Baby Bottles with Milk
Getty Images
April 11, 2016 8:00 AM EDT

I made a decision early in my life that I would work very hard on my professional career so that, down the road, I could afford the luxury of staying home with my family. That was precisely what I did, and I honestly felt wonderful and empowered about it.

What I never could have anticipated was that I would be called back into the workforce by a pull that I couldn’t resist.

It was a beautiful day a few days after a snowstorm, and I was thrilled at the idea of finally getting out of the house for some exercise. I bundled up my little one and headed out for a run. The path was clear, and before long, I felt a nice rhythm to my run and realized my son had fallen soundly asleep. I was enjoying the rare personal time for myself when, suddenly, I felt my feet slipping—and the stroller and my son lurched toward a frozen creek right alongside the running path.

I fell while holding onto the stroller for dear life. The stroller flipped to its side, and I was instantly down on the ground. Fortunately, I kept a tight grip on the stroller and realized that my child was O.K. As a matter of fact, he was still sleeping rather soundly. He didn’t even know that anything has happened. I was banged up, bruised and bleeding—and a bit disoriented. My first instinct was to call my husband for help, which I did. But as I got him on the phone, I realized I couldn’t figure out how to explain where I was on the running path. So I resigned myself to the fact that it would be best to run home as quickly as possible, with the hopes that my injuries were minor.

This is what happened to me. This is the moment that ended up pulling me back to the workforce with a power I never could have anticipated. This experience made me feel vulnerable, and I didn’t like that. I realized that, as a mom, I couldn’t feel empowered without also feeling confident that I had what I needed to care for my children and myself whenever I needed to. Questions started going through my mind: “What would I have done if the stroller had fallen into the creek? What if something had happened to my son? How could I have gotten us help on some random path miles from home?”

My experience and the ensuing emotional fallout convinced both my husband and I that we needed to do something. A safety app or panic button just wouldn’t do it for me. We had to come up with a solution, and I wanted it to feel empowering.

Read more: I Went on a Vacation By Myself, and It Changed My Life

So we built a personal safety platform that integrates into apps and wearables that people are already using. This way, you don’t have to go out and purchase a safety device or a safety app. Instead, it means your favorite app will have your safety settings preloaded into it. And then, when you put on your Fitbit, your same safety profile and settings are available to you there. You don’t have to think about it—all of this is just there for you when you need it.

Before my fall, I never imagined I could feel balanced if I was working and building a family. But sometimes things that happen in your life that you just can’t ignore—and you can’t ignore the higher purpose that they present for you to fulfill. So here I am. I’ve learned that this new path I’m on gives me the balance I’ve always wanted in my life.

Violet Alexandre is cofounder of FABRIQ and the companion app RunRaegis.

Contact us at

Read More From TIME

Related Stories