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Coach Heather Collins, Monarch Fitness Coaching

“Remaining fit and healthy for everyday activities, we support clients every step of the way”

· Fitness,Wellness
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Tell us about yourself and your business! What do you do or sell?

Our services are more than just personal training, Monarch Fitness Coaching believes that through education, individualized training programs, and consistency, people are able to transform the way they move through life. Our focus is on clients over 45 and those with special needs. We provide the support, structure, and expertise to empower clients to live the life they envision. Clients develop a health and wellness toolkit that allows them to make conscious, informed decisions that will keep them on the path toward reaching their goals. Whether it’s dancing with your spouse on your 50th wedding anniversary, hiking the Appalachian Trail, taking your grandchild to the playground, traveling to Europe, or remaining fit and healthy for everyday activities, we support clients every step of the way. Monarch Fitness Coaching knows our clients are unique; consequently, we offer numerous in-person and virtual services. Following an initial assessment, most clients start with one-on-one personal training to ensure they understand the training and are moving in a safe and efficient manner. Following one-on-one personal training, clients work with their personal coach to select the combination of our services that puts them on the best path toward reaching their goals. We provide one-on-one personal training, shared personal training, group personal training, open training and independent training.

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Why did you start this business? What is your origin story?

From a young age, being active has always been my source of joy and solace. Even during difficult times, my favorite memories revolve around being in motion. As a child, I remember skiing down snowy slopes on Christmas day, swimming in the pouring rain before I sat in a car to go on summer vacation, and playing for hours on the playground. As an adult, some of my favorite activities have been taking early-morning walks to The Brothers K Coffeehouse with my young children and our dog (and, occasionally, the cat), going to the Lee Street Beach with the family, and training at Monarch Fitness Coaching. I have always cherished starting the day being active and outside. These experiences have taught me that movement is not just a physical act, but also a pathway to emotional regulation, as well as a source of boundless energy. When I began teaching group fitness classes including cycling, core, and circuit, I observed that clients did not make progress toward their goals and often hurt themselves despite putting in the time and effort. As I thought back about my experience competing on running, swimming, orienteering, and skiing teams, I realized that two things were key to progress: 1) an emphasis on movement patterns and healthy form, and 2) a multi-disciplinary approach that utilizes best practices from many different health and wellness disciplines. That realization became the foundation of Monarch Fitness Coaching. At Monarch Fitness Coaching, we believe that everyone deserves to move well, do more, and be happier—regardless of their access to information and their financial circumstances.

What's the story behind the name of your business?

Monarch Fitness Coaching is about transforming the way people through life. We wanted something that highlighted the possibility and power of transformation, so we landed on the butterfly. From there, I knew that Monarch butterflies were a symbol of Vermont, my home state, and Evanston often marks their migration, so it seemed like the right fit.

Did you choose the Main-Dempster Mile? Or did it choose you? Tell us the story of selecting your location.

After being a part of the Evanston community for over 20 years, I am excited to be part of a community that has been central to so many great memories! From family walks to Dave’s Rock Shop, meals at Lucky Platter, and my son’s first job at Union Pizzeria, I couldn’t imagine a better place for the studio. Plus, I can walk to work! At Monarch Fitness Coaching, we want to give a little something back to the community that has supported not only my family, but our other coaches as well.

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What sets your business apart from others that provide the same services?

Monarch Fitness Coaching trains people with mobility issues that can limit one’s ability to lead the active life they desire. Our focus is on clients over 45 and those with special needs. We work with clients who have found that other approaches—like traditional gyms, physical therapy, massage, or surgery—haven’t yielded the results they were seeking. At Monarch Fitness Coaching, we also believe that every individual deserves to move well, do more, and be happier regardless of their financial circumstances. That’s why we have a Pay-What-You-Can Program. This initiative is designed to make our essential services accessible to every member of our community. It allows you to contribute what you can comfortably afford, ensuring that financial constraints are not a barrier to your health and wellness.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business?

The Main Dempster Mile is such a welcoming and supportive community. I don’t think you could find a better location!