I am a Better Leader and A Better Mom
Name: Sarah Guseilo
Degree/Institution: Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology, Miami University
Workplace/Business: Core Revolution Studio // Wellness with Willo
Favorite app/website/blog: I absolutely love PureJoyHome.
Go-to outfit: Black high-waisted leggings, a Tasc muscle tank & long sleeve from our studio boutique (yes, even in the summer…I’m always cold!) and my rose gold Birkenstocks or Tiem Athletic cycling shoes. Weekends and family time = a great pair of jeans, t-shirt, light sweater and flats.
Go-to power anthem: Music is extremely powerful for me. It’s rare to walk in my house and not hear the speakers singing – although these days it tends to be the “Trolls” soundtrack on repeat J. I have many, many songs that speak to me but would have to say my current power anthem would be Rise Up – Audra Day.
Go-to Local Restaurant: Beyond Juice is a go-to for a quick smoothie snack or healthy lunch. For a family dinner or date night, I love Elie’s Mediterranean fare or the beet salad at Market North End.
Go-to Coffee shop: Commonwealth – I actually do not drink any coffee but love a really good matcha latte with almond milk.
Introductions: Name, Career, Business and # of kids
Hello! My name is Sarah Guseilo. I am the owner of Core Revolution Studio, an indoor cycling and strength studio in downtown Birmingham. I am also a holistic health coach and a Young Living Essential Oils leader. I have one daughter, 22 months, and another baby girl on the way! I am passionate about all things fitness, healthy eating and non-toxic living but found my true passion as a mother. I opened Core Revolution’s doors 3 weeks before my daughter was born so essentially feel like I had two babies at once. Being a small business owner is a role I’ve embraced while recognizing that being a mother is always going to be my first priority.
How did you start Core Revolutions?
I grew up in Birmingham and was always active – finding my true passion in horse back riding. I started riding lessons at a very young age and began a competitive career as an equestrian. By the time I got to high school & college, horse back riding had become a top priority and I was fortunate enough to spend nearly 365 days a year in the barn, riding and traveling to horse shows.
My love for the sport is what led me to Miami University, where I competed for 4 years on the equestrian team. It is there that I grew as a leader and developed a deeper interested in fitness when I implemented mandatory workouts for my teammates to become strong riders.
After college, I moved to Columbus and then Chicago, where I decided to stop my job as a Special Education Teacher and pursue my love for teaching fitness and all things health and wellness related. I taught at The Bar Method and went to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a certified Holistic Health Coach. The decision to move back to Michigan was driven by both family/friends and also the desire to eventually open my own studio in my hometown.
For the first three years of living back in Birmingham, I worked for Equilibrium Pilates Studio were I gained valuable experience, grew as an instructor, earned multiple certifications and expanded my knowledge of running a business under studio owner and mentor, Nancy Hodari (mom of 4).
The greater vision for Core Revolution took many years to form but in late 2015/early 2016, I saw an opportunity and a need for an indoor cycling and HIIT focused workout in Birmingham and decided to move forward. With the support of my husband, family and friends, the dream became a reality when we opened our doors at the end of 2016.
What does a typical work day/week look like for you?
Truth is, there is no typical day for me. Every day looks different and I wouldn’t change a thing. One consistent is I now always have (at least) one day that is dedicated solely to my daughter and family time. A few months ago, that wasn’t the case. I was in the studio 7 days a week at least once and I was burning out. After working with a fabulous business coach, I determined I absolutely need to say “no” and create a schedule that allows me time away from the studio. As difficult as it can be at times to turn down a client request for a training session or not sub a class, my “Adley days” are very sacred. Since committing to my days “off”, I have worked veryhard to keep them. I notice a huge difference in my ability to be my best self if I give them up.
When did you start your business and how has been a mom helped you in being a better leader?
I opened Core Revolution at the end of November 2016; just 3 weeks before my daughter was born so essentially feel like I birthed two babies at once. I will be the first to tell you, the decision to open a business from the ground up and start a family at the same time presented many challenges for me personally and professionally. Up until this point, I had only dreamed of what it would be like to be a mother and I had only been the teacher, not the owner. Learning how to embrace my new dual roles, has taught me a great deal. If I’m to choose one of the lessons that has impacted me most significantly, it would have to be to stand my ground, to not apologize for the decisions I’m making (as a mother or a studio owner.) Being unapologetically myself in motherhood and in life does not come naturally for me, yet it is so worth stretching myself. It has made me a better leader, a better mom and a better entrepreneur.
How has your experience building a company from the ground up impacted your role as a wife and mother?
Oh my, there’s a lot that could be said here! Seeing as I had only been a wife a little over a year and became a mother at the same exact time my business opened, I feel I am growing in all of these roles simultaneously. Having a newborn and a new (first) business is HARD. Really hard. It’s exhausting and yet so incredibly rewarding. Every successful feed, every warm snuggle, every client referral, every rave review…the first smiles, the first full class, the first full night of sleep…all of these precious moments make it 100% worth it.
What I have learned is in order to run a business there are sacrifices that have to be made. Decisions about what you can say “yes” to and what you have to say “no” to. Some things will have to give. I’ve also learned, your marriage or partnership shouldn’t be one of those things. I work hard to continue to be a loving, attentive wife and to give my relationship with my husband the attention it deserves just like my daughter and studio. I feel extremely lucky to have a husband who not only supports my goals and dreams but also is an unbelievable father. I appreciate him more than ever and I probably don’t express it enough but I certainly know I couldn’t do this alone.
I have learned that it’s possible to be a strong, independent woman and still ask for help when needed and rely on the support of others. It’s not one or the other. Needing people, needing a network or tribe that truly supports you is invaluable.
Now, let’s talk fitness. What advice do you have for moms hoping to bounce back after pregnancy? Can you tell us more about your Mom and Me program in the park and what the inspiration is for that?
I believe that every BODY is unique, beautiful and has different needs. I also believe that as moms, we put way too much pressure on ourselves to “bounce back” after pregnancy. Can you have a strong, toned post-partum body that you love? Absolutely! Should we embrace the changes that happen to our body after creating and delivering our children? 1,000 percent. It takes hard work, discipline and self-love to be comfortable in our own skin – this is the case whether you’ve had a baby or not. My biggest piece of advice would be, don’t give up, stay consistent, vary the ways in which you move and fuel your body with healthy foods.
I created my Mommy and Me class so that new moms had a way to workout without leaving their baby. The goal of the class is not only to bond with your baby but also create a support network of other moms in the same season of life. The baby is worn in a carrier for the first part of the class and then experiences close contact with mom during floor mat exercises. Being able to bring baby to class alleviates the “mom guilt” of leaving your babe with someone else for your “me time”.
You are expecting your second baby, how is this experience different from the first? What are the things you wish you knew then that you knew now?
The biggest difference is there is so much less time to think about this pregnancy! I am non-stop running around with my toddler and immersed in her growth and development that the days and weeks go by extremely fast. I do feel less anxious about the pregnancy this time. I recognize the feeling of round ligament pain or being out of breath, so rather than calling the doctor’s office with every change, I know those feelings are normal. What I find myself worrying about more this time is how is adding another member to our family going to impact our family dynamic. How is it going to make Adley feel to be a big sister – to have to share our time and attention. I find myself spending a lot less time focusing on how am I feeling and a lot more time focused on savoring every moment with Adley & preparing her for what’s to come – isn’t that motherhood in a nutshell? What did we do with all that time to sit & think about ourselves? ;)
How have you found balance or alignment as a working mother?
I like to be a completely open, honest and transparent person so I will simply answer this one with I haven’t. I’m not sure I ever with find “balance” but I’m striving to be the best mother I can be while being a successful entrepreneur at the same time.
Have you found childcare to be manageable – what are the current wins and or challenges? What support system do you have in place?
I am so fortunate to have my parents close by. My mom has always watched Adley while I teach and work in the studio. It she has a conflict, my dad will cover or my husband will leave work early if possible. We’ll see when baby girl #2 comes how it all goes! I plan to start looking at some school/daycare options for Adley. I think that will be good for all of us!
What advice do you have for a mother who is trying to nurture her ambitions in motherhood? How have you stayed true to your goals while being the best mama to your little one?
My advice is to learn from others, gain as much insight from the ambitious moms you know and admire. Listen to what has worked for them, what they’ve been challenged with and what their journey has been. In the end, listen to your heart and your gut. No one but you knows what is truly best for you and your family. You do not have to give up on any dream when you become a mom. Every mom’s path is different. That’s what makes us individuals so don’t conform to what you thinkis right – follow your path and keep track of your goals. It will all unfold as it should.
Honestly, it’s hard to keep tabs on all my goals while putting the majority of my energy and time into being a mom. The best way to do this for me has been to create timelines, set a schedule, lean on my support system, remember my “why” and always stay true to who I am and what I believe is right.
What do you do for self-care and how do you spend your free time as a boss mama?
This is an area I continue to struggle with but vow to make a priority, as I know it will make me better in every aspect of my life. This year I started to meditate – I believe this makes a difference. Even just pausing to breathe helps. I love to cook so being prepared with groceries and recipes is key. A home cooked healthy meal is not only good for my body but also my soul. I have been reducing the amount of time spent on my phone, particularly social media, and have set boundaries on responding to studio related emails/calls/texts in my “free” time. I love Sundays with my family, watching a great movie with my husband in the evening and going on walks with my dogs. It’s the simple things that make me happy.
What’s next for Core Revolution?
Our future is bright! We continue to strive to offer not only a phenomenal workout but also create a true community. My vision has always been centered on having a positive impact on the community and creating a space that is not only beautiful but also inspiring and welcoming to all those who walk through our doors. My team and myself look forward to continuing to expand our reach and share our passion for health & wellness.
Photography by Apple of Our Eye For Mother Honestly