#MakingTime: A Day in the Life of a Female Fitness Founder And New York City Mom

Heather Gunn Rivera

Photo courtesy of Heather Gunn Rivera

Fairygodboss
Fairygodboss
May 23, 2024 at 5:37AM UTC

Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn't always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.

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Who: Heather Gunn Rivera

What: Founder and CEO of Grassroots Fitness Project, her company with husband and business partner Wil Rivera. GRFP is a fitness studio committed to helping people find and commit to their fitness project regardless of their age or gender.

Where: New York City

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6:45 a.m.
My alarm goes off. I do a 15-minute meditation before turning on happy music to wake my 11- and 8-year-old daughters from their slumber to get ready for school! They are super excited and happy with me. Not true. Showers, getting dressed, breakfast and getting out the door is a sport in and of itself. We head out the door to begin our commute — which is typically via subway, but on Tuesdays, we take the car. Inside secret: The American Museum of Natural History has an awesome deal ($16 for the day) if you get in before 9 a.m. and out before 7 p.m.!
8:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Drop off the kids at school (which happens to be next door to our business on the Upper West Side) and head over to my first session at 8:30 a.m. I say hi to my staff and clients who are congregating in the waiting area. I make a quick sweep around the studio to check what is out of place or needs special attention and report back to my administrative assistant.
Every day is a bit different, but I typically work straight through until 2:30 p.m. Today I have a Women's Strength class at 8:30 a.m. Women's Strength is a class we created to give women a place to challenge themselves outside of society's norm, physically and mentally, in an emotionally supportive environment. It's become one of our more popular programs. After the class, I have a mixture of clients (30/45/60 minute) while also answering my admin's questions, conversing with clients coming and going, and trying to check in on emails. If I can get in 30 minutes to work out, I will do that as well.
12:30 p.m.
This is my time to do payroll, check email and make any calls that I need to. I am in the process of starting another company centered around women with a completely different business partner, so I have to sneak in the emails and calls when I can.
Between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. is when I can schedule meetings, eat lunch, and or do my own workout. My workouts consist of strength training, a run in the park or climbing at the local bouldering gym.
2:40 p.m. 
I pick up my youngest from school, as my oldest can self-dismiss. I take them to get something to eat while they do their homework and I can get to a few more emails or calls. We then go get the car from the garage at the museum.
4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
I drop off my kids at choir practice. They are part of the Young People's Choir in NYC, a very special choir. This is my time to hit up Trader Joes and get my grocery shopping for the week done! I drive home (which is in Harlem) to drop off the groceries and put out the meal I prepped the day before for dinner, and then turn right around to go back and pick up my youngest at 5:45 p.m. She jumps in the car and changes into her soccer practice uniform. I drop her off at 5:55 p.m."ish" (it's a few blocks north) and go back to pick up my oldest at 6 p.m. She's in a special choir, so she goes longer.
6 p.m.
I give my oldest a snack, and rush to get her to gymnastics (that she is 1.5 hours late for). She trains 25 hours a week, but Tuesdays she arrives late because of choir. Her dad will pick her up at 8:30 p.m. I drop her off and then drive back to our business to give the car to my husband, who has finished his work day. I grab a quick bite, at our favorite spot and favorite neighbors, Daily Provisions, so that I can jump on the subway to head to rehearsal with my choir at 7:45 p.m. On the subway, I either listen to a podcast in my field, answer more emails or work on the schedule/any problems that have arisen during the day.

7:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
This is ME time. I get to sing collectively with about 15-20 other voices that heal me from the inside out. I only have choir practice on Tuesdays, so I savor this time, for sure, even if it is late. My choir is called, Inspire: A choir for Unity. We bring awareness to different non-profits that we have partnered with through song. It's very fulfilling. Especially when my girls get to see their mama perform.
10:30 p.m.
I'm home! And hopefully kids are in bed. I take a quick shower (most times) and then get into bed to check our social media accounts, and browse others, and or watch my latest fave Netflix show. Other nights, if I'm home earlier, I read or journal. I perform some reiki on myself and try my best to quiet my mind to get ready for another day in the life of a mother and entrepreneur.
My other days end with me being home, cooking for my family, orchestrating bedtime routines and/or picking my oldest up from gymnastics and my youngest from diving or soccer. I try to turn off my phone when I get home, but the best laid intentions sometimes fail. Being the boss of a company with 15 employees and hundreds of clients — while trying to start other businesses and being a mom and wife — is not for the faint of heart. I am grateful for my life and understand that making it work while keeping my sanity in tact means hiring good people, keeping a circle of women close, taking time for myself, teaching my kids to be independent and self sufficient, and being organized.

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