The Wellness Spotlight Series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook Live series. Below is an excerpt of Erin’s feature.
Erin is an Army spouse, mother of two, and Stroller Strong Moms Instructor. Erin loves running with friends, sweating with her family and SLAM fam, and trying new recipes. She’s a certified group fitness instructor, run coach, CrossFit trainer, and certified in Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE.
I met my husband in high school but we were just friends. We got married in 2010 when he came home for his R&R during a ten-month deployment. I was still in college and it wasn’t until I graduated a year and a half later that I joined him at Fort Benning and truly understood what it meant to be a military spouse. We have moved four times since then and I think I would struggle NOT being a military spouse now. There is nothing like the community in the military. These are the friends who step in when your spouse is not around. My strongest relationships are with the women I have met on this crazy, military life adventure.
IF YOU ARE A HEALTH OR WELLNESS EXPERT, TELL US ABOUT IT AND HOW IT HAS IMPACTED YOUR WELLNESS JOURNEY.
Growing up I was a competitive gymnast and I still love to do handstands. My athleticism changed after I had kids. I became a runner because I could take my kids with me in their stroller. I joined a stroller fitness group at five weeks postpartum and shortly thereafter found myself in the best shape of my life. I started instructing with SLAM in 2016 and have continued to educate myself throughout my coaching journey the last four years. I love that my job encourages me to keep learning in the ever-changing field of exercise and that I get to spend my mornings with women who want to become stronger, physically and mentally. The community aspect is what sets SLAM apart for me. I show up on days I don’t want to leave my couch and push myself because the mom next to me is crushing it . . . that’s why SLAM works!
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY EXTREME LOWS OR HIGHS SINCE BECOMING A MILITARY SPOUSE, WHEN YOUR HEALTH (MENTAL AND/OR PHYSICAL) SUFFERED THE MOST?
We moved to Fairbanks, Alaska with a 15-month-old in 2014. That was by far the hardest season we experienced as a family and we have been through many deployments. Being that far removed from family, living in extreme cold temperatures and darkness, with a toddler, took a toll on my wellness. My saving grace was a dear friend from my SLAM community who moved to Alaska at the same time and forced me out of the house every day. I have always loved being active outdoors with my kids and I had to accept that it wouldn’t always look the same. Racing a 5k while pushing a stroller in two degree weather was not something I ever thought I’d do. I learned to be content with where I was and to stop wanting and waiting for what was next. Enjoy where you are and the adventure you are on!
I feel like I have had a lot of highs in my health and wellness journey. Being state champion on the balance beam in high school, running faster postpartum than I ever did before kids, training and completing two marathons, running across Georgia four times and loving my daily workouts are the most memorable highs. I also believe that it is okay to not always be at my highest high. Life’s demands change and as long as I am consistently working up a sweat, running a couple of days a week, cooking at home, and getting to my weekly Bible study, I feel physically and mentally on top of my life.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORM OF SELF-CARE?
My favorite form of self care is meeting a friend for a run that ends with a coffee date.
WHAT IS ONE PERSONAL HABIT THAT CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I work up a sweat at least six days a week. That looks different depending on the week or season of life I am in. Some days, that is a crushing twelve-minute workout in my garage while some days it is an hour-plus long run. You don’t need a lot of time to break a sweat!
IF YOU COULD SHARE A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
SLAM! If you couldn’t tell yet, Stroller Strong Moms has changed my life. It has not only gotten me in the best shape of my life, it has gotten me out of the house during many difficult seasons of life with little kids and still gets me out for an awesome sweat most days. Each SLAM is truly a tribe of moms who do life with you. It is not just a freaking awesome workout, it is a community of your people. Find your tribe and love them hard, whomever they may be.
IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE BOOK AND/OR PODCAST TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I really enjoy listening to Pursuing Health with Julie Foucher. It is a podcast geared toward CrossFit but I love that they discuss such a wide array of topics encouraging a healthy lifestyle. At the end of every podcast, she asks her guests three questions and every time I listen, I reflect on what my answers would be. It reminds me a lot of the wellness questions you ask here. Just another resource for people eager to live their best lives.
My husband and I have been married for almost ten years! We have a six-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son who have always loved riding in their BOB stroller which is great since I have coached stroller fitness classes for the last four years. I have been an ACE certified group fitness instructor since 2016. Currently, I am also an RRCA certified run coach, a CrossFit level 1 trainer and I hold a Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Certificate. I love running with friends, sweating with my family and SLAM fam, trying new recipes and walking on my hands!