Meet Balla & Leiva
Educators, Entrepreneurs, and Founders of FitLit
Who Are We?
We are two educators and entrepreneurs who are as passionate about teaching students how to analyze and dissect a literary text as we are about getting kids in optimal physical shape and teaching them ways to live long, healthy lives.
Together, we have over 10 years of experience successfully teaching students how to be stronger readers, writers, speakers, and critical thinkers, as well as empowering students to become healthier and stronger.
Comic books and street soccer were my best friends. Growing up in Yaoundé (Cameroon), not much excited me about life, but when I was playing soccer or reading comic books, nothing else mattered.
I felt as though I was in a world specifically designed for me. After I moved to the U.S for college and became a teacher, I struggled to recreate that experience for my students. They seemed to find no joy in reading. However, once I started exercising with them after school, their demeanors changed.
They loved being outside, jogging, sprinting, squatting, etc. Soon enough, this joy transitioned into the classroom, and my students started engaging with texts in the way that I did as a kid.
Gradually, through fitness and literature, they were finding a world specifically designed for them, just like I had years before them. FitLit embodies that concept--we can all better our tomorrow while feeling as comfortable as if the world had been specifically designed for us.
Obesity and disease are part of my genetic make up. Both of my parents died due to their issues with diabetes and high blood pressure. If my parents were healthier, they would probably still be around. Growing up, I was aware of the health risks associated with an unhealthy lifestyle, yet I did not change my unhealthy habits.
As a result, during my first year in the classroom, I was a whopping 280 pounds. The added stress of being a teacher did not help, but it did give me the motivation to make a change.
Through the help and support that I received from Balla and my students, attaining a healthier lifestyle became possible. With a strong focus on nutrition and well-rounded exercises (modified the whole way), I was able to drop 110 pounds and completely change my life for the better!
FitLit is a state of living. My students and I are a living testament to what literature and fitness can do to alter one's life path.