SPECIAL REPORT: Stroller strong moms

SPECIAL REPORT: Stroller strong moms

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Many of us are busy with jobs or raising children - and those New Year's goals to work out and lose weight can be challenging to fit in. One group in the Chattahoochee Valley is helping moms make it happen.

The unique Stroller Strong Moms, Columbus chapter, are getting fit with their kids by their side. Their motto is SLAM or "Sweat Like a Mother."

"When you see a giant troop of strollers running around this park...it's a little intimidating," stroller strong mom Addie Newcomer said.

With kids running - and screaming at times - in the background, the Stroller Strong Moms are on the move. They describe what they do every day as a "butt-kicking program that will help you to get strong, lean, energized." And it's motivation for local women to get out of bed each day.

Mother of two Erin Divinski said, "Even if I don't want to work out, if I show up with all these other moms, I'm going to get a good workout in. That's what's always gotten me out the door in the mornings."

"We SLAM, Sweat Like a Mother, Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday," SSM Columbus owner Rebecca Paull said.

Rebecca Paull is SLAM Boss or the owner of Stroller Strong Moms Columbus, a chapter which started back in 2011. It has 50-100 members, including some military spouses, and she says many of them come to workouts 3-5 times a week.

"It definitely becomes a part of the routine...and kids routine. They love it, get fresh air, get to see mommy work."

"This is like a built-in...your workout, your time, a play date for your kids after. You don't have to build that in somewhere else," Divinski added.

Another mother of two, Newcomer, says these workouts are achievable and challenging for women at all physical levels, some even pregnant or coming straight off maternity leave. And their children get to exercise too.

"I got started because I needed a way to be active with my kid, bring them with me, that's my favorite part about it," she says

These ladies do a variety of exercises like yoga to prevent boredom and also maximize their fitness.

"We do agility, balance, speed." Paull described. "You become stronger for yourself...your husband...your kids."

"I actually started going to Stroller Strong Moms in Fairbanks, Alaska which is where we were for our last duty station," SSM member and now instructor Hannah Conser said.

Hannah Conser, a military wife who moved to the Columbus area a year ago, says their 4-year-old son has made all of his friends through Stroller Strong Moms.

Conser says she and other moms with small children can lean on each other: "I've been in the best shape of my life, being part of this group, done races and accomplished things I never thought I'd accomplish, especially after having kids - you kinda write yourself off. I think it's very important for moms to realize...hey you can take this hour for yourself and make it about you. The best part is, it's about your kids too."

These moms sprint and do a variety of synchronized workouts - even using strollers for some exercises. Some of these women come from the couch, others are marathoners.

"They're trying for triathlons, Ironmans, so there are a lot of people you can look up to and say Wow that's a really high level of fitness, but it's also for the everyday mom," Newcomer said, with a big smile on her face.

"We've all had babies, so we've all been there, we've all done the postpartum journey ourselves," Divinski said.

They're raising their kids together, combining fitness with comradery.

Paull added, "Coming and sweating with your friends is always so much fun."

Some fathers also show up every now and then, known as SLAD or "sweat like a dad."

For the ladies, those who want to join Stroller Strong Moms have options, including $50 dollars for the monthly unlimited plan, to be able to go to workouts every day. For more information and different plans with SSM Columbus, click here.  

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