What does Stroller Warriors mean to me (or as my 5-year-old daughter calls it “running ladies”)?
My first experience with Stroller Warriors was in 2016 when my family was stationed in Landstuhl, Germany. My wife’s office was directly across from the base track. Whenever I visited, I saw a group of people running around the track with their strollers and thought it was cool! I was (and still am) a stay-at-home dad-- the idea of having people to run alongside who also have children looked and seemed exciting. Unfortunately, all the scheduled runs clashed with my daughter’s nap times. About 2 months before we PCS’d back to the States, a member of SW Ramstein asked if anyone wanted to join for a long weekend run. I gladly took part and was pleased to learn that a fellow Warrior (Kristen H.) lived only a couple houses down from me and my family. Although my time with SW Ramstein was short-lived, I was determined to participate in another SW chapter when my family and I moved back to the States.
We PCS’d to the Uniformed Services University on Walter Reed’s campus in Maryland. The closest Stroller Warriors chapter was located at Fort Meade, Maryland— about 30 minutes away without traffic. However, the traffic did not stop me from getting involved. As soon as we arrived, I began running with the amazing Warriors at Fort Meade. It was a group of people that I instantly befriended, as we were all military spouses with a shared love for running.
One memory of Stroller Warriors that I thoroughly enjoyed was the 2018 Patuxent River Trail half-marathon. A group of us from the Stroller Warriors Fort Meade signed up to run this challenging trail race. It was a particularly snowy year and a good part of the trail was covered in snow! Having the support of my fellow SW running family was wonderful— we met before the race and cheered for one another as we ran. The encouragement that came from having friends motivating each other during the race was incredible. I finished the race second overall, but running this half-marathon with fellow Stroller Warriors made a particularly hard course into an unforgettable memory.
Unfortunately, my time with Stroller Warriors Fort Meade went by quickly and we soon moved to Joint Base Lewis McChord. Again, I wanted to be a part of this amazing group and that is exactly what I did! After joining a new chapter, I found instant friendship and bonded with fellow Warriors over the challenges of being spouses of military members— we all experienced hurdles related to military life, but it makes a world of difference when I can talk about these challenges with my running friends.
I have been a part of SW for five years and have thoroughly enjoyed each chapter. I hope to always find a chapter to join no matter where the Army sends us. I joined SW to find friends with a common passion, but I found much more and consider each member an extension of my family.