S.L.A.M.er of the Month-June

What an unexpected honor it is for me to be the SLAMMER of the month.   My name is Kim Watson, I’ve been Sweating Like A Mother in Savannah for almost 5 years.  My husband and I moved back to Savannah when our son, Liam, was 3 months old. A friend of mine was an instructor at Stroller Strong Moms, Columbus and had told me to check it out.  After one class I was hooked.   Liam and I have made this village our life.  We committed to going to class like it was our job.   Liam’s first best friends were made here, my best friends were made here!    Now you can seeing me rolling with an empty, beat Bob, because time has moved forward and my baby is now getting ready for Kindergarten.   

When Cassie called and told me I was Slammer of the month I felt number one, so honored, but mostly unworthy.  There is this huge tribe of such strong, fit, unbelievable moms.   Some just giving birth, some pregnant with their second or third or even fourth baby.   Why me?  I’ve had only one baby a long time ago.  Cassie told me to think back and remember everything that has happened over these years and I am blown away by memories and accomplishments because of all of you!

Pregnancy was not my friend.   I have always been an active person and even taught Spin until I was about 7 month pregnant with Liam.  That’s when I developed Preeclampsia.  I was miserable and HUGE and unfortunately was not allowed to do really anything.   I mean I was HUGE.  In one week I gained over 12 pounds of fluid.  I couldn’t walk my dog anymore because my hands were so swollen I couldn’t fit them in the leash to hold it.  It was awful.   Needless to say when Liam finally made his appearance I had some work to do.   I lost about 40 pounds before Christmas and was seeing major improvements from attending class.   After Christmas Alexa announced the Get Fit Challenge and I knew that was what I needed to finish unloading the extra tonnage.   That first year of Get Fit was amazing for me.   Savannah was still small by today’s classes.  There were maybe 15 regular mommas and most of us had our babies about the same time so we were all hitting the challenge with all we had.   Wanting to win, but also pushing each other and supporting one another.    Don’t kill me Cassie….  but during the push- up portion of the first testing neither Cassie nor I could do even 10 pushups.   Look at her now!!!!!   I did great with Get Fit and then wanted to see what I could do next to challenge myself.   Alexa mentioned a triathlon.  So Cassie, Alexa and I trained our booties off and had a blast doing an all beach tri.

What next? A half marathon! So Rebecca DePoala and I trained our booties off for that.   Training for the half was such an emotional journey.  I have some major runners anxiety.   I hate to run with people for fear I have to run faster than I want to or can or fear that I’m holding someone else back.  Rebecca and I could hit the pavement together and it didn’t matter.  We wouldn’t talk to each other.  We’d listen to our music.  Sometimes she was ahead of me, sometimes she was behind me, but always we supported each other.   Crossing the finish line that day with our babies waiting for us was a moment I will never forget. 

I slacked off from running after that but managed a few 5k’s and 10k’s and pushed Liam on the 10k bridge.   I was so motivated and inspired by all my friends crushing the Rock n’ Roll in record breaking heat in 2015 that I signed up for another 1/2.  It wasn’t the same as my first and I was frustrated with my time but I finished.   Again, I slacked off in running but did some 5k’s and 10k’s and pushed Liam over the Bridge one more time.    The winter of 2016 was rough on this old lady.  I broke both my baby toes and some bones in one foot and spent time in Ohio where the weather was not friendly for running.   Once my feet healed I had instructor, Julie,  come up with a running plan from ground zero.  It was basically a couch to 10k.  When I accomplished it I said my running days are over.   The anxiety and frustration wasn’t worth it.  I would just run at class.   

Then one day I was sitting in my car before class shortly after this and Cassie said she needed to talk to me.  She got in my car and told me she and Bryan were moving.   Although I was so excited for Bryan and the opportunity for them, I was sad.A few weeks later at her, “See ya later,” coffee, there was talk about RAG (Run Across Georgia).  There had been talk about RAG for the past four years.   Somehow I was always able to escape my fear of running and not get suckered in.   Not this year.   There was some guilt and peer pressure and I’m beyond thankful for it!

RAG!!!!!!!!! The most amazing thing besides give birth to Liam.  And in some ways it was very similar.  Took about the same amount of time.  Was painful, exhausting, emotional, but oh so worth it.   I loved the training…LOVED it.  I used to hate running on the track and track workouts but I looked forward to them now.  I ran in parts of my city I didn’t know existed.  I ran in the morning, I ran I night, I ran ramps and bridges and I ran and enjoyed it….mostly.   That was HUGE!

The actual running of RAG… well… Chris and Liam dropped me off the night before on Ranger Row.  I was scared to death.   What have I done? I could be going out on the boat, I could be lounging at the pool drinking a beer, I could go to the beach   All very normal things for us to be doing on Memorial Day Weekend.  It was also the longest time I would be without Liam, and the longest time Chris spent alone with Liam.  What if I couldn’t do it?  I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night.  Worried my alarm wouldn’t go off at 2:00 am.  I wont bore you all with ALL the details of RAG, but I will say I am so beyond GRATEFUL for every single second of it. To witness a friend at 20 + weeks pregnant run every step of every one of her legs, to witness another friend never give up after throwing up before, during, and after every one of her legs. To witness another one give it all she had after being sick, packing to move and having her husband gone up until we took off.   To wake up in the middle of nowhere and just happen to see Cassie coming in for a handoffTo see the Flames and Flags flying at a memorial. To run on a divided highway at 2 am and enjoy the stars and coolness of the night.  To dig deep and remember why I was running, who I was running for and for all the money we raised for an amazing charity. To prove to myself that I am a runner.  I didn’t do as well as I had hoped for, but I DID IT!  I didn’t die, I didn’t quit and get in the van (although I really wanted to at one point)!  The pride and overall emotions coming across the finish line.  And mostly how unbelievably thankful I am that my village believed in me and convinced me I could do this.

That sums up what Stroller Strong Mom’s means to me.  EVERYTHING.  If it wasn’t for all of you I would not have accomplished any of the things you just read about.  If it wasn’t for you there wouldn’t be a #teamleem because every year we celebrate the differences in us all on World Down Syndnrome Day.  If it wasn’t for you, Liam wouldn’t know what TRUE FRIENDS are.  If it wasn’t for all of you I would have never had the courage to try, and because of you I did try, and I DID IT!