Michelle Miller is the founder of My First Workout® as well as being a wonderful wife and mother. Her mantra is to be kind, work hard and stay humble and she stands by that in everything that she does. A powerhouse, Michelle is revolutionising exercise for children and its only a matter of time before My First Workout® is on every parents lips.
Her morning routine alone is one to be admired, let alone her successful career. We had to find out more so here, we spent some time with Michelle to talk about her plans for the brand, how she keeps focused and more…
You guide people back to their primal compass; can you tell us more about this process:
Not meaning to oversimplify my degree in exercise science and fitness but on a very basic level essentially motion is lotion. Our bodies need exercise to function well and feel good to live in. A regular and consistent habit of exercise significantly improves a person’s quality of life and wellbeing. My passion for teaching people how to improve their quality of life, for a lifetime, comes from seeing the difference exercise makes one session after the next, day after day, week after week, for the past 20 years. There is something magical about an activity that releases stress, builds confidence, rids the body of harmful toxins and enhances human connections with the simplest amount of effort. Learning a habit of exercise early in life is key and it has become my life’s mission to teach children how to do this with the My First Workout® program.
What was the pivotal moment in your life that made you launch My First Workout®?
My AHA moment was on March 18th, 2018. It was an early Sunday morning and my 5- year old son and I were talking and cuddling before starting our day. I became overwhelmed with appreciation for our close relationship and his good health. My mind began to wander to other children and their families, especially children who are sedentary or feel a lonely disconnect from other people. I became so burdened to help improve these two critical needs and my career in health & fitness was all I had to offer. Exercise has had a profound impact on my family’s health and our strong connection, and I knew it could be a game changer for other families too. I questioned what was available to help parents teach this valuable life-skill in a non-threatening and affordable way if they did not have a background in exercise or special training like myself. After searching and finding nothing like the program I had in mind that would give parents the tools to develop a habit of fitness right in the home, was easy to follow, convenient, effective for every type of child and simple to teach, the idea for My First Workout® was born.
How do you keep focused on your goals?
There is so much as stake, not just for my own family, but for all the other children and families in the world. My mission to help every child develop a habit of fitness before they reach the 5th grade seems impossible at times, but it keeps me focused 24/7, 365 days a year. One statistical report after the next confirms the downward trend in favor of a sedentary lifestyle resulting in many other poor behavior choices. The health and fitness of American children is in jeopardy and what bothers me the most, it is absolutely preventable. Every time I see a child, I imagine how different their life could be if an influential adult in their life would take the time to go through the My First Workout® program with them just two days a week for 25 minutes. I picture the child doing better at school. I picture them having more confidence to approach life. I picture them as successful adults someday carrying on the mission of good health and fitness with their own children. I believe if I can ever get this positive lifestyle cycle spinning fast enough, starting with kids that are between the ages of 5-12, it would be possible to reverse the direction our nation is heading in for generations to come. Right now, 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese and 80% will remain that way into adulthood. 1 in 5 children has a mental health disorder. 1 in 5 is pre-diabetic. 75% of American teenagers are not fit enough to join the military. 1 in 59 are diagnosed with Autism. Young athletes are getting hurt in record numbers. Kids need to learn how to prepare their bodies for whatever storm life throws at them. It’s going to take a collective effort from parents, educators, healthcare professionals and anyone else who has a significant amount of influence in a child’s life to preach a powerful message of proactivity and lifestyle fitness from the earliest age possible.
How old is your son now? Does he still enjoy exercise?
My oldest son is now 21 and my younger son, who inspired me to write the My First Workout® program, is now 7. Even though My First Workout® did not exist two decades ago, in tangible form, we were always very active. That lifestyle habit continues in him to this day. He uses the little money he has to pay for memberships at a local gym and at a rock-climbing club. The funny thing about him is, he fought me on just about every workout I wanted to do with him as a young child. Now that he is older, he understands the value of exercise and sees the difference between people who take the time to be healthy and fit and those who don’t. When he invites me to his gym and lets me train him or create workout programs for whatever his particular goal is at the moment brings me pure joy. It’s hard to find areas of connection especially with older kids so I am very grateful that exercise is something we can do together. My younger son was diagnosed with ADHD and ASD several years ago, so exercise is an essential part of our day. It is important for him to have a positive outlet for all his natural energy and rarely turns down a workout. We are constantly doing something active, especially on school days. The exercise we do before school helps him function better in the classroom and stay more on task.
Talk us through an average day in your life?
An average day in my life looks like a juggling nightmare! I have a lengthy morning routine for my younger son before taking him to school at 8:00 am. My first client of the day starts at either 8:15 or 8:30 and I am constantly bouncing between my private studio, my mobile clients and business development for the My First Workout® program. Sometime during the course of the day, I get a 5-mile walk/run in and eat something. I pick my son up at 6:00 pm from his after-school program and do my best to put work aside once my family comes home. Somedays I am better at this than others. It is important that we always eat dinner together and not eat out too much. After a lengthy bedtime routine, we are all in bed around 9:00.
How do you get balance as an entrepreneur, wife and mother?
I honestly can’t say I have good balance in my life right now. I was a workaholic before becoming an entrepreneur and so now my workload is just beyond overwhelming. I am exhausted mentally and physically quite often and have felt like giving up many times. My extreme passion to help children all over the world grow up with a habit of fitness from the earliest age possible never lets me rest. My vision for stronger kids and families has tipped the balance scale in my life like never before but the cause is so great, it’s worth being out of whack for. Balance is something I’m mindful of however and want to improve in 2020.
Do you follow a morning routine, if so, what is it?
I am an early riser, 5:30 am, and I must have one cup of coffee to get my day going. I read from the same three books every day, a devotional by Charles Stanley, a chapter from The Bible and a section in the book Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey. My devotional comes monthly so that is always changing but when I finish the other two books, I just start them over again. If anything speaks to me as particularly encouraging or hopeful, I write it down in a journal that I am going to leave to my sons. There are so many things I want them to know and I’m afraid I won’t get to tell them everything so this journal will help with that. The quiet, peaceful time of morning is my favorite time of day.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently?
Something I would do over again if I had the chance from a personal standpoint is to wait until I was older to get married and have kids. I was a very young wife and mother the first time around and I made a lot of mistakes. I wish I had internalized Becky’s book when I was raising my oldest son like I am doing now with my younger son. I blame myself for so many things he struggles with and it has taken me a long time to rebuild our relationship. I was just not prepared to be a wife and mother. I lacked the skills myself that I needed to be teaching him. I wish I had been as prepared to be a mother as I was to be a fitness instructor. I think that is the reason I am a workaholic. I am confident in my fitness ability more so than any other area in my life. Something I would do over again if I had the chance from a professional standpoint is to start off smaller, with less inventory and to handle shipping on my own. Hiring a fulfillment company so early on in the journey was a big mistake. Many of the decisions I made were hasty and I trusted good salespeople and people who were all talk and no action way too much. Those mistakes cost me emotionally and financially. I have learned to step back and do my research on a product, person or service and to wait at least 7 days before entering into a business agreement with anyone.
What book would you recommend that any aspiring entrepreneur should read?
The book that has given me the most hope and peace along the way is the Bible. These two things are very hard to find when the hard times come, and they will at some point for every person, so reading one story after the next about normal, insignificant people who were used to change the world for the better was a tremendous source of peace and hope for me. I gain so much courage when I read about men and women who experienced trials and tribulations and wound up overcoming great odds to accomplish a higher purpose for their life. Another great book is Ramesh Dontha’s, The 60 Minute Start-Up. It is packed full of helpful advice and tips for anyone who is in the process or contemplating the entrepreneurial journey
What are the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur?
That’s a great question and one I haven’t had much time to think about on this journey yet. A Pro that immediately pops into my mind is the ability to multi-task like a superhero! Females are usually pretty good at doing all sorts of things at the same time, because they just have to be. As a wife, mother, daughter, friend, trainer and business owner, I feel pulled in many different directions and do my best to meet everyone’s needs so I’m not letting them down. Cons of being a female entrepreneur would also have to be the ability to multi-task like a superhero. There is something so pure and genuine about laser sharp focus on something. The idea of focusing on one thing at a time sounds absolutely incredible to me. However, there are always more items on my to-do list than hours in a day, so a multi-tasker I will probably always be.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care is an essential part of my overall well-being and ability to manage my life productively. For my spiritual health, I read the Bible and pray every morning. For my physical health, I exercise, drink lots of water and aim to get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every night. For my mental health, I enrolled in a mindfulness class a few months ago. I learned to ask myself one simple question when I am feeling anxious and it has made a profound difference in my life. For my social and emotional health, I spend time with my family. My husband is the best life partner and friend I could have ever imagined going through life with. My boys have taught me what unconditional love and the meaning of life is.
What mantra do you live by?
Be kind. Work hard. Stay humble.
What does 2020 look like for you?
2020 will be another year of hard work laying the foundation for all that is to come. My primary focus is on building the My First Workout® brand and connecting with people who are on the front lines of children’s health and fitness: parents, teachers, coaches, health care professionals, government officials, and insurance companies. My primary question is, “how are you being proactive with their health and fitness?” Whether a child is an aspiring athlete or prefers more sedentary activity, it is critical for them to be forming habits that are life-long and built into the very fabric of their daily lives from the earliest age possible. Positive habits that will empower them and enhance every other facet of their life. I believe one of the most important skills a child can learn is how to strengthen their mind and body. Weight training does both and is not limited to childhood. My ultimate vision is for every child to be afforded the opportunity to go through the entire My First Workout® program. My ultimate goal is for every child to be hooked on fitness before they hit double digits. The My First Workout® program was designed to make that dream possible.
Find out more…
Michelle Miller 850-545-9284