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March member Spotlight: Valerie W.

Meet Valarie W., a mom, a teacher, a Fit4Mom member, and—to her surprise—a runner. We caught up with her between hikes to hear what keeps her returning to FIT4MOM North Austin - Pflugerville.

Day job: I’m a special education high school teacher.

Kids’ ages: My kids are 11 and 15, so they’re big kids. People told me to watch out for teens, but I’m loving the teen age; they’re so much fun!

How did you get started with Fit4Mom (F4M)? I tried some other workout places and wanted something new. I knew the F4M owner from school, and it was in my neighborhood.

Best thing about F4M: I love that F4M is outside. I’m never working out in a gym or working out alone. It’s a community, and let’s face it, adult friendships are HARD. F4M is made for busy people like me.

“Fitness has never been about weight for me, or at FIT4MOM. It’s about energy levels.” - Valarie

Favorite class: Look, I hate running. But joining the F4M Run Club made me hate it less. It gave me accountability, a training partner, and a coach. I started with one, one-mile run/walk at a time, made it to 5k, then signed up for the Cap10k, followed by a 10-mile race. At that point, the Run Club encouraged me to go for the half marathon, and I reluctantly agreed.

Heading into my first half marathon(!), the Austin Half Marathon in February 2024, everyone was terrified of the hills. But we trained on hills, so when we got to them in the race, they weren’t bad! I would not have done it on my own without Run Club.

Fitness focus: I’m training to hike 26.2 miles for Curesearch for Children’s cancer. It’s a fundraiser for cancer, mainly focused on childhood cancers. We start at 4.30 am and walk until we finish before dark! I like challenges, and it’s a good cause. Honestly, the fundraising is way harder than the hike. Thanks to my fitness levels from being a part of F4M, I have been able to train for both the half and the hike simultaneously.

Fitness philosophy: Fitness has never been about weight for me or at FIT4MOM. It’s about energy levels; when I work out, my energy levels go up.

“FIT4MOM is made for busy people like me.” -Valarie

Life philosophy: Never say never! I never thought I’d run. I never thought I’d run 10 miles in a race—and then do it again! I never thought I’d teach high school, work in special education, or be a surrogate, but I have!

What’s next? After the 26-mile trail hike, I’m thinking of trying trail running.

You can donate to Valerie’s fundraising at

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Each circle represents 1 mile of the trail. $100 sponsors one mile, $27 sponsors $1/mile, and $42 is one dollar for every child who will be diagnosed with cancer just this year. You can donate to Valerie’s fundraising hike at: