Mom Crush: Maxine Grossman

Maxine Grossman is not only a personal trainer but a busy mom as well. She has two boys, 7 and 4, and also became the instant mom of a teenager when they took in a 16-year-old exchange student recently from Spain. Her career change, from digital marketing to personal trainer, has enriched her life, as has being a mother. Here’s what she had to say to working moms like her who are trying to do it all.

Tell us about MG Personal Training.

I own a boutique fitness studio in NDG where we allow a maximum of eight clients at a time, and we do private one-on-one training too. But the crown jewel is the small group training. I wasn’t always in fitness – I had a 12-year career in digital marketing before this - but I needed to be with people, and I needed to be active. I find personal training very meaningful and rewarding. I’ve had 11-year-old clients and 80-year-old clients, but the vast majority of my clientele are working moms with young kids. Women who are trying to get it all done... and their own fitness is what falls to the bottom of the list. My raison d’etre as a gym owner is, making it easy for moms to make fitness part of their lives. 

How did you get into personal training?

I had a good career at an exciting time in digital marketing and was involved through the rise and invention of Google, Facebook and social media. But it wasn’t something I was personally passionate about. I found myself saying, “If only I could find out what my passion is… I’ll think about it at the gym,” and suddenly it dawned on me. Plus, friends and family were asking for advice, and I thought, is this a job? Something I’ve been doing and love? 

On my first maternity leave, I used that time to change my course of study and I started taking courses and seminars and rounding out my knowledge of training and how to best help and coach others. I went back to the ad agency for two years, and was taking personal training clients weeknights and weekends. It was during my second mat leave (God bless Canada!) that I built up my clientele to the point where at the end of it, I didn’t have to go back to the ad agency. I was on the path. 

Why do you love this new line of work?

I find it infinitely rewarding. Especially when I hear, “I did it by myself… I shoveled the walkway. moved the sofa, skied the hill, etc. and didn’t need a break” – some physical feat that my clients were able to overcome. It’s the biggest reward I could ask for.

How have your children helped to inspire your work?

So much… Number one: They inspired my schedule. I realized the times I’m available to coach (early in the morning when my husband is still home so I can get back in time to help them brush their teeth and do their drop-offs), I coach all day while they’re at school, and I’m back at home for pickup and dinner, then I go back out again to coach in the evenings. They inspired me to own my own business and be in charge of my schedule.

They also made me realize that other working moms are not being catered to. The schedule that works for me must work for them too! But busy moms are being done a disservice in the marketplace. My kids inspired me to shape a business that serves other busy moms. Most gyms cater to a 9-to-5 business schedule, which are impossible times as a mother. I offer something that fills in a blank space. 

Who is a female role model you admire and greatly respect?

At the risk of repeating myself, those who inspire me most are working moms. I look around me and I get choked up. I see all these working moms who are juggling to get it all done, whether that means focusing on careers, taking care of little ones, taking care of parents, getting food on the table, etc., and so often, what falls to the bottom of the list is their own wellness, yet they continually give more and try harder. I want to give them the opportunity to take care of themselves too.

As moms the day can escape us, so what is your best time-saving trick?

I run home and put a meal in the oven that will cook for an hour while I do the pickup routine, like chicken and veggies to roast, or a chili. I run home at 3, put something on that takes an hour, and by the time I come back, dinner is ready and warm.

What is your favourite part of your job?

When clients come back and tell me that they were able to accomplish something thanks to what we practiced in the studio. When I first started out, my friends became my clients, but now, all my clients have become my friends. I love feeling like I hang out with my friends all day.

What do you do you do on a day off?

(Laughs) I always make sure I get my own training in. That’s part of my personal time. And then I love to do outings with the kids – recently we went to Skytag, apple picking or we go to the market or ride our bikes.

Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?

Just start small. Don’t wait till everything is in place and perfect. Start with a friend or your sister. And you don’t have to spend any money. Just start and that will allow you to learn along with the way.

What is your favourite date night? 

We love to get a sitter as early as possible (tip: book a sitter for an hour before the time you want to leave the house– that way, you can get ready, the kids chill out, and this way, they’re so  busy playing with the sitter they don’t even notice the door closing) and go out for dinner and drinks. We love to support Montreal chefs.

What is your go-to family dinner?

Pasta Bolognese with pureed veggies hidden inside. The kids love it and mom is happy.

What was the last book you read?

I read a fantastic book called A Gentleman In Moscow, a beautifully written historical fiction.

What is your favourite family vacation?

As a family we love beach holidays in the summer – mom and dad get to relax, and the kids love to play in water and sand.

What is your go-to drink?

I have three: Espresso in the morning, water during the day, and vodka soda on weekends.

MG Personal Training is a fitness studio in NDG where you get the individual attention of a personal trainer, with the price and camaraderie of a group class. Your membership includes access to over 20 classes a week at times that work with your busy life. At MGPT, they know it takes time to figure out a new routine, so they’re offering your first month at 50% off through the end of 2018. Get stronger in here so you can do more of what you love out there