We are very excited to feature Linda Najbart as our July member spotlight. Linda’s dedication to her workouts even during pregnancy is truly inspiring. She rocked the Summer Games this year right after having her second baby.
Linda was born and raised in Kennebunkport, ME (a small town on the southern Maine coast). She has always been an active person, playing soccer, basketball, and softball in high school along with any other sport she could play with her 4 siblings as they were growing up. She graduated from Clarkson University which is located in Potsdam, NY about 30 minutes from the Canadian border. She played both soccer and basketball at Clarkson where she still holds the record for most steals in a career for basketball and the most points in a soccer game. She graduated with a degree in Engineering & Management and went on to work for Saint-Gobain Abrasives. There she completed a 6-month sales training course in Worcester, MA before moving to Huntington Beach, CA to cover a sub-territory out there for a few months. In March of 2006, the St. Louis territory opened up, and that is what brought Linda here. For the last 16 years she has continued to work for the same company. She is an Account Executive and does outside sales selling abrasives (grinding wheels, sandpaper, diamond wheels) into the industrial market. Her territory covers a 3–4-hour radius around St. Louis. She met her husband, Jeff, in St. Louis (he’s from here) and they now have two awesome kiddos; Alex is 2-1/2 years old, and Elliot is 5 months old. Linda says, “Being a Mom is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs I have ever had! My family started Zooming every Sunday night after COVID started, and we have continued to this day! I chat with my siblings more now than I ever have which is great since we are all spread out (Maine, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Oregon).” They also all get together for a family vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, a tradition that was started by Linda’s parents before they were married.
Linda found Forward Fitness as she was running by. “I would always run by Forward Fitness and see people working out inside and was curious about what was going on. As I was preparing to get married, I decided to stop in, and figured it was the perfect time to join this gym and get in wedding shape. Since then, most people know that I have worked out through two pregnancies which I really think helped during my delivery and recovery. I love the community and team atmosphere that Forward Fitness provides. I’m used to being on sports teams, so I love the encouragement from everyone else during workouts and I love seeing other people succeed. The FF Summer and Winter Games are some of my favorite times as there’s always people accomplishing something that they weren’t quite sure they could do. I also like to challenge myself to see if I can improve over the previous Games.”
Linda says that fitness has always been a huge part of her life. She has always been involved in sports and loves being competitive. She wants to make sure that she continues to stay in shape and be healthy well into her older years. “I have had older folks tell me how impressed they are with some of the workout activities that I can accomplish. I am far more impressed with the “senior” guys and gals for staying active and getting after it as I hope I can do the same when I get older.” Her love of sports and fitness has helped her stay active. “I love being active and feeling good about my fitness level. When I am working out, I always feel like I am in a better place both physically and mentally. Working out is a form of catharsis for me as it can be such a great stress relief from your everyday life as well as a form of therapy. I love challenging myself to get to the next level, whether that’s moving up in weight or improving my mile time on my runs.”
She has had some challenges that she has had to deal with over the years “I’ve had small injuries that have made me take it easy here and there. My biggest challenge that I’m currently working through is finding time to work out as I transition back to work and still spend time and take care of two kids. I hope to develop a new routine that will work with my schedule.”
When asked about things that she is proud of Linda had this to say, “I am the youngest person in my company to become an Account Executive (the highest rank for a salesperson) and one of the few females in a very male dominated field. I’m impressed with myself for transitioning to early morning workouts (hello 5am club!) as I found it to be the best time to fit in a workout in the second half of 2021. I am also very proud of myself for still being able to do at least one pull-up while pregnant!”
For people thinking about starting a workout routine Linda has this advice. “I would encourage someone to find the fitness activities that work for them. I think it’s important for a gym to be convenient to get to and has the right options for you. Working out has so many benefits, and I think folks are happier and feel better about themselves once they have a fitness routine. There is no “best” time to start, but the sooner the better!”