Meet Jessica! From the day she followed the yellow brick road from Ft. Leavenworth to Anchorage, Alaska (she was literally at class within 24hrs) Jessica has been at the heart and soul of building this SLAMfam. She is kind, generous and knows how SWEAT LIKE A MOTHER. This mom of three wild and crazy kids has taken on everything that comes with having a deployed spouse with courage, strength and pride and has NEVER complained, not once! We love Jessica, and we are so thankful she is part of our tribe. Here is what she has to say about her experience at Stroller Strong Moms:
Hi SLAMfam! First of all, I would like to say I’m truly honored to be the SLAMmer of the Month. I do not feel worthy! Over the last few years I’ve been inspired by the various incredible women I’ve met and the stories I’ve read on the blog and other social media outlets! This group is an amazing ripple maker for Women’s Health in communities all over the country and I’m so grateful to be a small part of it!
My name is Jessica Amacker (SLAMacker for all the cool kids on Instagram 😉) and I currently live in Alaska. I’m an Army Brat who fell in love with a cadet my senior year of high school and we’ve been together ever since. Before deciding to start our family and taking on the role of stay at home mama, I was an elementary school teacher. My husband Chad and I have three beautiful children, Anna Claire 6, Chip 4, and Emily Kate 2.
I’m a current member of Stroller Strong Moms-Anchorage, the second most northernmost location 😉, and I’m proud to say I’ve had the privilege to be an OG of the Anchorage group and Stroller Strong Moms-Leavenworth. Watching these two groups be built from the ground up by fearless SLAMbosses, their instructors, and the community of women rallying behind them, has been such a cool experience! I’m in constant awe of the leadership, hard work ethic, and heart Meghan Argo and Katie Provencher pour into their businesses and clients every.single.day. These two ladies are just a few examples of the strong women who make up SLAM nation, and I’m so thankful to call them my friends!
Due to the nature of my husband’s career, we uproot our family every few years (sometimes after a year) and quickly try to make a home of our new location. A key factor in making a place feel like home is finding community with other people and plugging in! Finding community can make or break one’s ability to emotionally and socially thrive. In the summer of 2014, my husband started a two-year graduate program in the “civilian” world. After spending my entire life surrounded by other military families (with the exception of 4 years at college), I was eager to see what civilian life was all about! The first year was an adjustment. We were married and had two young children while most of our peers were single professionals leading exciting social lives. We became friends with a couple of other young families and that made exploring a big city with toddlers much more fun! In the summer of 2015, I gave birth to our third child. Three kiddos under three years old…. Motherhood suddenly became very lonely. Taking three young children anywhere was an ordeal. I was constantly chasing two toddlers with a colicky infantstrapped to my body. I was exhausted and felt very overwhelmed-I didn’t feel like ME. It was easier to stay home than it was to drag the three-ring circus out on a playdate. Needing an outlet (and endorphins), I joined a local running club and trained for a few races. The ladies in this group have no idea how much our little chats and runs helped my sanity!
We knew my husband’s next assignment would move us to Fort Leavenworth and to say I was excited is a massive understatement. After two years in the real world, I was ready for the grand reunion with old friends that Fort Leavenworth is known for. To make things even more exciting, Alexa announced the newest Stroller Strong Moms location would be at Leavenworth! Over the years, I’d seen the magic of SLAM all over Facebook and knew it was something I really wanted to be a part of. It looked like a killer workout and the body transformations were amazing!
I’m pretty sure at the Grand Opening, I immediately signed up for an unlimited membership and bought every style of tank. I was HOOKED! The workouts were killer and the group of women that showed up everyday were so friendly! From day one, Meghan stressed the importance of having good body image. She didn’t want to hear us speak negatively about our bodies or desires to be skinny. She wanted us to WANT to be strong and be appreciative of what our bodies can do rather than focus on aesthetics. The group was made up of seasoned marathon running mamas, former college athletes, women who never worked out a day in their lives, pregnant super yogis, first time moms-women from all walks of life. At Stroller Strong Moms-Leavenworth, I found my community. I found my tribe. I had something to look forward to everyday that would push me past the limitations I placed on myself. I had women who encouraged me to be a better mother, friend, and athlete. I really felt like I was on a team! A team of badass women who help the slowest runner finish a lap, cheer on the girl holding a plank for what felt like twenty minutes, take a fussy baby so mama can focus on finishing her workout, or have an inappropriate joke when you’re having a crappy day. After a year of crazy themed classes, mom’s nights out, the GetFit Challenge, and countless other fantastic times, my time with this group was coming to an end. I knew that we’d only be there a year, but it still stung. I didn’t want to leave! I didn’t know anyone moving to Alaska and the closest SLAM group was HOURS away!
One day after class, Meghan pulled me aside and shared the best secret EVER! The owner from Fairbanks was also moving to Anchorage and planned to open another location! I was immediately put at ease knowing I’d have instant community-instant friends! Fast forward to now, at Stroller Strong Moms-Anchorage, I’ve once again found my community, my tribe (and I still have an unlimited membership and buy every style of tank)!