Friday, June 28, 2013

June Member of the Month

Meet Val 

 Aloha Everyone!

My name is Val Logan and I have been a member of this amazing group of Stroller Strong Moms of Columbus, GA since February 2012.
I'm from American Samoa but I grew up in Hawaii for the most part. Growing up with 12 siblings in the family was a huge challenge for me especially when it comes to being the youngest child. It wasn't long for me to figure out that I had a passion in volleyball but then again that was the only sport that my siblings and I would play all day long. Sometimes our parents would yell at us about not finishing up our chores because we were always on the court playing. My senior year in High School I received a full ride to a Military College in Roswell, NM for volleyball. At first I kinda hesitated because of the location but then at the same time I wanted to leave the Island and explore new places so I accepted it. My family warned me about how hard it was going to be since it's a military school, but I never gave it any thought.  The only thing I was focused on was that I was finally getting off this rock. Well little did I know they were right. There was more to this school other then the academic side of it. It wasn't a regular college, we wake up at 0530 just to get ready for PT before we start school at 0800. I thought to myself what did I just get myself into. But the thought of my parents not being able to afford my education and the thought of not wanting to go back and get stuck on that rock again kept me going and pushing me forward. Things started to settle down and I was getting the hang of the military way of living. I decided to checkout the ROTC department. I was in the best shape ever and got recruited in a female team to compete in the Bataan Death March. This was my first full marathon ever.  The pain was excruciating, but worth every step I took because it was in honor of the service members that sacrificed their freedom and lives to defend the Philippine Islands during World War II. 

It wasn't long after I graduated in May 2004 I decided to move with a very good friend of mine to his home town Tifton, GA. I thought about continuing my education by attending Valdosta State University but then was put on hold when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I thought my fairytale had come true when I had my son in August of 2005. Even though I was beyond happy with God blessing me with the most amazing and handsome little angel. My heart was shattered into pieces by the betrayal of love.  After that I thought well maybe the New 2006 will give me a new head start. Sadly my mom passed away in February of 2006 so it didn't take me long to decide that it was time for me to move back home, start fresh and raise my son near family. Plus I was missing the rock that I was so desperately wanting to leave after all.  After being home for a couple months I landed a job with AAFES and 1 year later I met my husband at the bowling alley through some good friends of mine. It wasn't long until I found my way to love and happiness again. After 1 year of dating we decided to tie the knot in October 30, 2008. In 2011, we received our orders to move to Fort Benning, GA. During that time we also found out that I was pregnant with my second child. I was 7 months pregnant when we arrived to Columbus, GA. As big as I was at the time, mixed together with the GA heat, it was clear to me that I didn't even want to step foot outside of the apartment. In January of 2012, we were blessed with the arrival of our son Derrick.

After the delivery, things were going through my head on how I'm going to lose weight and start getting back into shape. Now that we're so far away from family I don't have anyone to watch the kids just so I can work out at the gym. I was only 5 weeks postpartum when I saw Stroller Strong Moms on the WRBL news. It caught my attention and as soon as the news lady said to check them out on I jumped right on it. It didn't take me long to contact Alexa on Facebook asking how much it cost. It was funny how one night I was telling my husband that I gained so much weight and wanted to change my lifestyle around to telling him that I found someone to help me get there. He liked the idea and decided to go with me and check it out. I didn't know what to expect, all I was thinking about was I needed help with losing the weight and this might just be the right place for me to be. At first I got intimidated because when I got there I didn't see any other big person there beside myself. I had this idea in my head that all these skinny ladies in class are probably stuck up, rude and are gonna make fun of how out of shape I am and then I'm not gonna come back, after all this was a free class anyway. Boy was I wrong...Alexa had this big smile on her face when she greeted me, she was so friendly and nice. At the time I didn't know anybody but day by day I started to make new friends. It wasn't only the friendship that I was developing but I was also starting to notice the difference with my body. Every muscle in my body was hurting and I could barely walk the next day. I was always the last person to come in but it didn't stop me from going...I was always telling myself that someday I will be able to run like the others. I will become a runner but today I will gladly bring up the rear on the walkers side. After 5 weeks in, I signed up for my very first 5k run/walk with my family. I was hooked after that. 

Val's Transformation in 1 year 
I started making goals for myself, pushing myself further, running on my own on the weekends when there were no classes at the time. Slowly but surely I was getting there. I went from not being able to run a mile to totally running a 5k without stopping.  Since I've been with SSM for a year and half now I've participated in many 5K's, 10K's, 2 Half Marathons and Run Across Georgia. This class helped train and prepare me for many of my own personal goals as well as many other challenges.  My fellow SSM's gave me the motivation, inspiration, and confidence to do things that I never thought possible for me to do. I never in my life thought I would be doing all these amazing things and I owe it all to the Stroller Strong Moms. 

Val (second from right) poses with the Get Fit For 2013 winners (Val won the Get Fit Challenge!!!)

Monday, June 10, 2013

May Member of the Month

Meet Lindsay...

Hello Gorgeous Mamas!!

My name is Lindsay Platky and I have been an SSM devotee since the second week Alexa opened the Savannah class. My son, James Michael was 9 weeks old at the time and is now almost 11 months! Little JM is the first child for my husband Jamie and I. Jamie is currently deployed in Afghanistan and should return around Thanksgiving.

As a child growing up in Maryland, I was very physically active and energetic. I played soccer and basketball until sophomore year of high school, and always enjoyed roller blading and gym workouts. I attended the University of Maryland where I studied journalism. At the end of my junior year, Jamie (my high school sweetheart!) and I got engaged with a wedding planned for the following summer. Like many brides, I worked hard to get in tip top shape for my impending nuptials, and walked down the aisle August 1, 2008, sans the ten pounds gained during college and feeling amazing.

The next year brought a move to Texas and our first deployment. Though we had faced distance throughout college, nothing prepares you for the long months of separation that come with deployment. This, coupled with a frustrating job, lack of career direction and being far away from home for the first time, I fell off the fitness wagon - hard. It took seeing a picture of myself at my best friend's wedding at my heaviest to realize how much needed to change. I began taking yoga classes and fell completely in love with the high energy, kinetic practice of Vinyasa. I decided to take the plunge and get my 200 hour teaching certification in February 2011. I also greatly changed my eating habits, cutting out all processed foods and focusing on eating clean.

I was feeling healthy and strong when Jamie and I decided to expand our family in late 2011. We then resettled in Savannah and on July 16, 2012, proudly welcomed James Michael into the world. 

Eager to get back in shape and combat some minor baby blues, I was so thrilled to find Stroller Strong Moms right as Alexa opened doors in Savannah. I attended class 2-3 times a week at first, and met some amazing women and beautiful babies. The New Year's Get Fit challenge really kicked my fitness up a notch. I lost the last couple pounds of baby weight, in addition to 10 more pounds, allowing me to snag 3rd place in the challenge! I can honestly say that I am currently in the best shape of my life. I teach and practice yoga several times a week and attend SSM class 4 days a week. Through class, I have found a passion for running and more specifically RACING!! I recently got a 5k PR of 20:50 while pushing my son in the stroller, and two weeks later broke 6 minutes in the Savannah Mile race. I am excited to begin training with my fellow Stroller Strong Moms to tackle the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in November. I never in a million years pictured myself falling in love with running and owe so much to Alexa, Kelli and Cassie for awakening and encouraging this passion. Being a Stroller Strong Mom has made this deployment not only bearable, but truly enjoyable as I am surrounded by so much warmth and support in class everyday. I am a part of an amazing community of healthy, strong, kind women and feel so blessed to have SSM in my life. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

SSM April/May News

April/May News

Lot's of amazing things have happened for Stroller Strong Moms in the past few months. First and foremost, let's start with the Get Fit Challenge! 

Get Fit for 2013

At the end of March, we announced the Get Fit For 2013 winners in both Columbus and Savannah! 

The Columbus top ten were as follows:
10- Jennifer Meische
9- Meghan Schroeder
8- Tracey Shepherd
7- Kristina McWilliams
6- Jarah Spooner
5- Donna Giberti
4- Kacie Charlot
3- Gabby Gutridge
2- Tiffanie Monroe
1- Val Logan!!!

Most Classes Attended: Meghan Schroeder
Most Fitness Assessment Improvement: Tracey Shepherd
Most Body Fat Loss: Teresa Jones
Most Weight Loss: Emily Osinski

Here are your top 5! 

From Left to Right: Gabby, Tiffanie, Donna, Val, Kacie

The Savannah top ten were as follows: 
10- Laura Roberts
9- Dana Bynum
8- Kim Cody
7- Holly Moore
6- Mandy Anderson
5- Sofie Morrissey
4- Lindsey Von B
3- Linsday Platky
2- Kim Watson
1- Jessika Haselbauer!!

Most Classes Attended: Lindsey Von B
Most Fitness Assessment Improvement: Holly Moore
Most Body Fat Loss: Dana Bynum
Most Weight Loss: Davida Robinson

Here are your top 3!

From left to right: Lindsey, Jessika, Kim
All these mamas worked their butts off and it showed! Congrats to all you hardworking mamas!!! 

"Light UP Columbus" for Autism Speaks

We are so excited to announce that on April 5th, 2014, we will host a 10K, 5K, 1 Mile Run in downtown Columbus!!! We are looking forward to this event and we need lots of SSMs to volunteer to be a part of our race committees to make this event a great success! Please see one of your instructors if you are interested in helping! Can't wait!!!

Farewell to Jill :( 

It is with great sadness that we have to say goodbye to Jill and family as they PCS to Fort Campbell, Kentucky in the middle of June. Jill was such an awesome instructor and motivator and she will be missed. We had a super fun class for Jill at Callaway Gardens on Friday and a fabulous potluck at Miss Joanie's house (Reba's awesome mom) to celebrate Jill and all she has done for Stroller Strong Moms. We will miss you Jill and Teagan!!!

Jill's Tribute Class at Callaway Gardens 

They Ran Across Georgia

Over Memorial Day Weekend, eight of our Columbus SSMs ran across Georgia from Savannah to Columbus to raise money for the House of Heroes. They relayed for 260 miles over 40 hours, wow!!! They were welcomed in Columbus by a large crowd including tons of fellow Stroller Strong Moms. What an amazing accomplishment and such an inspiration! Congrats mamas!!!

From Left to Right: Rosa, Brooke W, Camille, Val, Reba, Jill, Stephanie, Ashley

Memorial Day Class in Savannah

In Savannah, we had a great Memorial Day class that included tons of patriotic stations to honor the fallen on a very special day. Great job everyone and thanks for participating!!! We had record breaking numbers!!! 

SSM Savannah wore red, white and blue for a special Memorial Day class on Monday

Keep SLAMing mamas!!!