By Emily J Weitz
For working mothers, life is one great balancing act. Between two thriving businesses that explode in the summer to raising three kids, Linda Silich is the quintessential working mom of the East End, whose time is in high demand.
A typical day in the life usually begins with getting the kids off to school. Now that they are 15, 17 and 19, it’s a little easier than it was when they couldn’t tie their own shoes, but they are still her first priority. After that, she teaches a usually-booked TRX class at Studio 89, then has a few landscape meetings with Groundworks, the landscape design business she owns with her husband and their business partner Kim Hren.
“So many people tell me I need to decide what I’m going to focus on,” Silich says, “but I don’t agree. You know, Winston Churchill had three hobbies and three lives, and I can too. I embrace it all and do the best I can.”
Silich believes that this can-do attitude is what attracts people to her fitness classes. And while she incorporates the popular TRX (suspension training) regimen into all her training, she doesn’t like to pigeonhole herself. She draws on many forms of fitness to create a balanced workout approach.
“I do TRX with Pilates, I team teach, I pull from my old cardio kickboxing days… I used to be in the weight room as a football cheerleader in Ohio, and I draw on that too. People have a limited time, and they need to fit a lot of things in to their workouts.”
Part of Silich’s job is to motivate people to be their best. For her own motivation, she draws greatly on her experience in raising her kids. In this way, all three of her lives cross over into one another. They don’t take away from each other; they feed on one another.
“What makes me so driven is that I have gone through a lot with all the kids,” she explains. “Erica (now 19) had two tumors behind her leg a few years ago. I spent a month at Sloan Kettering with her.”
Thankfully, the tumors were benign, but only six months later her son Matthew had to have brain surgery. He has since recovered, and part of his recovery process was using the TRX machines to strengthen the muscles of his neck and to learn how to sit up straight again.
“With my kids having dramatic things happen,” says Silich, “it’s important to me to share the passion of being fit, healthy and sharing your family and what’s important.”
Many of her clients at Studio 89 have asked her to their homes to do design-work with Groundworks. Many of her Groundworks clients have shown up in her classes at Studio 89. And all her work doesn’t only allow her to provide financially for her children. It also allows her to be a better mom.
“I was always a career girl,” Silich says. “I feel it makes me a much more positive person.”
Silich found that when she first had kids and stayed home, she was unfulfilled.
“I needed an identity,” she says. “When we first moved here when the kids were 2, 4 and 6, I freaked out. This is a small community, and it’s tough to break into. I started teaching fitness classes, and I’ve pulled a community of people together. I created my own little community.”
This community has become devoted, following Silich all the way from Gurney’s to Quogue, and everywhere in between. But Silich feels that her two careers and her family life have only been able to co-exist and flourish as they have because of the support of those around her.
“I am happily married, and I couldn’t do any of this without my husband. People ask me how I train eleven times a week? I have a husband that can cook dinner and takes the ball and runs with it.”
She also has a great relationship with Rich Decker, owner of Studio 89 on Clay Pit Road in Sag Harbor, where her daily group classes take place. And Kim Hren at Groundworks is not only a business partner, but a close friend. Because of these strong bonds, Silich feels she can do it all.
“I am somebody who likes to take charge,” she says. “I like to be the teacher. I like to share and motivate.”