Stroller Boot Camp

It’s late morning on a sunny Tuesday in June. I’m perched comfortably on a stone ledge on Murray Street and River Terrace, looking out over the Hudson River and preparing to workout. I feel fortunate to be outdoors and active on such a beautiful day. Most women I know are already cooped up in their cubicles and most likely wearing their warmest winter sweater in the overactive air conditioning. Lucky for them they live in New York City where there’s always an option to workout anytime, day or night: Gyms stay open late, boot camps start at 5 a.m., and some companies even have exercise facilities within their offices. It’s safe to say that the fitness industry has adjusted to the busy lifestyle of New York women.

Other women dressed like me, in workout clothes, begin to gather at the edge of Rockefeller Park; unlike me, they’re all pushing strollers. Joshua Margolis (above), the founder of Mind Over Matter Health & Fitness and the instructor of this “Stroller Boot Camp,” arrives by bike. He’s young and sporty with an extremely welcoming demeanor. Because he clearly has a love for both boot camps and babies, I assume he must have children, but I soon find out that he doesn’t. A while back, one of his favorite clients got pregnant, and he decided it was time to learn everything out there about prenatal and postpartum fitness. Since then he has become a certified expert in the area, offering various training options for New York City mothers.

He tells a couple of the moms who are still feeding their babies to hang back and finish up while the rest of the group starts running. He makes sure to tell them where the first pause will be so they can catch up. The youngest baby in the group is a beautiful ten-week-old girl. Her mom is running along with the other moms, keeping up just fine. The rest of the workout involves jogging, lunges, squats, push-ups, and abdominal exercises. Everyone works at her own pace because everyone is at different fitness levels. Joshua keeps the environment laid back and relaxed so that the women don’t feel uncomfortable when they stop to tend to their babies. At one point he even takes a bottle and starts feeding one himself so that the mother’s workout doesn’t get interrupted. If you prefer to hold your baby, he has a modified workout for you, adding the baby’s weight to the already tough training. Although he keeps the tone of the boot camp casual, the workout is not. I was sweating like crazy even without the extra ten pounds of baby to hold or to push while running. These impressive moms were probably exercising on four hours of sleep, too, so what was my excuse? While they were nursing, I was nursing one too many glasses of wine….

All of the moms said how thankful they are for stroller boot camp because it’s the only time they have to work out. Going to the gym is next to impossible for many of them. The boot camp allows them to take care of their babies and themselves, while simultaneously spending much-needed time outside. When I’m ready to trade in a bottle of wine for a milk bottle, I’ll be back.

About the author: Rebecca Sadek (left) is a Tribeca-based health and wellness coach (eatrightnyc.com) who received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She believes that being healthy is not about restraint or isolation and works with her clients to help them find a balance that works for them and their lifestyle.

Recent articles by Rebecca Sadek:
• Butt Kicks and Suicides, All Before Sunrise
• The Tracy Anderson Way
• Suspension Training at Alycea Ungaro’s Real Pilates
• SoulCycle’s Cycle-Yoga Class

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