In January I made a vision board, like the one I made the year before but this time I was determined to follow it. I added “fitness and good health,” but the problem was how would I make this happen? As a SAHM with two toddler boys, and a husband with a crazy work schedule, I didn’t know how I was going to fit fitness into my life. But the solution to my problem was FIT4MOM, a fitness program for moms that include programs like Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, Fit4Baby (prenatal), running club, and Body Back. You can bring your kids along in a stroller for most of these programs.
What does FIT4MOM mean to me and how has it helped me? FIT4MOM came at a perfect time in my life when I was dealing with a ton of anxiety, loss of my eight-year-old bulldog, and feelings of inadequacy as a mom/wife/friend. My FIT4MOM tribe is helping me cope with it and the strength in this group of mothers is giving me an alternative and positive coping strategy on how to deal with it all. This is a judgement free space when sometimes you feel like McJudgy is everywhere! My toddler will be antsy and my moms will say “don’t worry, mine too,” or our instructor will come over and give them a toy or even take them for a stroll. But it’s a space for me to find my village and support group. To be honest, if I needed a last minute babysitter I know one of my mamas will help me and I will help them. If my form was off, I know one of them will tell me and say, “don’t forget to tell me, too!” I trust them and I know they can trust me too. FIT4MOM is more than a workout program for moms. For me it is a support group, my village, Mommy and Me, a place to socialize, and build a community.
During critical junctures of our life, we all need some support group to get us through these moments (it’s the sociologist/educator in me). So BARRE with me as I explain (I punned it). When I was in high school, I found my strengths in my cheer squad. When I was simultaneously navigating college and dealing with cancer remission I found my support in my student orientation group. When I did a bicoastal move with my husband, my coworkers helped me explore a new city and culture. Then, I became a mom and I lost myself for awhile because me became we, we became them, and the me was lost. And although my husband has been my constant and support in my forever changing life, a social group has helped me find my place in this large world! Just like I sometimes felt lost in other areas of my life – adolescence, college, as a cancer survivor, and new coast – I found FIT4MOM to help me find myself again within motherhood. Slowly I am realizing that “mom” and “me” can coexist.
Where can I find a FIT4MOM? I participate in the FIT4MOM West SF Valley, but you can find your local one by visiting their website. I linked it just for you!
What days are workouts offered? The one I joined offers a class Monday-Saturday at three different locations nearby. But each location varies so check out the closest one to you.
Who can join? Any mama! You can be pregnant, postpartum, have toddlers, school-aged children, and roll up with a stroller (or not). I have also seen a couple of grandmothers who are taking care of the littles join in!
But my little one doesn’t want to stay in the stroller! This statement held me back for awhile before joining. But my instructor reassured me that it would be fine, and it has been. My son gets up to wonder, but I either just sit him back down with a book, toy, or snack or let him pick leaves and sticks with the other toddlers. We also sing popular children’s songs and interact with our kids during the workout so that helps. I also started to get to the parks earlier to let my two-year-old run around in the playground so he gets tired and will stay in the stroller longer.
What should I pack in my stroller? Instructors have bands, and barre balls for you to borrow. But definitely bring a yoga mat, water bottle, snacks for your littles, and books/toys in a small bag so they are easy to pack up for your next move! I also bring chalk and sand toys for post-workout fun!
What else can I find in a FIT4MOM community? FIT4MOM is a one stop shop community. Not only are you getting a workout, but you are connecting and creating a village with other mamas. After our workouts we have formal or informal playdates. I love that it feels like a Mommy and Me class when all the kids are together and we have some sort of structured activity with them. Our activities are usually a STEM or holiday related theme but includes sensory play. I also love our informal playdates, our kids feel so comfortable to run to the playground and play together. This gives us mamas time to talk. This leads me to Moms Night Out, these are monthly outings just for moms. They vary in activities such as a dinner, a Target scavenger hunt to an organization party at someone’s home. Either way, we are bonding, and having some ME time.
Taking the next stride: Don’t plan or think about it, just stop by. The first step is the hardest step, once you circle up with us it becomes easier. I promise we will be your welcoming committee!