Welcome to Mo-Town
Mo Dixon does more before nine a.m. than most people do in a day. High-energy is an understatement. Welcome to Mo’s life.
That’s how Mo Dixon kicked off my first Hot Pilates class. She was not kidding. For 30 minutes, we did floor exercises, and I thought, “I got this.” The last 30 minutes consisted of high-intensity, low-impact interval training or HIIT in a 95 degree room, and I realized I did not, in fact, have it. “I didn’t do my job if you weren’t praying to Jesus at some point in my class,” Mo said.
Believe me, Mo, I prayed.
Like every class she teaches, Mo’s class was packed that night owing to her openness, verve and butt-kicking instruction. “I truly love what I do at the Hub. I want people, especially the women who come to class, to be strong, powerful, and leave feeling beautiful,” she says. Dixon runs some of the most popular classes at The Hub Savannah, a gym she attended for 11 years before becoming a teacher a little over two and a half years ago. That was right before Mrs. Dixon became Mo.
A difficult divorce changed a lot of things in her life. “Fitness and exercise got me through everything. I went through a 13-hour mediation, got up and taught a six a.m. Hot Pilates class the next day,” she says. If anything, it strengthened Dixon’s resolve to be the best mom, daughter, loyal friend, runner, tennis champion and fitness instructor she could be. “After an 18-year relationship, I had to rediscover who I was. I took the last two years to embrace that,” she explains.
Her priority through all of it is being a mom to Ashton, 26, Noah, 20 and JB, 11. Noah plays football at the College of the Holy Cross outside of Boston. The family makes a point to get to every game they can, and the team has embraced JB as their collective little brother. “My boys come first before anything. Everything I do — fitness, tennis, taking over my boutique — is to be a good role model to them,” she says.
The boutique is a new venture for Dixon. During her divorce, she joined the Savannah Country Club. She’d played against Lisa Harper who owned Lisa Lisa’s Gift Closet on Wilmington Island. After some tentative inquiring, Harper told Dixon she wanted to play together. In their second season as a doubles team, they only lost one match, advancing them from the B- to the A-team. It was a year after Dixon’s divorce, and she hadn’t moved up a level in 10 years. “It was about so much more than tennis for me. It was about being okay, moving on,” Dixon explains. The two went on to win the club championship over the summer.
That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that ended in a business opportunity. Harper was ready to step away from the shop, and Dixon was ready to step in. “She became my partner on the court and in my ear guiding me with this business in my life,” Dixon says of the friendship.
On top of managing a business and competing at a high level in tennis, Mo runs marathons. “Running is where I feel most beautiful,” she says. She’s a member of the Savannah Striders Running Club and loves the clarity running brings her, explaining, “When I’m running eight to ten miles, that’s where I fix things.”
She’s also a 27-year vegan, although you wouldn’t know it from her superb slow-cooked Boston Butt. Being athletes, her boys can put down anything Mo cooks — all of it from scratch. Being Italian, cooking is important to her. It’s where she shows her love for the people in her life.
Getting your head around everything packed into Mo Dixon’s day could tire out the most well-rested among us. She runs, teaches Pilates, cooks everything from scratch, owns a boutique, hosts a book club, affectionately named Lits and Tits; she volunteers, and she’s a licensed chiropractor. In all of that, I wondered what Mo does to just…chill. “Honestly, I shoe shop online,” she says. “When I can’t sleep, or I need to take my mind off something, I look at beautiful shoes.” We all have our vices. “I truly feel there’s nothing in the world that can’t be solved with a glass of wine and a great pair of shoes,” she says. (Dixon is also a boxed wine connoisseur. She’ll take a Bota Box over a fancy vintage any day.)
A woman who is secure in her strength is a formidable force. As such, it’s easy to misjudge Dixon. She’s model thin, raises a beautiful family, wins tennis championships, and owns her own business. Her life was tailor-made for a #bossbabe hashtag. Dixon owns that truth fiercely. When we run up against that kind of confidence in a woman, we start looking for cracks in the armor, reasons to dismiss her or write off her success.
Dixon seems to feel that and forges ahead anyway, refusing to hold back or make herself small. She’s found her voice, and she’s using it. Literally. She finished our class with a hoarse, “Find yourself in the mirror. Look at yourself. Now smile. Namaste, y’all. Always my pleasure.”
Mo took over Lisa Lisa’s Gift Closet from her dear friend and tennis partner Lisa Harper. The shop allows Mo to indulge her shopping habit to outfit the store with the latest in fashion trends and low country style like clothes, shoes, jewelry, home goods and gifts. The store also hosts paint parties, private shopping and wine shopping parties. Here are just a few of the brands they stock: • Lulu B • Spartina 449 • Mud Pie • Brighton Collectibles • Southern Tide for Men • Tyler Candles • Lilly Pulitzer • Kate Spade • Vera Bradley • Tennis and athleisure wear Go to https://lisalisasgiftcloset.business.site/ for more