When my daughter, Avery, was almost 2 months old, I was complaining to a friend about how childbirth had ruined my body. Her response was to invite me to a workout class called Stroller Strides. I just remember thinking, “Really!?! Stroller Strides!?!” What could possibly be going in at a class called Stroller Strides? Striding with strollers…strolling and striding…why such a silly name?
Curiosity got the best of me and I joined my friend for a free class. What I found was what I least expected.
1. I was acknowledged.
Most of the boot camp style work out classes I had been to consist of people that were over involved in stretching or too busy fake phone checking to even look up. By the time I had walked up to what would have been a daunting circle of mothers, all of them had taken a moment to say hello to us. It simply felt great to be welcomed!
2. Those mommas mean business!
By the end of the 1st set of burpees, I was gasping for breath. During the last set of bicep curls, I was seriously worried about whether or not I would be able to pick up my 11lb daughter that day! Striding with strollers...ha! Not at all what I had planned for! I had to use the burp cloth I brought to soak up the sweat pouring into my eyes!
3. They are all friends.
In the chaos of being a first time mom, I was losing my mind and I desperately needed somewhere safe to discuss vital topics such as poop, feeding schedules, and the lasting effects of sleep deprivation. The other moms genuinely cared about my chaos and didn't offer any unwanted "motherly" advice. It was so relieving!
4. The instructors are moms too!
At first, I couldn't tell who the instructor was because everyone had a stroller with a child or two or three in it! About half way through the class, I figured out that the instructor was a mother too! She spent most of the class going from stroller to stroller to calm crying babies, pick up thrown sippie cups, or to sing a song of entertainment. I was actually able to spend the entire class working out!
5. They get it and support it.
When Avery began a perching scream in the middle of a set of mountain climbers, no one looked at me as if to say, "What did YOU do wrong?" When it was time for Avery to nurse, one mom encouraged me to nurse her so I could stay and chat. So I did, and I found out that no matter what kind of mom you are, this was a place to belong.
That evening I signed up for a membership with FIT4MOM and I have been attending weekly ever since. My daughter is almost one now and the friends I have made through Stroller Strides have allowed me to laugh with them, burst into tears in front of them, and work through the madness of motherhood with them. I don't know what I would do without the workout class with the silly name.