Hi everyone! My name is Natalia and I am the owner of S.L.A.M. Columbus Ohio. I’m originally from Costa Rica but grew up in the Dayton, OH area, and graduated with a Marketing degree from The Ohio State University. I spent almost 8 years working for Abbott Nutrition in New York City, Columbus, Ohio, and finally Savannah, Georgia before becoming a stay-at-home mom when my second daughter was born. My husband Mike and I have been married for 7 years and we have two girls: Gabriela (5) and Eva (4). I have always been pretty active – from junior high field hockey to high school cross country, to running half marathons as an adult. As I’ve entered motherhood, my passion for a healthy lifestyle has exponentially grown thanks to my little humans that inspire me daily.
My SLAM journey began in Savannah, GA where I found the community I didn’t realize I was missing. My 2nd daughter was a preemie, colicky baby and as I came out of her newborn fog I was determined to make the most of my new role as a stay-at-home mom. Still in survival mode, I was nervous to go anywhere public with my kids – both under age 2. Heart beating and feeling awkward, I showed up to my first SLAM class in October of 2017 when my youngest was 5 months old. I was immediately welcomed, put at ease, and hooked. What a butt kicking workout!! I fell in love with the athleticism and the mom-life support, and went from surviving to thriving. Being a mom can feel like one of the most vulnerable times of our lives – but having that hour of friendship, camaraderie in motherhood, and the sweat-induced endorphins from getting stronger every day was what we needed. I say “we” because the impact SLAM had on me as Natalia transferred over to who I was as a wife and mother, positively impacting the whole family. My kids loved their SLAM friendships and learned valuable skills – how to encourage others when they’re doing something hard (the first time you hear “go mommy!” at a class will absolutely melt your heart), that it’s important to get outside daily, that working out can be so fun. At age 4 and 5, my girls still play “workout class” and join me in exercising regularly. SLAM Savannah became a vital part of our routine and the moms I met impacted me deeply. We were a diverse group of women with different backgrounds, mothering styles, and fitness levels, but came together as a community that provided encouragement, confidence, a shoulder to cry on when it was just one of those days, and lots of cherished Tybee beach hang outs.
Cue a sudden, fast, and unexpected move to Columbus, Ohio in summer of 2019. Although we were moving closer to family, it was a very difficult transition for me. I knew what mom life could be like with SLAM magic in it, and not having that same support was rough – especially knowing that it did exist. I missed the SLAM community so much and wondered – how many other moms were needing something like this, right here where I am?
A few rounds of Virtual SLAM tided me over, but my hard transition officially planted the seed of opening a SLAM here in Columbus. A tiny idea that grew and grew, with encouragement from SLAM sisters and family to go after it. SLAM had done so much for me, and I was inspired to create that same encouraging place for more moms – to share what it meant to be vulnerable, but also challenge yourself. To learn to lean on others, and know you aren’t doing motherhood alone. To grow as an athlete, woman, mother and friend. I want to help be the light in a mom’s hard day, the smile that makes you feel like you belong, and the voice that says “yes, you can do this – little eyes are watching and this is for YOU. You are strong as a mother!” So, Buckeye nation, get excited because I am honored to bring the magic of Sweating Like A Mother to Columbus, Ohio! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more information on our opening!