Mommy and me

Valerie Patton

Photo By Serena cervantes

A social phenomenon (and national franchise) that builds camaraderie for moms has hit Chico. Stroller Strides is a fitness program for mothers of children from 0-5 years old. Valerie Patton runs the program in Bidwell Park and on rainy days will run the workout at the Chico Mall. The group is only about a month and a half old with six members, but Patton hopes that it will grow. The workout starts off around the sides of the One Mile pool and makes its way up to the restrooms, over to the baseball field, around Caper Acers, and then back to the grassy area by the pool. All the while the group of mommies sing songs like “The Wheels on the Bus, “The ABCs” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Classes run from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Why not go to the gym?

People go to the gym, [and] they just check their kid into daycare. Gym daycares can’t change diapers and there are things they can’t do for liability reasons. Because of that, moms get pulled out of aerobics classes and tapped on the shoulder on the treadmill—they might be 10-15 minutes into their workout and then they have to come and tend to their child. It’s amazing! And they have to pay for the daycare there for them to not do very much. With this, if the baby gets fussy, they [moms] take their break and change the diaper. I’ve had a mom stand up breast feeding while we’re doing our lunges and she’ll do a little side step so she’s still moving—I’m amazed at how coordinated some of these moms end up being.

What is membership like?

It’s $45 a month for a six-month commitment and I’ve worked with Fleet Feet so that they [moms] get a discount on shoes and sports bras. A big issue that comes up before and after they have a child is their arches change and their feet change because different hormones get released when you’re pregnant that relax all of your joints—everything relaxes. So the feet can actually flatten and sometimes they come up, sometimes they don’t. Fleet Feet understands all of those changes and they’re educated in all the different types of feet and different age groups and the different clientele that they run into.

And … the songs?

The songs help keep the babies engaged, so that they’re not just being ignored and it makes them a part of the workout.

What else does the group offer?

I want to start having a mommies’ night out, maybe once or twice a month, and do something without the kids and without the nursery rhymes—to have a little bit of adult time. A lot of new moms start to miss that grown-up conversation.