By: Meredith Grzybowski | Stroller Warriors Okinawa
Stroller Warriors Running Club® is a free, global running club for military spouses and their families and was featured in the Military Times Homefront section on April 18, 2016. The Stroller Warriors mission is to help military families around the world live happier, healthier lives through fitness, friendship, leadership, goal-setting, networking, fundraising and community service. The club was first established at Camp Lejeune, NC in 2010 by Stephanie Geraghty, Military Spouse Magazine and AFI’s 2012 Marine Corps Spouse of the Year.
“Since our first workout we’ve grown by the thousands and we have added numerous new chapters around the world,” Geraghty said. “Training and running races provide a positive source of focus and accomplishment, plus an effective outlet to balance the challenges military life presents. I believe that many problems can be solved and friendships can be nurtured just by heading out the door on a run.”
When they are not running, Stroller Warriors members are focused on their community outreach programs. These Warriors band together to support their communities in many ways, including meal trains, collecting household and clothing items for communities affected by natural disasters, and volunteering at local races. In addition, they support many charities, such as the Semper Fi Fund, Soles for Souls, and the Fisher House.
The local club, Stroller Warriors Okinawa, is one of 31 chapters around the world. Their aim is to provide motivation, camaraderie, and support for military spouses and their families throughout all the Camps and Bases in Okinawa. Specifically, Stroller Warriors Okinawa has provided support to the local community and strengthened the relationship with their host nations through their involvement with the Kadena Special Olympics, providing race support for the Naha and Okinawa City marathons and community outreach programs such as volunteering at a local child center to educate local children on American traditions and holidays.
They have also provided support volunteering at numerous base races and events. Stroller Warriors Okinawa meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday at various locations with nearby playgrounds throughout the island. This allows the members to see many different areas of the island and provides convenient locations to many members throughout the week.
A typical Stroller Warrior workout consists of a planned run, followed by ground work exercises while the children play and socialize. Stroller Warriors does not demand specific running paces or standards. Members must have goals of running, but all ability levels are invited to join.
Children are not required and many members attend workouts without a stroller.
They also have an annual Couch to Crazy running series which starts in the fall (Sept. 26) with a Couch to 5K program for all levels of runners. It continues on to a 10K program and finishes in the spring with a half marathon.
It’s a wonderful program for anyone new to running, coming off a break, returning after an injury or recovering from pregnancy and childbirth. It’s open to everyone and offers organized workouts, accountability and camaraderie, mentorship and resources and guidance from seasoned runners.
“We promote a positive, comfortable environment for men or women of all ability levels to run together, beginners to marathoners,” Geraghty said. “Our membership has provided countless testimonials that this club is one of the most positive organizations they have ever been a part of. We are all equally valued as a part of this incredible team.”
-Original post in Stars and Stripes Okinawa