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Mama Highlight: Paola Moretto

How long have you been a part of F4M & what got you started?

I started with FIT4MOM during my first maternity leave more than 10 years ago! More precisely, March 2008. When I think back to where I was when I started, it feels a life time ago. By myself with my little 3-month old baby, still trying to figure out motherhood, pushing a stroller which wasn't a good SS stroller. And as my body got stronger, I kept going! I started with Stroller Strides during my first maternity leave, continued through work, breaks, vacations, second maternity leave, sabbatical, and more. When I went back to work full time I started coming to FIT4MOM on Saturday, and then joined Body Back.

Names & ages of your children? Share one fun thing about each!

Luca is 10 and Martino is 8. Luca is a dreamer and a thinker. He has a variety of interests, he is always thinking about something new and asking a lot of questions. He's very interested in War World II for example, and he can tell you about all the major battles! Martino is gregarious, very active and physical, loves sport, he's very social and I started to think he's also a bit of a flirt!

Who is your spouse? How long have you been together?

My husband Mariano is also from Italy but we met in Portland! Believe it or not... I used to say, one can't escape Italian men, even across the ocean... We met at a soccer game - some friends of mine were playing and Mariano was supposed to play too but was injured. Turned out we had friends in common, and we started talking, the rest is history...

Before joining our village and before having children, what kept you busy?

I am still trying to have a career and be a mom at the same time :). Needless to say, it's been a challenge.... I am the founder of a startup focused on cloud computing, based in Portland. Running a business is quite a demanding job not only from the perspective of time commitment, but also the energy, dedication and intensity required. I can't say I have a good balance work / family because I don't... Every day is different and everyday implies making some choices and compromises. I sometimes miss spending time with my kids but at the same time love the adult interactions, the challenge, and being surrounded by smart people.

What are 3 words a good friend would use to describe you?

Persistent, passionate and loving

Why are you passionate about FIT4MOM?

FIT4MOM means a lot to me, for many reasons. First of all, I enjoy exercising and being active and outdoor. As a working mom, it's hard to find the motivation and the time to exercise. When I was doing Stroller Strides I was looking forward to my SS Saturday class! It's wonderful to be able to do something for myself, but also being able to be with my kids at the same time. Second of all, I love the sense of community, the sharing information and advice, the village, "looking after each other", the welcoming smiles, the moms events. Third, I love the fact that it's a hard workout, that I am always pushing myself. For that hour, I feel like I am part of a group of athletes in training, it's a great feeling. Every time I have some time, I come back to a Body Back class. If I can't make it, I miss it tremendously, it's an important part of my life!

Tell us how Motherhood changed you?

Becoming a mother changes who you are and changes you in many more ways that can even be described. I have become more selfless, more courageous, more humble, have more endurance and perhaps a bit more patience. I learned to multi-task like a pro, to adapt and roll with the punches, to be more tolerant, and not to sweat the small stuff - like a messy house for example ! Most importantly, life becomes a lot more meaningful and full as you welcome kids in your life and raise them.

Why should a new mom join FIT4MOM Cedar Mill:

It's the village that you need to support you in your journey.