In 2015 after 13 months apart due to a deployment my family was reunited and moved to Hurlburt Field, Florida. Not long after arriving I met a group of mothers at the park working out, one of them invited me to come and check out this new group that was starting soon, Stroller Warriors®. At first, I was hesitant to go as I’d never considered myself a runner. I liked to workout, did gymnastics, played team sports in Australia growing up and even completed a few sprint triathlons but I still never said I was a runner. With encouragement from my husband (who is the runner) I went to the inaugural workout and I never looked back. Not long after that I was given the wonderful opportunity of being a coordinator for the chapter a position I held for almost 2 years. As life changed, I was then a part of Stroller Warriors® Team Elsewhere chapter.
Then we got the news that we were headed to desert to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Of course the first thing I did was to see if there was a Stroller Warriors chapter. Sadly I found there wasn’t. After multiple friends asked when I would be starting a chapter when I moved, I started to look into it. Upon arriving to Luke I found that this in fact was a great place to start a chapter and so Stroller Warriors® Luke begins.
Our inaugural workout was held on October 11, 2018 and we had a fantastic turnout. The temperatures in Arizona had finally cooled down and everyone was ready to get back outside again. From there the word got out and the chapter continued to grow. On base we had a ½ mile track that was right next to a brand new park which was a perfect meeting point to start our runs and finish with a workout while the kids played. Unfortunately the track was just compacted dirt so if there had been any rain then we were unable to use it. After many discussions and talking to the right people we arrived one morning to see the track was being paved!!! We’d done it, we’d been seen, we’d been noticed and the base leadership was helping us and the rest of the community out. We and others could now use the track year round!
Secondly, we were generously gifted a double BOB stroller which we were able to give away in the Gift of BOB event. We had many deserving members nominated and a very grateful winner too.
Although COVID stopped us in our tracks and put a hold on in person workouts that hasn’t stops us from keeping active and still connecting online with each other. We have been doing monthly challenges and with our 2 year Runniversary coming up we will be doing a virtual celebration run together.
A few months ago I was approached by one of our members who has been there since our inaugural workout and she told me that had it not been for SW Luke she would never have become a runner or met so people as she has. She would still be a shy, new military spouse, first time Mom (but has 2 children now) and never come out of her shell. SW and all its members did that for her. In that moment I realized that I succeeded in what SW is all about and am so happy I decided to start this chapter.
It’s been a busy, fun, goal reaching 2 years for SW Luke! Here is to many more. Keep it up Warriors. You never know who out there you may be inspiring. You inspire me every day!