Military Spouse Magazine

SEP 2018

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Cassie and Katie: We met in the spring of 2011 after our husbands returned from a year in Afghanistan. We had a mutual love of the Lord, serving alongside other military spouses, and a passion for health and fitness. These passions ignited our friendship and would lead us to where we are today: owning and operating a unique fitness business that's growth can be attributed back to our unwav- ering friendship and support. Cassie and Katie were preg- nant with their first babies at the same time. In the fall of 2012, Katie and her husband, Dave, welcomed their first daughter, Norah, and Cassie and her husband, Bryan, welcomed their first son, Jaxon. Once both new moms were cleared to workout again, they both stepped foot into their first Stroller Strong Moms workout class, and their lives were forever changed. Cassie and Katie: The workouts were challenging, not your "typical" stroller workout class. They required guts and grit, strength and stamina, and gave us a fresh purpose in this new postpartum period. It was the feeling of success and accom- plishment after each workout that Cassie and Katie hold them- selves, as well as their team of instructors, to the highest of standards by obtaining nation- ally accredited group fitness certifications, continually seeking knowledge surround- ing sports and exercise (with an emphasis in pre and post-natal workouts), and expectations of constantly varied, high inten- sity workouts being brought to their members, daily. They recognize that even though it is these types of hard-hitting workouts that draw members in, it is the sisterhood that is cultivated within their commu- nities that keeps membership up. Cassie and Katie: This season of life is hard. Throw in deployments and training cycles, birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones being missed left and right, hormones, lack of sleep, and other children nagging and begging for attention. It is brutally beautiful. We know all too well the demands of managing a military lifestyle, raising children (now three each), and running a growing business. We couldn't do it without each other; or the tribes of women with whom we have nurtured so tenderly, so that when the times get tough, and we all know they do, our fierce friendships will emerge and provide armor for us and our tribe. The women have helped mentor several other Stroller Strong Moms affiliate locations along the way. It hasn't been easy. Hardly a day has gone by in the past almost six years Community photos courtesy of Cassie and Katie had us begging for more. We loved the friendships that blossomed from staying at the park after class with the other moms, seeking advice from other moms, and the security of venting frustrations of navigating this new normal; a role no one can mentally or physi- cally prepare someone else for…. The shame-free spectacle of being covered in spit-up and baby poop, nursing freely during class, and dripping with sweat from head to toe, ignited a mag- nificent fire within our hearts. It wasn't long before each of us was asked to become an instruc- tor at our respective locations. Cassie became the owner of Stroller Strong Moms, Savan- nah, and Katie the owner of Stroller Strong Moms, Fair- banks, and currently Stroller Strong Moms, Anchorage. These locations are just two of 20 (and growing) Stroller Strong Moms locations; hosting thousands of members world- wide. The passion that was once fueled by the endorphins from our workouts, affectionately known as S.L.A.M. (Sweat Like A Mother), now became our purpose to love on and lead a community of women with the highest of esprit de corps. since first stepping foot into the Stroller Strong Moms communi- ty that Cassie and Katie haven't had at least one phone call to each other. Though both come from athletic backgrounds, Katie was a cheerleader at Azusa Pacific University and Cassie ran track for the Uni- versity of Colorado, neither one has a business degree or even imagined owning their own business, especially at this stage of life. Besides working together on workouts and class plans, they also collaborate on social media and marketing strategies. Cassie and Katie: We have so much pride for the locations that we own. We don't take our leadership roles lightly or for granted. We have seen the heal- ing powers of women, dripping with sweat, coming together in a circle at the end of each class. We believe in these women. We believe these mamas can obtain seemingly unreachable goals. We hope we fill the hearts of our participants with encourage- ment, urging them to push harder, run faster, and become stronger all in an effort to pursue the loftiest of fitness goals. The smiles are genuine; the high-fives are real; and the strength that unites us during workouts, ignites the mental fortitude required to take on the daily tasks of motherhood. We openly and insistently believe in each and every person who steps foot into our fitness classes, because we who sweat fiercely be- lieved in each other first. H SEPTEMBER 2018 / MILITARYSPOUSE.COM 27

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