Meet Bonita Porte, the founder of Energetic Juniors which provides certified and screened fitness coaches to NYC families to help your child live a healthier life through a customized in home personal training program.
1) Tell us about yourself – describe your family and your career. What caused you to start your business/blog/career? My umbrella company, Energetics Unlimited, was started back in 1977 to offer affordable fitness classes to employees in corporations. As a young dancer, I wanted to help people become more physically active. In 1996, my daughters were the true inspiration in starting my children’s division, Energetic Juniors. When my daughters were in elementary school, I noticed that they were not getting enough physical activity during the day. After school activities were not filling this void and I felt that the girls needed more personal attention towards their physical health. So, Energetic Juniors was born! It has been an exciting and rewarding journey every step of the way.
2) Share your secret to balancing work and family. Is there balance? In looking back, since my daughters are grown I recall lots of late nights catching up when all were asleep. I never had a traditional 9 to 5 job, but I managed to be there for my girls after school most days and also was able to be involved in school volunteer activities. I was always aware how precious this time was and enjoyed every moment or at least most. Having an extremely supportive husband also helped me find some balance, if there is such a thing.
3) Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job. When my younger daughter was little, she would often say “ Just because you saw me do it, doesn’t mean I did it.”
4) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AND/OR GREATEST REWARD IN THE STRUGGLE FOR WORK/LIFE BALANCE? My greatest reward in the struggle for work/life balance has been my now adult daughters. They saw a Mom who was passionate about her work. Ok, they complained when I was on the phone too much, but hopefully they forgot that. Keep in mind that there was no Internet in those days. Both my daughters have Masters in Social Work and both are committing their lives to helping others.
5) WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU HAD KID (S), NOW THAT YOU ARE A MOTHER? That it is not always as easy keeping it all going, as my amazing working and civic leader mother made it look, and all with a smile. She ran a business with my father and somehow never missed anything, and usually ran the events.
6) IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR CHILDREN ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WHAT WOULD IT BE? Find something to enjoy each day of your life.