where true friends are born, a place where you may come as a stranger but you always leave as a friend.
Taz– My FiA Story…. FiA came at a time in my life that I had some dark stuff going on, and really wasn’t sure how the heck I would get through it all, especially without losing a lot of myself. I was so busy, and thought there was really no way to fit this workout thing in too. This group didn’t know me at all, and I knew ONE of you before this, so I walked in completely alone and just wanted to see how it would go. Holy Toledo you were like a rock star the first time I came, and you led this just MASSIVE group of strangers, and look what it has become!! I signed up to lead within my first 1-2 months and was hooked. This group ALWAYS has my back (and everyone else’s), no matter if I tell them what I might need thoughts on or not. I’ve NEVER had a group of WOMEN friends that only cared for each to do well, never to criticize, condemn, or be unkind to one another. I didn’t think it was possible, as I generally see women as catty and unapproachable in most instances. I really can’t say enough how much this group has become just a living, breathing, growing part of me and each of our ladies involved plays a part in that. If you know me, you know that religion doesn’t play a part at all in my day-to-day, but for some reason, I’m ALWAYS ready to pray at the end in our “sweaty circle”, because that’s when I just feel my soul settle in and calm. Can’t thank you all enough for accepting me in this group with all my crazy tendencies and sarcasm and complaints (CFA might have me beat on the complaints but it depends on the day and always being such a strong, supportive, encouraging group of women from all walks of life.
Happy birthday FiA, can’t wait to see our celebration and size at year 2!
Intern – My FiA Story … In this past year of being a member of FiA, I have seen many ladies, who hadn’t worked out in years, start exercising weekly or even almost daily. If it hadn’t been for FiA, they may have never made exercise a priority in their lives. I am one of those ladies. A year and a half ago, I would not have believed it, if you told me I would be exercising today. Outside. In the rain. I definitely wouldn’t have believed that I would be leading a workout. A year and a half ago, I hadn’t even heard of a burpee. I will admit, I’m still not a huge fan of exercising. But for some reason, I love going to FiA workouts. I love the camaraderie of it and the friendships I’ve made. I love the supportive environment – from cheering each other on when the workouts get tough, to encouraging new Qs, to how we warmly welcome FNG’s. I can’t wait to watch FiA continue to expand and improve the health and lives of many more women!
Jack- My FiA Story… August 2017.. I am 56, my kids are grown, I have 3 grandkids but I knew I needed something in my life… low and behold I see a news piece on TV on F3. At the end it mentions a ladies group meeting the first weekend in September. It was something I knew I wanted to at least try! Here I am a year later proud FiA member. I think I was the original “respect” old lady in Toledo! This beautiful group of ladies have never judged me only encouraged me. I know we are all encouraged to bring a friend but I am selfish with my FiA.. it’s my time. I have 4 sisters and my friends but at FiA, I’m Jack and I enjoy my new found friends. Holy Toledo is a great leader and God puts people in our lives for reasons, FiA has been a blessing for me.
Mama Moose– My FiA Story… FiA Toledo has brought 3 major differences in my life over this last year… Leadership, Mentorship and Friendship.
Leadership has appeared as I stepped out of my “box” to start leading workouts and convincing other women (and myself) that this concept of a peer supported, free, workout group would work. Then I saw the leadership role change, as I stepped back and encouraged the shy and those who saw themselves as ‘weak’ get stronger both physically and mentally…and helped them develop the confidence to get stronger and lead a workout! Some of those women are now the ones that put together tough workouts or are site Qs…but others took on important roles to develop the rest of the body, like mind and heart. I LOVE seeing the transition.
Along with leadership, I have found the mentoring that was lacking in my career. I depend on new relationships that have developed to help guide me as a person and help me professionally.
That goes hand in hand with friendship…probably the most common comment among the women of FiA. The new friends, supporters, and circle that I know is available at any time of day or night for each other. Its amazing and truly wonderful.
I appreciate all of the women that make FiA work, and I hope to help it continue far into the future!
Nitro– My FiA Story… The bottom line is that this group of women is unique. You can’t find a place where you feel more welcomed. Where someone expects you to come— but also WANTS you there just because you’re you. I can’t imagine another environment where you don’t feel competitive as you workout… but yet you still get your butt kicked. How does that happen? FIA Toledo. You are a great group to be a part of. life and too many kids get in the way of extreme consistency for some of us at times. But I am proud of this group and proud of helping bring it to Toledo. I also love that we just throw our hands up at the end of it all and say “GOD we love you and need you.”
Sometimes that’s just what we all have to do because man life is crazy hard sometimes. Thankful for this group, no matter what baggage or fears we bring as we enter.
Mud– My FiA Story… I haven’t been involved FiA that long – a little over 3 months. I remember asking NR about it at my daughters bday party bc I had seen some of her posts on FB. She’s like oh it’s a super fun workout group – you should come check it out. So the 3rd or 4th Wednesday in May I went. Nitro was Q at the Colosseum that day and it was tough… push-ups…burpees… stuff I did not usually make myself do. Afterward, I felt great/sore so I kept coming back;)
The experience rubbed some brain cells together and woke up goals/thoughts/ideals that as a full time workin Mama of three had been set on the back burner. I got to work sticking to the consistent workouts and noticed positive change in my interactions with my family, coworkers and waistline.
The thing about goals is that once they are positively reinforced and progress is made YOU WANT MORE.
I’m not just talkin fitness goals – social, financial, career goals this could go on… apply it to you.
Bottom line: the consistent workouts with an empowered, encouraging group of women have truly elevated me. I am out of a rut of which I did not appreciate the depth and have more gratitude in my life because of this idea #FiAnation absolutely #bettertogether
Holy Toledo’s – My FiA Story… For sure, the workouts were the hook. I grew up playing sports and physical fitness has always been apart of my life. All of my best friends were made on the field or when I was wearing tennis shoes, so personally, for me, when I am in this type of setting it makes me feel like me. My life, before FiA, like so many of us, was not about me, but more about my kids and other responsibilities. So it feels so nice to get such a big piece of “me” back.
The new friendships I have developed have been priceless and I can say without a doubt I feel blessed. It is amazing to see so many FiA ladies out in our community and I know for a fact I would not know them like I do if it wasn’t for FiA. There is just something about waking up early, working hard together, talking about life, laughing together, and lifting each other up that makes this group so incredible.
But I think if I had to choose one thing that I love about FiA, it would be, that it is not all about one individual- that there is not one true leader but that we all step up and lead this group together. Nothing makes US happier to see a new Q lead, noting makes US happier to see another woman feel empowered, nothing makes US feel happier to support another when she is sick or hurting, and nothing makes US happier to come together and celebrate each others joys.
If you would have asked me a year ago what I would have said today, I would have thought it would have mostly been about how much stronger or faster or how much better we all look… but now I truly understand what “more than a workout” means.
So, what I would like to say is Thank You FiA, Thank You for giving me a big piece of my life back. Thank you for giving me new friendships. Thank you for making it not about each individual but about each of our stories that makes up our group as a whole… And thank you for helping US to get stronger not only in body but in mind and heart too.