This past year I have had the opportunity to be part of an amazing group! At first I thought it was just another workout class, but I was very wrong! I have always loved and enjoyed being fit. However, I never really knew how strong I could really be or what it really meant to me. Carissa VanDerSluis and the VanDuraFit community of family and friends has showed me how strong I can be. However, that is just the small end of it. I have also learned that working out for myself isn’t really selfish or for just me, but that it is for my whole family. My kids are eager to run and workout with me now. They sometimes will even workout right next to me (modified of course ;)). I have had more energy, feel better about myself and so much stronger physically and mentally since I joined VanDuraFit. I have also gained a strong family of friends who encourage each other, push each other and help one another out. Everyone is such a positive influence and this healthy lifestyle soon becomes addicting. I am so thankful that I am able to be part of such and amazing community of family and friends! Just recently VanDuraFit has hit a bump in the road with the possibility of shutting down. VanDuraFit is being forced to find a new location. We are not asking for a whole lot but just maybe some help to keep this group together and get it started at a new location.
The following is a little background and some kind words from Carissa’s husband Eric VanDerSluis:
Two years ago, six months after delivering our third child, my wife decided to get ‘back’ into shape. She started training and running at the local track. People noticed. They asked to join in and through word of mouth more came along. Something special was formed. It took root through friends and has turned into a dynamic community of moms, dads and families that are interested in challenging themselves to do more in the face of adversity. The spirit of this community is unlike anything I’ve seen. My wife’s poured blood, sweat and tears into building this up. She’s created something special, something unique and something that’s brought people together in ways most will never understand.
Unfortunately, through the actions of one neighbor, we’ve been tested and have been asked to break this community apart, find another place to come together and are now being asked by the township to stop all activity or face legal action.
It’s been a hard week. A draining one. Emotionally we’ve been up and down. One day we’re told it’s all over and we’re good to continue and the next we’re told to pack it in. The community has supported us in ways that we’ll never be able to repay, but I wanted you to all know it’s greatly appreciated, we’re watching and seeing all of the support flow through words and actions, and it keeps our fight alive.
We’re not backing down, we’re not done. We’ll power through, it’s what we’ve been training to do all along. And we’ll do it with your support. For that, I can’t thank you enough. It breaks my heart to see this ripped out from under Carissa, and I want you all to know that this is only the beginning. We have a long road ahead of us, and together we’ll find a way to keep this alive. Thank you all again. I leave you with this quote by Margaret Meade, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
On September 7th from 10am-6pm I will be doing back to school mini sessions at my home. As a thank you for your donation I will capture your children as they are getting ready fro back to school with an adorable back to school set up. What a great way to start the school year off with some great pictures to keep! You can contact me to make a reservation for a specific time or you can stop by. Please email or message me for location details! I hope to see you there and can’t wait to capture your kids for you!
“Do something today your future self will thank you for” -Carissa VanDerSluis