Hey, Lansing area moms! I am Arika and I live on the way east side of town in Williamston! I love all things fitness and outdoors. Minus snakes…they terrify me but I guess they could get me to run faster!
Growing up, I was one of four kids. My mom was from a family of four kids and my dad was from a family of 13 kids. No, that was not a typo. He had 12 siblings! We always had (and still do to this day) things to do and people to see.
Sports were just a part of life in my house. When I was little, I started playing baseball and soccer with my older brother’s teams and then just continued from there. From basketball in Catholic school league, to travel softball with people that were my mom’s age, I loved the thrill that exercise brought into my life. I think that is where my love for fitness started. In college, I studied kinesiology with a focus on nutrition in undergrad, and exercise physiology in grad school knowing that I wanted to help others find their love of health and wellness.
That Weird Time Where You Think You Know It All
I worked in a kids gym and was a fitness specialist at a retirement community in metro Detroit before meeting my husband and being wrangled back into the greater Lansing area with my “first born” Zeus (my yellow Labrador retriever). Once I moved back, I started doing more personal training and teaching more group fitness classes until it became my full time job and full time passion. I found a people who went from clients to friends to family.
Things all changed for me once I was pregnant. I never thought that I would be a stay-at-home mom. And when I say never, I mean NEVER. Leaving my fitness studio friends to just be at home…with a baby? Never! But until you are in a the moment, you don’t actually know what is going to be best for your family. My husband and I sat down and knew that our schedules together weren’t the most conducive for raising a newborn. And I honestly couldn’t bear the thought of not being around for all of the firsts. So, I hung up my mic and retired to embrace this new chapter.
Life as a Mom
When Griffin came into the world, I knew that we had made the right decision for us. Being a mom isn’t something I dreamt about like many young girls, but it is something I think I was meant to be. He is my little buddy. My sidekick. My travel companion. My outside-the-box thinker. My attorney-in-the-making litigator over every mundane issue. My best thing I could ever do.
Even though I loved being at home with him everyday, I felt like I was starting to lose myself and my passions by never having any time away. So, like all the passionate people that still wanted to do a little more, I came out of retirement and put back on the mic and black leggings. Actually, who are we kidding, I never stopped wearing the leggings! These days you can catch me teaching for Clearly Fit, a company that I founded to use my almost 20 years of teaching experience and education to provide my clients and teams with the fundamental elements to create a clearly fit mind, body, and spirit. You can also see me at The Barre Code where I am a Senior Master Trainer.
Outside of work, I love to hang out with my boys (Griffin 5, Zeus 13, and Luc 30-something). I’m a little bit (or a lot if you ask my husband) of an introvert. I can zone out and read a book with a million distractions happening around me. I am a fun runner who dabbles in marathons. A wanna-be yogi. And really, just always up for a good sweat followed by chats with my friends. I can’t wait to share my love of fitness with you all through Lansing Mom. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram for all the things happening in my life!