By Corin R. Walson
Long before being a work-at-home mom became a viable and attractive option for many working mothers, Lori Leo had already found a seemingly perfect balance between work and family. Six years ago, Leo started a personalized fitness training business from her home in Yorba Linda, California. The early morning and evening hours when she's training clients fit in perfectly with Leo's role as mother to two boys, now ages 13 and 10.
Leo, who is a certified personal fitness trainer and aerobics instructor at two of Yorba Linda's premier gyms, says her business, "Personal Fitness Results by Lori," allows her to be "at work" and "at home" for her children. When clients come in as early as 6 in the morning, Leo says she can be working while her kids are still sleeping. Leo's down time during mid-afternoon also coincides with the boys' arrival from school.
Leo says being a work-at-home and muscle-clad mom makes for a good role model for her sons. She recalled one instance a few years ago when she overheard a conversation between her youngest son and his friends. "My son's friends were taking turns bragging about their dads and all the things that they had and do." Although his father was reknowned in the community, Leo's son chose to expound on his mother's talents. "When it came to my son's turn, he said, 'oh yeah, well my mom has muscles!' The other boys were silent. I guess nobody else's mom had muscles," laughed Leo.
Although Leo started her home business as a way to combine work and family, the business has become more than even Leo ever imagined. For one thing, it got her through the most difficult time of her life last year.
Sitting comfortably in her home office, Leo described her transformation through fitness. Although the assertiveness training classes helped, exericse produced the most dramatic results. "Exercise helped me get over my shyness and brought me out of my shell. I think of myself as a leader now, and I feel strong both physically and mentally," said Leo, whose well defined muscles fail to detract from her very feminine appearance.
Leo believes it was that mental strength that got her through a difficult divorce early this year to a man who had been her husband for 16 years and the father of her two sons. As is that life change weren't enough, Leo's father passed away recently. "Last year was the hardest year of my life," recalled Leo. "If it wasn't for the exercise and my business...well, it helped me get through it all."
Leo, a former cosmetics manager for a major retail department store, also credits her home business with giving her the financial independence she wouldn't have had otherwise. "Personal Fitness Results by Lori" has grown strictly from word-of-mouth advertising. Leo's faithful clientele have been with her since the beginning. Leo gives one-on-one personalized instruction, which includes cardiovascular and body shaping, diet and nutrition monitoring and proper stretching and flexibility techniques. Even at 40 years old, Leo's incredible physique is definite proof of just what can result from proper training.
But, her resiliance in the face of life's challenges is what impresses friends and clients the most. "Lori is never NOT smiling," said Martha Amoroso, who began training with Leo in April 1996. "She has a dynamic personality and great charisma." "Muscles aren't the only outcome of exercise," Leo points out. "The mental strength is just as important as the physical strength."
If you would like to discuss your fitness goals with Lori Leo, call "Personal Fitness Results by Lori" at 714-777-4694.
About the author: Corin R. Walson is the owner of Creative Advertising Literature, a home-based business specializing in writing, designing and printing personal brochures for small businesses and sales professionals. Corin is the mother of 4-year-old twin girls, Shyla and Lauren. Corin can be reached by calling 714-281-7909, email: [email protected]