When I found out my family would be PCSing to Okinawa, Japan I was both excited and scared. I had always wanted to live outside of the United States. I also loved my life in North Carolina and didn’t feel motivated to leave. I had a great house on base, great neighbors, an amazing running club and great friends. I wanted to move, but I didn't want to move. The perfect option would have been to take my whole community to Japan with me but I didn't see that happening any time soon.
One run while pondering my life and what it would become I realized three important things: 1. I am a military wife (and a proud one at that!) 2. I cannot change the fact that my husband needs to move (but I can change my attitude about it) and 3. While I couldn’t take my friends with me I could potentially take the things that made my life so full. At the time the things most important to me were the friends I had made through Stroller Warriors and the neighborhood Coffee group.
At the time I was pregnant with my second child and first son, Asher. We packed up everything and sent it off to storage or to Japan and then moved to Virginia Beach for three and a half months. My husband, my daughter and I lived in a hotel while my husband went to school. When I was 34 weeks pregnant we PCSd to Okinawa, Japan.
When I arrived I knew without a doubt that I wanted to start Stroller Warriors and a Coffee group. I talked regularly with Stephanie about it and she always told me I needed to give birth and get settled first which I completely agreed with.
She sent me an email with all of the files I needed and we talked on the phone and over Skype so she could mentor me and help me. With Stephanie’s guidance and files I created business cards, flyers and built the Facebook page to be in line with the other two Stroller Warrior chapters already in existence.
I was so pumped. The energy you get from a group of spouses all running together is always amazing. Over the years of Coordinating Stroller Warriors Okinawa I met so many amazing people, learned so many amazing things and have become a better and stronger version of me because of them. It’s so great to have a positive environment where we all motivate and encourage one another. I love my Stroller Warriors life and wouldn’t change it for the world! I am so thankful to Stephanie for allowing me to take her dream and make it a reality at another base. Stroller Warriors Okinawa really did help me to make the most of my tour in Japan.
One of my favorite things about being a Stroller Warrior Coordinator is that I get to see the ripple effect first hand that this club starts. It begins with spouses joining together for fitness and friends but it becomes so much more. Families become fitter as a result of Stroller Warriors, new goals are reached, confidence develops, and so much more. It starts with one person but then moves to their immediate family, their extended family and also their friends. The way of life we live both in fitness and in taking care of one another like a village impacts the lives of others in a deeper way than I can describe. So if you've ever considered becoming a Stroller Warriors Coordinator, know that the work can be hard, but the rewards are immeasurable!
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