I read about Stroller Strides on one of the many Facebook pages I was scrolling through one night. I posted and asked if my two kids would be able to sit through an entire class, mostly just extremely worried about my toddler. Everyone was so positive, “Of course,” “Just bring them;” “They’ll love it!” Thankfully, I ignored my inner mommy voice anticipating every “what if” scenario (two kids means double the chances of a meltdown!) and decided to try out a free class.
This was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made. I do not remember how social I was during the first couple of classes, since I was highly stressed over the potential that my toddler would throw one of his tantrums, completely unpredictable and so fun to deal with! But, he LIKES it. He thinks it is hilarious when I do a star jump, or squat singing his favorite “Tick Tock” song, or run around the strollers. Neither of my babies even objected when I ran around the strollers (yes, we played musical strollers!) since I always came back. My two year old sits back in his stroller, eats his snacks, and thoroughly enjoys watching mommy work out. Eventually, I was able to relax and actually enjoy my workout since at any given point during class, a baby is hungry, a diaper needs to be changed, someone is cranky (toddler, baby, sleep-deprived mommy!) but we get through it- together. No judging. One day, I ran all of the laps. The next day, I power walked since that was the best I could do that day. The most important part- I made it. I got out of the house and I am working out. I am doing something for me, yet my kids are also enjoying themselves. It’s a win-win.
This is the biggest difference I have noticed when comparing Stroller Strides to other workout programs. I do my workout videos in my living room, I can go for a run and stop by the playground, and I can drop my kids in daycare at the gym to squeeze in a workout (disastrous, by the way!) All of these are great options for getting fit, but not for building friendships and bonding over mommy-hood or spending time with your kids. I don’t have to feel guilty dropping them off at the gym daycare, knowing one or both will be screaming and someone will be coming to get me in 10 minutes (thus the reason why I cancelled my gym membership!) When I finally was able to relax a little, and Suzy forced us to workout in pairs or do one of her other fun-yet-sometimes-difficult exercises, I started making new friends. It turns out my nine month old has the same birthday as a couple of other Stroller Striding babies! So fun!
So, can you do it? Can you start exercising? Put away those excuses that are holding you back? I realize that one day, one of my kids is going to meltdown during class. I may have to step out and deal with a crying baby or a tantrum-throwing toddler. That’s stressful to me, but it’s worth it. I feel better. I have more energy. I can actually talk to other moms while my kids are being entertained by a power walk outside or a silly song we are belting out to keep them entertained while Suzy tries to trick us into doing more squats! Trust me, if I can do it, so can you!