I went to my first Stroller Strides class on September 27, 2017. Jemma, my 6 month-old baby’s, nap time was right when the class started. I was terrified she was going to cry the whole time and all the moms would hate me and that I would be late and everyone would know each other and I would be the super weird intimidated “new mom” with leaky boobs and disheveled hair. All that stress just to love it so much that I signed up on the spot, eventually became an instructor and have come to class nearly every single day for … math is hard but my 6 month old is now 20 months old, so… for a long time.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Membership
What I discovered is that FIT4MOM is so much more than a fitness program. In fact, for some moms, the fitness is even secondary to what else comes along with it, because there is SO much more to your membership than just a workout class. For example:
OUR VILLAGE: PLAYDATES AND MOMS NIGHT OUT
Once a week at every location we have scheduled playdates that directly follow class. These playdates are FREE and they are FUN. Each location has their very own Playdate Captain (always a fellow mom) who comes up with a creative, stimulating and hands on activity for our kids after class. It’s a great way to socialize our kids with other kids while we get to chitchat with their moms. Playtime for everyone!
“Moms Night Out” is once a month and it’s no babies or boys allowed! Well, sometimes they are but, for the most part, this is our chance to put on some heels – or not - put on some mascara – or not - and have a few hours with just the ladies. Whether it’s karaoke night at a local bar, a scavenger hunt at Target or a chill hangout at someone’s house, it’s always super fun to spend time with other moms, get out of the house and stay up later than 9! Remember those days? Me neither.
You’ve heard this before but babies and kids love routine. And SO DO MOMS. I go to Stroller Strides every day because I love it but it’s also because it’s a part of our morning routine now. Jemma wakes up, demands to watch Sesame Street, demands breakfast, throws her breakfast, I clean up her breakfast, I leave the house, occasionally without my cell phone or shoes, and we head to class. Boom: Routine. When classes were cancelled for the holidays I literally had no idea what to do with myself after I cleaned up breakfast. So know what I did? I went to the VNSO Park anyway. (Shrug).
The routine of going to class is great for both you and your baby because we get to see our instructors and fellow mama friends on a regular basis and our kids get to see their friends, too. Jemma literally chants “Lyla! Cora! Lyla! Cora!” on the way to class because she knows she’s on her way to hang with her besties. She also knows that for an hour she’s going to get any snack she wants to keep her from screaming in the stroller. Bribery is a mom’s best friend.
STRIDES 360 AND THEN SOME
Strides 360 is now FREE with all memberships. You can attend with your kids in the stroller OR you have the option to go SOLO (imagine that). Exercising outside sans baby is bliss but let me tell you, even attending with a stroller will make you STRONG and you will burn twice the calories. So, win win.
THE THEN SOME:
You can try ANY new drop in class for FREE! Helllloooo BODY BACK COMMUNITY CLASS! If you’ve only done Strides 360 or taken a Strides/Barre class, I highly recommend having your hubby or a friend or any willing human hang with your baby for an hour on Sundays so you can drop in to a Community Class and see what all the fuss is about (it’s earned fuss).
Also, if you upgrade to Unlimited Stroller DELUXE you get unlimited access to ALL the classes we offer – including Body Back drop in classes. It’s a nice option to have if you’re a fan of variety.
THE ACTUAL WORKOUT!
Endorphins are a true blue reality. I know this from personal experience as I chose to not take any medication for my anxiety when I was pregnant. “Then move”, my doctor told me. “Sweat,” she said. “Listen to your body and do what feels right, and do that every day.” Whether I went on a hike, a walk, or took a prenatal class, I did something every day and it all WORKED. I somehow survived pregnancy on a prescription for daily exercise and it was a gift. And it’s still a gift. Regular exercise has a profoundly positive impact on anxiety and depression. It also relieves stress, promotes better sleep and enhances overall mood (calling all Moms!). And physically, regular exercise builds endurance and strength which every Mom NEEDS. My daughter weighs twenty-five pounds, her stroller weighs thirty, her diaper bag weighs ten and her snack bag weighs at least a hundred. But I’m strong and I can carry it all. And it’s 100% because of FIT4MOM.
This organization has also made me mentally strong when normally I am a basket case. This is no news flash but we are stressed out as mothers. We change diapers and read stories and pick food off of the floor and work hard in or outside of the house and we clean and cook and cater to our kids. We do tons of different things at the same time and it’s generally always for someone else. Take an hour a day and do this for YOU. You deserve it, Mama.
ALL THE MOMS
The true beauty of FIT4MOM is that it’s whatever you want it to be for you. A way to lose baby weight, to maintain the weight you’re at, to train to run a marathon, to build strength and endurance, to be outside in the fresh air, to be anywhere that isn’t being stuck at home, to offer accountability to get moving or a natural remedy for the baby blues or PPD, or all of the above. It’s whatever it needs to be for YOU. What it needs to be for me? I come for all the Moms. I teach for all the Moms. I LOVE all the Moms. I love coming to class and meeting the mom’s who are totally different from me, who parent differently, who are cut from a different cloth than me. And I love those moms I have met who are on the same exact page as me. Girls I would have hung out with pre-motherhood, and women who have become my friends and will be for the long haul. And we all know how hard is to make friends when you’re a mom (which we all are) and when you’re not in high school (which we all aren’t. Hopefully).
Come to class! Come to a playdate! Come to Mom’s Night Out! Come say hi to me if I don’t know you because I’d really like to meet you. Use your membership for whatever you want it to be and for all that it has to offer and I promise you it won’t disappoint.