A note from Rachel: Here's another love letter we recently received, not penned as such, but a love letter nonetheless. It's a perfect way to bring February, a month for love, full circle.
FIT4MOM saved my life. Well that's a bit dramatic but it helped me out of a lonely place I was slowly sinking into. As a new mom, I was overjoyed at the beautiful boy I had brought into the world and overwhelmed with the love and fear I felt at the same time. I also was shocked that the world did not stop when my baby came and that family had to work and friends had to care for their own kids. So I was alone, and suffering from postpartum depression, and high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and probably other things I can't remember now. And feeling guilty for feeling anything but constant joy.
After two months I decided I had to do something. So I posted in a local blog for a mommy and me group and the owner of FIT4MOM Baltimore City offered up her Stroller Strides class as a great way to socialize and get some exercise. So I signed up! And then did not show up. I chickened out, afraid my C- section scar would burst and I would spray breast milk all over the place. I felt embarrassed explaining my fears to the owner when she followed up, but she assured me that I did not have to do anything I did not want to. So I gathered up my baby and we went. And I was so out of shape and my baby screamed the whole time and I was so embarrassed! Then an amazing thing happened... nobody judged how I was working out. The instructor held my son and made him smile while I worked out. It was an amazing, open place to just be yourself and work out at your own pace.
Eventually I got the nerve to talk to the moms after class and they did not care that my baby cried or that I was 30 pounds overweight. They just loved being around other moms. To complain or to rejoice in milestones or share secrets of the trade when they achieve a mommy accomplishment. They helped me find my old sarcastic, joking self, while being this new mom at the same time. I love these women. My son loves these classes and gets upset if we are not there.
They are my friends and this group has given me the gift of a community. And I could never have done it or pushed myself to do more without the encouragement of Rachel, the owner of the Baltimore City chapter. She is the true embodiment of a loving mom and strong woman who would never judge a soul. Thank you FIT4MOM for existing and helping me get my new life as a mother off to a great start, while helping me remember to never forget who I am as a woman! Strength in motherhood! I love my hood!