Spring in Michigan - Embracing the Cold and Rain

Ah, Michigan in the spring. Sunshine and flowers---yay! Rain/snow and drastically fluctuating temperatures---not as exciting. I’m approaching my four year anniversary with FIT4MOM Grand Rapids (crazy!) and I’m told that this fact makes me a “veteran” mom. Well, I’ll be the first to tell you that I still have a lot to learn in the realm of parenting BUT I certainly have plenty of experience dealing with the seasonal changes with Stroller Strides classes. Can you actually believe that there are Stroller Strides classes in geographical locations that allow them to have classes outside all year long?? But, alas, we live in Michigan. Temperamental Michigan… So, as a *AHEM* veteran mom, I thought I’d share what I have learned about outdoor classes during less than favorable conditions.

1. The instructors do an amazing job adjusting classes and workouts to fit the current weather conditions. If it’s raining, we have stayed under the pavilion for an entire class. The workouts are still amazing, you still work up a great sweat (yes, that’s sweat, not rain), and you and your little ones stay dry. If the rain is very very light, sometime there is an option to leave the stroller under the pavilion and run a lap or two to get an extra cardio workout.

2. Layers---for you and your children. Obviously, our kids won’t be working out like we will be so warm jackets, hats, mittens (if you’d like), and warm blankets are highly encouraged. If your children won’t be too traumatized, you can always extend the sunshade on your stroller and drape a blanket from that to help keep out rain/wind. My boys would never be ok with this but hey, it’s worth a try, right? As for you - yes, maybe you will end up wearing your sweatshirt, jacket, and a hat for the entire class but you might end up feeling the need to take off a few layers, too. I have definitely started a class bundled up and ended class wearing a t-shirt...while it’s raining...and 45 degrees.

3. Incentives & bribery---I have no shame admitting that I bribe my children with special snacks for class and special treats or activities for after class when I attend outdoor classes in not so great weather. Sometimes I treat myself to Starbucks afterwards. :-)

4. Treat that rainy, cool day like any other day. Have a desire to get a workout with the fantastic Stroller Strides instructors? Go get that workout. Don’t think very many people will be there? Who cares. Go get that workout. Every time I attend a Stroller Strides class, I never go home regretting the decision to go to that class (except my first indoor class with my double stroller that I quickly discovered did NOT fit through the doorways…). After four years with the program, I have had plenty of classes with just me and one or two other people. I have also had many classes where it was JUST me and the instructor---I prefer to call those classes “personal training sessions”. Guess what? Every.single.class. has been worth my time, no matter what the weather was.

So I challenge you, all you moms who are striving to embrace the power of consistency, join me at class next week. I dare you. Might it be raining? Yep. Might it be chilly? Yep. Will you be guaranteed a phenomenal workout? Yep. And hey, spur of the moment decision here. Every time you attend a class next week, I’ll have the instructors put your name into a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card from ME. That’s right---not from FIT4MOM Grand Rapids, but from me. And, if you know me, I love Starbucks so I basically feel like I’m offering up a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. See you at class next week, all you crazy, thrill-seekers!

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