December of the Month – Afton Trevena

Afton is a member of SLAM Cameron-Sanford and has been since the Grand Opening in August. She is the daily representation of strength, determination, kindness, and motivation. From the moment she arrives each day until the moment she puts her stroller away, Afton pushes herself and encourages others to achieve more and be greater than they think they can! She is a kind word, listening ear, and a strong reminder to each of us that we are enough! Even with juggling being a first time mom and having a deployed husband, Afton is always smiling and offering to help others. Her passion for helping others and nurturing children is shown in her actions of lending a helping hand or running after and playing with or calming all of our SLAM kids and tots. Afton has grown from doubting her physical abilities to seeing a challenge and conquering it one burpee or run at a time! Watching her grow physically and grow in her confidence in herself and as a mom is one of the greatest rewards! Our SLAM CamSan tribe is so lucky to have you Afton!

Howdy, y’all! My name is Afton Trevena and I have been Sweating Like a Mother since the grand opening of the Cameron/Sanford location in August. I live in Lillington, NC, with my husband, daughter, and two dogs. After spending my entire life in Georgia and then moving to Arizona for a short eight months, I am happy to be back on the east coast where the tea is sweet and the people are sweeter; people like the SLAM sisters I never expected to meet.

I have to admit that when we moved to North Carolina I was lost. While I was finally getting into the groove of being a stay-at-home mother to my daughter, I still didn’t feel confident in my new role. Don’t get me wrong – spending my days cuddling, loving, and teaching my sweet baby girl was a dream come true. However, taking care of my post-baby self was put on the back burner so I could focus on my new job as mom. I was tired all the time and became self-conscious about the curvier me. I had spent the months after having Annabelle struggling to lose the same ten pounds that just would not stay off. I tried walking around our neighborhood with my daughter in the stroller, but that quickly left me starved for adult interaction. I tried to find a gym where I could take classes, but I had difficulty locating one that had actual childcare within a 20-mile radius. I tried doing video workouts while the baby slept, but nap time became reserved for all of the chores I could not do during the day. I felt defeated anytime I thought about my personal well-being.

Fast-forward to a couple of months later. I still had not found a gym, and exercising at home had proven to be more than difficult. Then we found out my husband would be leaving on a deployment for several months. The stress from the thought of him being away for so long only added to my growing anxiety about getting into shape. How was I ever going to have anytime for me when I was basically going to be a single parent for nine months? I remember praying one night about two weeks before my husband was slated to leave. I prayed I could find a workout group close by like the Stroller Strong Moms group I heard about when we were stationed at Ft. Benning. The next morning, I logged into Facebook and saw an ad for the Stroller Strong Moms Cameron/Sanford grand opening. I could not believe it! I immediately filled out the waiver and tried to wait patiently over the next few weeks for the first workout.

I was a bundle of nerves the morning of Cameron/Sanford’s grand opening. I did not know what kind of workout to expect, and I was not sure how my 14-month-old daughter would behave in the stroller. My mind was quickly put at ease after arriving at the location. I was greeted by the kindest person who immediately made me feel welcome – Jennifer Mains. With her big smile and warm disposition, she led us all through a warmup with introductions. As I looked around the crescent of ladies joining us for the workout, I saw mamas from all fitness levels and walks of life. Some had one child, some had three, but we were all there with a common purpose – to do something beneficial for ourselves. We cheered each other on through a difficult workout and enjoyed each other’s company as we broke a sweat. While the mamas bonded over burning calories, the kiddos played with balloons and occupied one another from the comfort of their strollers. After we finished exercising, we stretched out, took pictures of the group, and allowed the children to play on the playground. The past hour had been crazy busy, but it was crazy how well it all worked.

Now as I sit here writing this nearly four months later, I can hardly believe how nervous I was for that first SLAM workout. Instead of feeling anxious about doing a new type of exercise, I get excited about the challenge of trying to keep up with the other mamas. On day one, I could barely do a modified push-up; today, I can actually do a few burpees. And rather than feel self-conscious about my post-baby body, I am confident as a result of my 15-pound weight loss. But honestly, Stroller Strong Moms is about more than just fitness. The real advantage of joining SLAM is the network of friends you and your kiddos make that inevitably become your family. I cannot begin to count the number of times my SLAM sisters have saved me. They motivate me and join me in difficult partner workouts. They keep me company when I am lonely and help me take care of difficult tasks while my husband is away. And the mamas are not the only ones who benefit by being a part of this amazing group – the kids also enjoy numerous rewards. Our children laugh together, play with one another on the playground, sing songs together, and make art during weekly playgroups. As a mother who wants to set a positive example for her daughter, I do not believe there is a better place for me to better myself while fostering good habits in my child. We are so blessed that we found Stroller Strong Moms Cameron/Sanford. We would not be the same without it.