I am so flattered to be nominated for FIT4MOM of the Month! I'm Laura. I’m originally from Austin, but I lived in California for many years before moving back to Austin two years ago. My husband, Dan, and I were blessed with the birth of our son, John Henry, in June 2016. I’m a stay at home mom now, which is a whole new concept to me after working a corporate job since graduating from college in 2000 (I’ll let you do the math!).
I was an avid trail runner and marathoner for 15 years and I was part of a running club of 3 women (yes, we called it a club - the Sunrise Runners Club). The three of us would meet up at the same street corner every morning at 5:45 and head out in the dark with our running shoes and head lamps. Those early mornings were tough, but we all showed up because we knew we couldn’t leave the others standing around waiting. These ladies were my tribe - they knew everything about me and I knew everything about them. We laughed, we cried, we shared horrible dating stories, we supported each other… anything to get us through the miles we ran and ran and ran.
Fast forward. My husband and I move to Austin and and then poof… I get pregnant! I knew I wouldn’t be doing any long distance running for a little while, but I needed to have some form of exercise and I needed some friends to keep me accountable. I had a few requirements: no gym, must be outside, and I need to have a reason to get out the door in the morning with a little baby.
I knew there was a bunch of moms that met up a few days a week at Balcones Park, So, I made it my mission to find them and talk to them. One morning when my son was almost 3 months old, we took a walk over to the park to get more info. I was immediately welcomed by another mom and the instructor and they told me all about Stroller Strides. They told me about the workouts, the play dates, the moms night out and the friendships I would make. No question, I had to join.
I signed up immediately so I could start the following Monday. I paid no attention to how hot it was outside (September 1st); I needed some fresh air and exercise. I made it through warm-up and introductions and perhaps the first 30 minutes… but soon after, I was sitting on a curb seeing stars and feeling dizzy. Thinking back, I was lucky not to throw up! All of the moms were awesome that day. They told me 'don’t worry about it… this isn't unusual the first time back after baby’. Although slightly embarrassed, I was so thankful for their words of encouragement and I returned the next day.
What I didn’t know when I started Stroller Strides eight months ago is that it’s not JUST a workout. Yes, the instructors are AMAZING (because they are moms and working hard to help us!!), but Stroller Strides is also an unbelievably strong group of women who support each other in every way possible. We also have a lot of fun together! I can’t think of a day when I have not learned something from another mom or been able to share something I learned along the way with another mom. What I have learned from these mamas is nothing I could have ever read in a book (because we all know a new mom doesn’t have time to read)! Just three weeks ago, I learned from another mom how to get my baby to nap for more than 30 minutes… and guess what… it worked! These are the things I glean from other moms all the while working out next to them!
I love the FIT4MOM and Stroller Strides Tribe and the support we have for each other. The ladies I get to workout with every morning at Balcones Park and Katherine Fleischer Park (and Mueller on the weekends) are AMAZING moms. I think we all deserve Mom of the Month because we work hard to improve ourselves and be good roll models for our children. I love the friendships I have made along the way and I am excited to see the friendships my son makes as he gets older. Of course, I must thank all of the instructors I have had the pleasure of working out with these past eight months because they work so hard to make workouts fun, challenging and different each day.
Thank you FIT4MOM/Stroller Striders! See y’all at the next workout!