By Cindy M. Cranmer
Kaitlin Thornton is the face behind Mommy Fit Club. She founded the group with a motivational Facebook page more than two years ago. Thornton has expanded the group to include a boot camp and, most recently, a runner’s club.
Thornton, a Rockford High School graduate, attended Grand Valley State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in health science. She became certified as a personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine and began working as a personal trainer for other companies.
In June of 2012, Thornton hosted boot camp sessions at local parks such as Townsend and outdoor terrains such as Cannonsburg. She said those who couldn’t get a sitter could bring children to play while mothers got about a 45 minute, full-body workout in.
Mothers had to only pay $6 per session so it was an affordable option without the commitment of a gym or high fees. Thornton puts the money back into the club by attending certification classes, awarding contest prizes and paying for materials.
“As a mom of three, I needed accountability and to be surrounded by women in my same boat. This does that,” Thornton said. “This group is about making fitness work into your lifestyle.”
Thornton said mothers are hard workers and it’s just learning to balance between kids, careers, family obligations, self and physical fitness.
The Mommy Fit Club Running Club starts on Feb. 16. There is still time for late registrations through 5 p.m. Feb. 15. Those interested in registering for the group can email her at thorntonkaitlin@gmail,com or through the Mommy Fit Club Facebook page. Currently, there are 22 women signed up for the runner’s club.
The $45 registration fee includes a runner’s packet and a long sleeve, dry-fit T-shirt. The running packet includes outlines of weekly runs, beginning stretches, a personalized training kit and “a bunch of tools to help in the race journey.”
Thornton said many of the women have never run before. The group will have weekly group runs, which will be monitored by Thornton for progress and assistance.
More than 200 people are involved in the Facebook Mommy Fit Club. Thornton uses the FB page to provide tips, motivation, promote groups and start dialogues about obstacles to working out.
Thornton said the Runner’s Club will end on May 11 in time for participants who choose to do so to enter the Fifth Third River Bank Run.
Her Facebook page runs contests for all the members such as a Mommy and Kids Yoga Contest in February. Members send in photos of themselves doing a yoga pose with their children in an attempt to win a yoga prize package.
Thornton said the runner’s group has two choices for running times, which are at 9:15 a.m. on Saturdays or 4 p.m. on Sundays. The runs will start at 16 minutes working up to one and a half hours for those who are participating in a 10K.
“Working out during the week is only going to help you with your run,” she said. Thornton also includes workout suggestions for several of the weekdays.
Thornton said people also can contact her for more information about the boot camps, which will be starting again in the spring. “We mix it up in a super fun workout,” Thornton said.