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Running, Yogi

Cycling & Sculpt

Background in Health & Wellness:

When I was newly pregnant with my fifth child (and first boy!), and with three of my four girls still pre-school age, I began teaching small group fitness classes at my home, in my backyard.

After working in the health-club/spa industry as a group exercise instructor and personal trainer for 35+ years prior, as well as serving as an adjunct faculty member at The University of Texas in the Department of Kinesiology, I wanted a more flexible work schedule that would allow me to “stay-at-home” (make that “stay-outside”) with my kids.

Furthermore, I wanted to offer new moms an option for exercise that included their children, babies, even newborns; the “mom and baby” market was virtually untouched at the time I started my business, completely missing from the health club industry in which I had worked for so many years.

Thus, “Backyard Fitness” was born, and my clientele was and still is primarily moms, although the women with whom I work now vary in age and life-stage from young professionals and new moms to retirees and empty-nesters.

Act justly, love kindness, & walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8



Teaching Philosophy:

You do YOU! Only YOU know what your body needs and what feels right and good... I provide guidance, offer suggestions, advise, and encourage, but I expect my clients and class participants to help me help them by "tuning in" and listening to their bodies, as well as their hearts, as they move. And by encouraging moving in ways that support their unique and individual needs.

How I love to move:

In addition to leading Cardio/Strength/Yoga “fusion” classes for iGnite, I'm also Assistant Director for “Austin Youth Fitness” - offering running and biking programs and camps for elementary and middle schoolers.

Whenever possible I like to be running or trail running, walking or hiking, cycling, swimming, SUPing, doing yoga, or anything outdoors with my kids!

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Life-Changing Experience:


Run-to-the-Sun for BBDF

Every spring from 2008-2013 I trained and led a team of elementary school teachers in an ultra-distance overnight race called Run to the Sun. Our mission was, and still is, to raise awareness and funds for Beyond Batten Disease Foundation. BBDF is a non-profit organization started by my dear friend Charlotte Benson, and her husband, Craig, for their daughter who was diagnosed with the disease when our girls were in kindergarten. I continue to be inspired by the Bensons, their tireless efforts on behalf of their daughter, the far-reaching and truly life-changing work of their foundation, and their example of Love.

My Why:

Beyond Batten Disease Foundation - Go to to learn more about the Bensons, my wonderful friends who have shaped my life by living theirs so wholeheartedly, and learn how BBDF is battling Batten while also improving the lives of other families whose children suffer from rare diseases.

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We don’t stop playing
because we grow old; 
we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw




I grew up in San Angelo Texas. I moved to Austin in 1987 as a UT freshman and never left!

What Inspires Me Most: 

My own 5 children - Laney, Sally, Lucy & Ellie (triplets), and Liam as well as all of the kids I coach.


And especially and always, the memory of my kid's iron-man, ultra-daddy, my hero and husband, David.  

Run to the Sun - Christiane & the girls.
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