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September 2022 Mom of The Month

Hi fellow fit4mom-ers! I’m Kristen and my tiny little sidekick is 7 month old Claudia. I’m an animal lover, especially dogs and especially rescues. I like to laugh, which is often facilitated by my husband, comedic tv, and instagram memes. I’m a big fan of personification and an avid supporter of the oxford comma as well as Pluto as a planet. You also may have guessed from the previous sentence that I’m a bit of a nerd; I actually really love math even though I might not be great at it in my head.

I have lived almost all my life in Virginia, hailing from Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech. Despite the deep-seated rivalry, I attended UVA in Charlottesville where I studied biomedical engineering and biology. I moved back to the Blacksburg area and spent 6 years doing research and development for a diagnostics company focusing mainly in gastrointestinal disease. During this time I met my husband, Tameem (he’s Lebanese in case you’re wondering the origin of his name and I didn’t change my name in case you’re wondering how Schwab fits in).

Tameem’s med school shared a parking lot with my lab and it turns out he also went to UVA where our apartment buildings also shared a parking lot (and over 30 mutual friends per facebook), but alas we met on Tinder. In 2018 his Naval medical residency took him to Camp Lejuene in North Carolina while I worked in Wilmington doing pharmaceutical testing. We resided just outside Topsail Island for 3 years and in 2019 we had a very small wedding before COVID made very small weddings trendy. In 2021 we moved to Norfolk and Claudia joined us in January 2022.

Back in the day, I ran cross country and have more or less kept running ever since. Yoga has also been a passion and mental health outlet of mine for over a decade but when the pandemic hit, working out became an almost daily necessity. Being unemployed after we moved here, I spent an embarrassing amount of time googling things to do in the area, including prenatal-friendly workouts, which led me to fit4baby classes. I then had a bit of a rough start to motherhood as I was induced at 35 weeks due to pre-eclampsia and severe gestational hypertension leading Claudia to live in the NICU for 2.5 weeks. A month later I was in and out of the hospital with sepsis from a kidney stone as a leftover result of pregnancy and at 8 weeks postpartum my husband was deployed.

The first half of deployment along with being a newly appointed stay-at-home mom was definitely an isolating struggle. I went to a handful of stroller strides classes early on, but in July I purchased the membership and saw an almost immediate change in my mental health. The sense of community as well as simply getting out of the house has been an immense help during a difficult and lonely time. I am now a stroller strides/circuit regular and one time I even made it to book club! I am hoping to come to more child-free workouts and events and getting to know more of you when Tameem returns home in the oh so very near future.