My name is Leslie Bodrog and I have been a member of Stroller Strong Moms- Panama City Beach since October 2018. My husband Mike and I have been married two years and have two sweet children (Hank 2, Morgan 1) I am currently a SAHM but previously spent 4 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps as an Aviation Ordnance Technician. Being active and physically fit has always been important to me, especially as a Marine. That passion followed through with both my pregnancies and I continued to work out literally up until the day I went into labor. However, after having my second baby I found myself in a bit of a rut. My husband is still in the Marine Corps and we had received orders to Panama City Beach not long before I was due. After moving here, knowing NO ONE, having two small kids and feeling very much alone, I was quickly losing motivation. I did not want to take my new born baby to the gym daycare and finding time to actually get a workout in at home seemed next to impossible in between the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.
Just as I thought I was at my breaking point I came across the Stroller Strong Mom PCB page as I was scrolling through Facebook. This location was opening shortly, and I thought I should give it a try. I was nervous my kids were going to cry the entire time and I was unsure if I would be able to keep up with the other Moms, but I showed up anyways. Did my kids cry the entire class? They sure did! Did anyone care? NOPE! Was I able to keep up with the other Moms? I WAS! The great thing about these classes is that they are challenging but can be modified to meet your fitness level! One class is all it took for me to know that this is what I needed in my life. Amy is one of the most welcoming people I have ever met, and she continuously motivates and pushes you throughout the class. Just when you think you are ready to quit you hear her yelling at you, “ITS ONLY 30 MORE SECONDS OF YOUR LIFE” and she is right, we can do it and in the end that is what makes us stronger. I have met so many other wonderful, amazing Mamas in class that have quickly become some of my close friends. Amy has truly built us this wonderful community of (strong) Moms that support and motivate one another. Our Moms Night Out are always a blast and usually end up in laughing until we cry and dancing until our feet hurt.
Although I have always been passionate about being physically active and healthy, I have found since having children it is more important to me than ever. Being the best version of myself allows me to be the best mom for my kids. In the last 8 months, Stroller Strong Moms PCB has not only helped me stay physically healthy but also mentally. The community of Moms have become close friends and are always there for you one days when you need a good laugh, a shoulder to lean on or a friend to give you advice. When you may feel like nothing is going right and you have totally lost control of this “mom game” they quickly reassure you that you’re doing everything right and no matter what totally crazy thing your kids may have done that day that its actually quite normal. It takes a village to raise a child and these ladies have certainly become a very important part of my village.
Not only have I benefited from Stroller Strong Moms but so have my children. They have created friendships and bonds with the other kids and now rather than crying the entire class they look forward to going. Every M-W-F my two-year-old wakes up and asks, “Mama, work out class?” Children are sponges that soak up everything we do. We are setting a positive example for our babies as they watch us take care of ourselves and support one another. On multiple occasions we have caught the kids mimicking our workout and it is just the sweetest thing. Having a positive healthy routine for myself and my children has been so very important. Being able to take care of myself without having to leave my children in a gym daycare room has been so incredibly helpful in getting myself out of that rut I was in shortly after having my second baby.
Over the last 8 months I have become very passionate about Stroller Strong Moms that with a little motivation from Amy I have begun taking classes to become a group fitness instructor myself. We only have a year left here in Panama City Beach before my husband is up for orders again and my goal is to start another Stroller Strong Moms chapter in our new location (if there is not already one). Stroller Strong Moms has provided me with a routine to stay active and healthy and has surrounded me with a community of the most wonderful moms. I look forward to being able to give that to other moms who may be feeling a little lost like I did when we first moved here.