I'm smiling thinking of the wonderful scene I observed the other day. There was a gang of mommies whose tee shirts read "Stroller Warriors" lined up for a race along the parking lot at the beach where I was walking my three dogs. It was a blustery morning. The dogs and I paused to admire the captivating activity in front of us. Half of the eleven strollers were double strollers-a heavy load to push!
Suddenly they were off, roller blades flashing beneath them! They seemed to fly by! I grinned. The dogs and I
kept walking. An hour later we returned to find that the roller blades had been exchanged for running shoes and those energetic moms were still at it, this time jogging, high pony tails streaming behind them! I could not help but admire our cultural passion for fitness and the outdoors.
I knew I was witnessing something special and it quickly linked to a similar long ago memory of my own. My husband, Ken and I were young parents on a Sunday afternoon family outing in the Back Bay of Newport Beach. Ken was jogging while I was on my bike with two-year-old Julie in the baby seat behind me. Five-year-old Rick was riding his own bike. We had gone along for a few miles, when suddenly Julie announced, "I want to run with Daddy!" We unbuckled her and she began to jog along next to Ken. We expected her to give up after a few minutes, but she surprised us, continuing the two miles until we got back to our truck. As tiny as she was, we couldn't believe how she had just kept going, big green eyes sparkling with delight.
That day we learned something about our daughter that would prove true across the next four decades, she is dedicated to fitness and physical challenges. Not only was she an All American goalie in college, she has continued to compete in all sorts of racing events for the pure joy of it. During the years when she was the mom with young children, she could often be found pushing her big blue racing stroller, little ones buckled inside, across many miles. Last month, on Thanksgiving, she and her husband and two of their teens raced in a 10K Turkey Trot. On January 10th we will be cheering when she and her two brothers cross the finish line for the Catalina 50 miler.
I love that the Mommy Stroller Warriors celebrate fitness. It reinforces for me how important it is for us to take good care of our health, and how much pure fun it can be. Like my daughter once did, these moms, even during the hard toddler years are out there, laughing and modeling good health for their little ones. I searched online and discovered a whole national Stroller Striders movement inviting moms to companionship, support, and exercise.
As a life coach I often hear the complaints of mothers who feel isolated during the pre-school years. What an awesome way to counter that! I'm reveling in the crossover memory the mommies brought to me, of my little Julie running along side her big daddy, of her as a mom modeling to her own children. What is niggling at the back of your imagination for you to take on? Is it exercise, joining a group, trying something new? I would love to know. We will soon have a brand new year spread out in front of us, a perfect time to take on something new.