One of the benefits of opening a Spanish immersion preschool in Philadelphia is getting connected with all of the different parenting groups around the city. I have learned about the nuances of “mom blogs”, neighborhood listservs, playgroups and meetups. It was during this research that I learned about Stroller Strides. Stroller Strides is a group of newish mothers who meet in Philadelphia city parks to exercise, make new mom friends and build community. I met a few Stroller Stride mamas at Spanish storytime and began to investigate more. A few emails and phone calls later, Mi Casita was set up to host Spanish story times for Stroller Strides post workout. What a fantastic group! The babies and toddlers were wonderfully engaged and all of the moms sang along to catchy Spanish kid tunes! We had a blast, but something else piqued my interest: I wanted to know more about the actual Stroller Stride- from my outside perspective, it seemed to be a pretty typical mom powerwalk in the park. I asked franchise owner Carolyn if I could join in and she agreed to let me join in the name of research! 🙂
Yesterday, I went on my first Stroller Stride, and today, my legs are sore! I arrived with my mind set on a brisk walk, and quickly learned that I was off base. The workout began with a stretch, then we ran along Penn’s landing, making several stops along the way. Whenever we stopped, Julie, our group leader, would lead us in rigorous activity- anything from minute long wall sits to lunges to speedwork to stairclimbs. By the end of the hour, my preconceived notions of Stroller Strides vanished, and I cancelled my Pure Barre workout for the day. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back!
Tips for First Time Striders:
- Bring water.
- Check the Stroller Strides schedule and sign up in advance, so instructors know to expect you.
- Wear layers- you may get sweaty and want to shed a pullover.
- Make a new friend (amiga) while there, the group is super friendly and ready to welcome!
- Expect to sweat, this is not your mom’s power walk.
- Pack snacks and a small toy for your child, so that they will stay interested while the stride is in session.
- Have fun!!