We LOVE our growing military family here at FIT4MOM Greater Olympia and we wanted you to get to know a few of these amazing women. This week we want to introduce you to Stefanie. She is a motivating military mom! Not only does she rock Stroller Strides workouts in DuPont and Body Back in Olympia, but she also participates in Wear Blue: Run to Remember regularly. This mom is a FIT4MOM machine!
(Tell us a bit more about yourself)
Well, I am a stay at home mom and an Army wife. I am lucky enough to be married to my best friend and quite frankly the best soldier ever in my opinion. We have a blended family of 3 awesome boys (Reece age 14, almost 15!!!, Alex age 11, Xander age 8) and one baby girl (Adalyn age 17 months, who is also currently assisting me by hanging on my arm, pushing my keyboard away and stealing the mouse). You know, my teenager wants to be as far away as possible and the baby won’t be more than an inch from me as long as I am trying to do something.
1. How did you learn about FIT4MOM?
I read about the DuPont opening in the Wear Blue: Run to Remember Facebook page.
2. Being a part of the military comes with many challenges, one of which includes moving a lot. It can be considered a transient lifestyle because you have to uproot your family and re-establish in a new place, which isn't always an easy transition. How has FIT4MOM helped you as a military mom/wife?
Fit4Mom has been more than just an activity, it has become part of MY life. Not just the Army, not just the kids. And I know that the Army can send us somewhere else, but I can find another Stroller Strides group and still have that be a part of me. We seem to be instantly connected this way.
3. You set the example for your children to maintain an active lifestyle. Since being a part of Fit4Mom, what has surprised you most about yourself as an active mom?
I have felt so empowered. This isn’t just mommy running off to the gym, but becoming a stronger person. I was surprised by how much of a lifestyle this has become, not just a required activity so as to fit into my skinny jeans. I hope that I am showing my kids what a joy it is to have energy and strength, physically and emotionally. My baby already likes to do squats!
4. What are your long term and short term fitness goals? How has FIT4MOM helped with those goals?
Short term, I am running my first ever half marathon, The Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Seattle later this June. My husband and I were planning on doing it together, but the Army had other plans. Luckily, I have an awesome FIT4MOM friend and fellow Army wife who is willing to leave at 4:00 am to drive me up there AND watch Adalyn. It’s a big event and I am pretty intimidated. Long term, I am studying to be a personal trainer and I can’t wait to show other people the amazing benefits of exercise.
5. FIT4MOM nurtures a sisterhood through motherhood. As a military wife, you are sometimes left juggling so many things, especially when your spouse is deployed or away training. How has it helped having a support group of other moms by your side?
As I said earlier, FIT4MOM has become part of me. Having my husband away so often can get very demoralizing, and if I am not careful I will become a non productive hermit. Last year during his deployment to Afghanistan was a very rough time for me. Our oldest had a major surgery up at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, and exactly one week later our daughter was born. And no, he was not able to be here for any of it. It was very stressful and lonely. We make Army connections but sometimes its easy to forgo forging connections that are our very own, whether from guilt of not doing enough for the kids or fear of meeting new people. He is often away for a month or two at a time training, and now that I have FIT4MOM I know I am always connected. I can make a good choice for myself to stay healthy and strong and at the same time include my family. No guilt involved whatsoever this way!! How many opportunities like that do we have? We are all brought together by a common purpose, to become better women and better moms, but each in our own way. And we encourage each other to do so. I am very grateful FIT4MOM has become a part of my life.
6. Is there anything else you would like your fellow FIT4MOM readers to know?
That you CAN do it. My fitness journey started years ago, with no real knowledge just a want to get healthier (and yes, thinner). I made all kinds of mistakes, and followed different fads and after years of trial and error finally discovered that hard work, and clean healthy eating WORK! It’s not easy but it’s worth it. You can do anything you want. People see me running with Wear Blue but they don’t know that I have not always enjoyed running. Or even thought I was capable of it. This time last year was when I first started and I was so embarrassed to run with my Husband I insisted on learning to run a mile on the treadmill before we ran together. Now, he still outpaces me, but I get there. I have learned to power through 8, 10, even 12 miles, and soon it will be 13.1 (with hills, that’s a bonus!) Don’t ever say you can’t, because trust me…you can!