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!!!)

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