Instructor Molly Vaughn - I met Shelley the summer before our senior year in high school; however, we didn't go to the same high school or college so our connection was continued by good old Facebook. When I came back to the area and started coming to class, Shelley was exactly as I had remembered her - warm, welcoming, makes you feel included and easily connects you with others. When she isn't juggling her two precious girls, Shelley is chatting up the new mom at class to make sure that mom knows she has found her village or chatting up the mom with a stroller not attending class but who is eyeing us from afar. Shelley understands and appreciates the love, support and camaraderie that Stroller Strides provides and wants all mommies to have access to such a community. So many moms I have met have told me that they found Stroller Strides because Shelley told them to come try it out! Our village is lucky to have such an example of genuine care for other mommies to have a much needed support system (and fitness!)
Hi! My name is Shelley Long and I’ve been attending Stroller Strides classes for the past almost 3 years (yes, before I was even a mom!). I was the awkward girl running without a stroller in my newfound free time after switching to a part time job before my oldest daughter was born. I knew after that very first class at the Field House when 3 different moms offered to let me put my water bottle and mat in their stroller (and also that Denise told me “I didn’t even look pregnant! J), that going to class that day was going to end up being a very good decision. Little did I know just how good; that it would keep my accountable to my health goals, that my babies would meet their very first baby friends, and that I would end up making lifelong friends over the extremely relatable bond of motherhood.
Doug and I got married in June 2012 after meeting a few years earlier when he was randomly placed on the kickball team that I organized. After a few failed attempts to set up “this super nice guy from my kickball team” with some of my friends, I finally agreed to go on a date with him (I mentioned this awkward thing about myself already, right?J). Turned out to be another great decision as we’re loving life with our two little girls – Hallie (2.5) and Maisie (9 months). We live in Larkspur and love taking walks around our neighborhood and to Mt. Trashmore. In the summer, we spend a lot of time on the Shore drive beaches, my old stomping grounds.
My mom told me before I had kids that she just loved every stage of our growing up – that one would be her favorite and then the next would be even more fun. I thought there was no way – that there had to be some stages that were not any fun. I am finding her words to be so true now that I have a little bit of experience under my belt. Sure, some of the days are rough and I count down until wineti – I mean, bedtime;), but with every challenge in a certain stage comes new skills, actions, words, intellect, and curiosity that I am just constantly awed by. My 2 year old asked me today “what does love mean?” Those are the kinds of experiences I don’t have in my part time job as a CPA and that make me so happy to be able to spend most of my time watching these girls learn about the world. If you’re a brand new mom, forget the advice that well-meaning older ladies love to give – “enjoy every single moment.” Because you can’t, you just can’t. But you can pick out some really good ones each day and try to remember them as well as you canJ
I am incredibly thankful for Stroller Strides and the village that it has shared with me. Motherhood would be not nearly as exciting, sane or healthy without you all. So thank you for welcoming me in and I’ll continue to pay it forward!