Now let's glide right in here... into the fascinating life of Signe, our most unique Jibs-lifer fan yet. She is a motivation to us all as she combined her figure skating talents with a corporate career to step out on her own, mentoring and training our next generation to keep balanced (literally on and off the ice!). She is leading the way by example of the important to enjoying the journey.... catch up with her fashion savvy, mom life wisdom, business pivots, and more.
Name: Signe Ronka
Location: Toronto, Canada
Business Website: flexafit.com
Personal Website: figureskatingfitness.com
LET'S GET STARTED...
Natalie: SO WE ARE KIND OF OBSESSED ABOUT HOW COOL AND UNIQUE YOUR BUSINESS IS! CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE WITH YOUR FIGURE SKATING AND COACHING?
Signe: Thank you!!! I am so happy to be doing what I love every single day and helping skaters reach their off and on ice goals. My day to day is filled with hours of off ice training sessions, mostly double axels 😄 and business development! Lots of really cool new projects are coming out really soon...stay tuned!
I also try to have a good work-life balance…I try to make enough time to be with my family and spend quality time with my 2.5 year old son.
MULTI-TASKING MAMAS UNITE
Natalie: YOU’RE ALSO A MOM ON TOP OF THIS ALL! PLEASE PLEASE WHAT LITTLE, OR BIG, TIPS CAN YOU SHARE FOR MULTI-TASKING THIS ALL?
Signe: Well, that’s a great question! I think, when you have to figure it out, you just do! Most of my day is juggling making food, playing with my son, doing laundry, dishes etc, on top of that, I’m running a full time business (coaching, business development, producing videos, etc). To say it isn’t stressful is far from the truth, BUT, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the challenge of each day and to prove to myself that I can do it all. Once in a while, I need a break and take a weekend off work to reset.
Natalie: LOVE OUR CANADIAN FRIENDS! HOW DO YOU FIND LIFE IN TORONTO? ARE YOU MORE OF A BIG-CITY GIRL, OR A SUBURBAN SIDEWALK STROLLER?
Signe: I love Toronto, I grew up a city girl my whole life. But deep down, I have always been a country girl. When I got married, my husband and I moved as far away from the city as we could and now live in a small rural town, surrounded by horses and cows. It is the kind of peace I need now in my life. I absolutely LOVE where I live.
WE'RE ALL HERE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Natalie: WE BELIEVE IN ALWAYS PUTTING OUR BEST FOOT FORWARD AND CAN SEE YOU SHINE AS YOU’RE COACHING KIDS AND OTHERS IN FIGURE SKATING. WHAT IMPACT DO YOU WISH TO MAKE BEYOND THEIR PHYSICAL EXCELLENCE?
Signe: I think the biggest thing as a coach is to be a role model and mentor to the next generation, along with training skills etc. I want to show the athletes that there is more to life than just sport. Being in sports teaches you so much about how to handle life. If they can take aspects of their training and apply it to their lives after they finish, they will be set for whatever they want to accomplish in life.
When you have to figure it out, you just do!
Natalie: YOU KNOW WE HERE AT JIBS ARE BIG TRAVELERS! WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES THAT YOU’VE VISITED WITH YOUR BUSINESS?
Signe: I think one of my favorite places that I went for business was Milan, Italy. When I was younger I went to two Junior Grand Prix events in Milan, but I can’t remember much about it as I was focused on competing. When I went back there for work a few years ago, it was a WHOLE new experience. The food, the shopping, the culture…I just loved it all! The best was I could experience it all with my mom and business partner.
GETTING PERSONAL ...
Natalie: AND TAKING IT PERSONALLY, WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEMORIES FROM TRAVELING? A SHOCKING, OR SURPRISE, EVENT THAT OCCURRED ON A TRIP?
Signe: One of the most memorable memories from traveling was my wedding in Key West, Florida. We got married on Sunset Keys, with the most beautiful sunset wedding photos, on a dock overlooking the ocean. After the wedding, we all jumped in the ocean with our clothes on, including my wedding dress!!!
A shocking, but hilarious event was when I was on a trip with my husband to South Africa. We went to a safari, where you could go take photos with the cheetahs up close. I was a little nervous, then the gatekeeper said it’s ok they don't move. When we were standing to take a photo, the cheetah turned to my husband and started licking his head!!! I was so scared he would bite him, we tried to stay as still as possible. Even the gatekeeper was smiling with slight concern. Anyways, we are all still alive…survived the cheetah lick and a fun story to tell!
Natalie: TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR STYLE? WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND AS YOU STAND IN FRONT OF YOUR WARDROBE GETTING READY FOR THE DAY?
Signe: To be honest, my style has always been which work out pants will go nice with this top. Haha! I guess because most of my life is spent in spandex, BUT when I finally do get to go out, I think about what shoes I would love to wear and match my outfit to my shoes.
Natalie: WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT FAVORITE BRAND OR PRODUCT YOU’VE DISCOVERED? A STAPLE IN YOUR CLOSET? SOMETHING YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
Signe: I’m not just saying this, but my JIBS!!! I never thought I would love these shoes as much as I do. I walked for hours in Arizona on my last trip, and even in the hottest of the day, I felt my feet could breathe! I always wear flip flops in the heat, but now I finally can wear something with style and not feel overheated. Now, I wear them everywhere I go.
LIVE, LOVE, JOURNEY
Natalie: LIFE IS ALL ABOUT ENJOYING THE JOURNEY, FOR ALL IT’S UPS AND DOWNS, RIGHT?! ARE THERE ANY PIVOTAL MOMENTS WHERE YOU WERE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY AN UNEXPECTED OUTCOME?
Signe: This is true, life truly is up and down. I think one moment that definitely showed me how you need to fight for what you want was when we were buying our first house with my husband. There were a lot of obstacles standing in our way to make it difficult for us. At the moment, I was ready to just give up and say we can find something else. My husband knew how much I really loved that house in the country, and he did everything he could to make it happen. When we finally got the keys to our house, I realized that you truly can get whatever you want if you work hard for it. There will always be obstacles, but you just have to keep your head up, focus on the light at the end of the tunnel and dodge them one at a time.
A business pivotal moment, it was when I took a leap of faith to leave my full-time consulting job at a big firm and start my own business from scratch. Not knowing what would come from it, with lots of ups and downs, our FLEXAFIT brand is now internationally recognized; helping skaters all over the world train more efficiently off the ice.