Thursday, August 27, 2009

I had a little miscommunication this morning with my sister-in-law about what time exactly I was supposed to meet them at the park. Obviously, before leaving (early, as it turns out), I thought it prudent to leave my phone at home, causing me to miss subsequent calls from said sister-in-law trying to tell me "See you at 9:30!". But I've found a silver lining in the cloud of our misunderstanding. Since I was at the park early, I was lucky enough to see the Corp of Stroller-Exercising-Mothers**. Have you heard of this? It's a thing. A scheduled, organized thing. If you haven't personally witnessed this curiosity, you are unfortunate indeed.

Before I make fun of them, let me say this: I actually think it's fantastic. So many women have a baby and then get fat and bored, but not these gals. They all looked great, including one very preggo mama, and I think having your children involved is fun and sets a good example for them. In fact, were I in possession of a small child and an all-terrain stroller, I would have joined them. It really looked fun! But they have to know they make quite a spectacle.

There's a weird, slightly unsettling sameness about 2 dozen 20 and 30 somethings, all dressed similarly in their brightly colored spandex exercise outfits, baseball caps, and smart ponytails, with strollers, doing the same motions simultaneously. Picture this: a whole mess of strollers stand on the grass. Near them stands the woman who is obviously presiding over the session, shouting at her charges. The women are leaping and bounding-almost frolicking- across the field, they are lunge-walking back, they are walking sideways like crabs, they are shuffling backwards and trying not to bump into each other. Meanwhile, a little boy is chasing another through the sprinklers nearby, wielding a long stick, and one mother is forced to leave the festivities to discipline her charge.

Later I turned down onto the main paved path, and there they were, all gathered along the edge of the grass, jumping up and down. Then they started walking, and I can't even begin to describe what they were doing... the best approximation I can give is women's boot camp meets the Ministry of Silly Walks. The whole ensemble is very amusing. At this point I tried to pass them- they were squatting sideways while walking- but while I was in the middle of the group, they started high-kick jogging. I got caught up in the middle of the group and couldn't get out, and the woman is shouting at them to "Kick higher! Higher!" I had to bite down on my lip to keep from laughing (because I don't want to be discouraging... or get the crap beat out of me by a bunch of postpartum babes).

You know, there's power in numbers. I have been known to lunge walk and do push-ups at the park, and I always feel self-conscious. I'm fully aware that I look strange, even if it is obvious that I'm working out. But with 20 or so comrades and our kids, I can put a serious look on my face and crab-walk to my heart's content.

* This may or may not be the official motto of CoSEM.
** I totally made up this name.


Anonymous said...

ah,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha, amuse me greatly dear! And to think all those years I simply power walked with my kiddos (oh and power biked, power vaccummed, power slept....)

Melissa said...

Yes! There was something similar to that in Sugar Land at the park I used to go to. It was called Stroller Fit. I looked into it and thought about joining for a while, but then realized that I was usually finishing up my walk when they were just starting- which would throw off my whole day... blah, blah, blah. And yes, it looks rediculous, but when you have little ones, you get very accustomed to looking rediculous. In fact, rediculousness becomes the norm and being cool/trendy/easy-breezy goes right out the window. LOL BTW... Happy Birthday! :)