Tulsa Stroller Moms Get Git and Make Friends
“It takes a village to raise a child,” the saying goes. But the saying could be applied to the raising of new mothers as well. New motherhood can often be the loneliest, most challenging time. Aside from the rigors of being on call 24 hours a day for a little life, moms also have to go about the business of life as usual. On top of that, baby weight can be hard to shed, with limited time and limited motivation.
Renine Stansloski, a coach for Fleet Feet’s Stroller Moms program, says the goal of this training group is “fitness and socialization” for new moms. According to Lori Drelling, owner of Fleet Feet, about 20 moms recently concluded the seven-week program after running or walking their “goal event.” The moms who join want to get outside, some of them want to lose weight and others just want to meet other moms.
Moms strap their little ones into strollers and train with Stansloski in the walking group, or with another coach in the running group. The training sessions are twice a week and build gradually from around two miles to just over three miles, so that participants can run or walk a 5k upon completion. The children are between the ages of 5 months to 3 years, and the sessions are an hour in length. The program is $35 for seven weeks and includes a t-shirt.
Drelling recommends that new moms who want to train invest in a good stroller, quality running shoes, and a properly fit bra. Stansloski added that plenty of the moms are breastfeeding and will either feed their babies before or after the sessions. She said it’s not a problem for a mom to stop and attend to her child and then catch up with the group.
Once the seven-week program ends, many of the moms continue to work out together.
“Many of our training programs result in lifelong friendships,” Drelling said.
Since Stroller Moms is more about fun and getting outside with other new mothers, there are some moms who are ready to advance their training without their kids, or with older children. Drelling said the Fleet Feet No Boundaries program would be a great fit for that, as kids as young as 12 have been through that training program. No Boundaries teaches the basics of running.
Fleet Feet also runs a program called Zoomerangs, which fits the gap between infancy and No Boundaries eligibility for children. Zoomerangs is a youth running club that focuses on running with the addition of games. Once a week, children between the ages of 5 and 12 can train either for a 1-mile fun run or a 5k. Sessions are one hour a week, all coaches are vetted through a background check and parents can drop off their children for that hour. For a six-week program the cost is $25.
Fleet Feet also contributes this program to the students at Emerson Elementary as a community service. Students who attend Emerson are eligible to participate at no cost in Zoomerangs North. Due to their work with the community, they have been able to donate shoes and socks and the training program to that school for the last two years.
“We all want to be a part of something,” Dreiling said, and that’s ultimately the goal of every Fleet Feet training program.
Summer schedules will be released soon on the Fleet Feet website, and Stroller Moms will resume in the Fall.