November 5, 2007 in Features

Oh, Baby!

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Photos by CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON photo

Bree Vestal, front and center, works with a stretch cord during the Movin’ Mommas class at NorthTown Mall.
(Full-size photo)

There are times you wonder, what are the babies thinking? This is one of those times, as the babies sit in their strollers and watch while their moms run up and down the stairs at NorthTown Mall, do push-ups on the benches and do squats with giant elastic bands.

What must those babies be thinking?

Well, babies, here’s the deal:

Your moms are part of Movin’ Mommas, a group fitness class in Spokane geared toward new moms and their stroller-bound babies (that’s you).

The class is designed to help moms get some exercise and meet other moms, all the while building the foundation to be good role models for their kids.

“This is something for you,” instructor Jessica Durgan says of the moms. Durgan, mother of a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old, is also a registered dietitian and certified fitness instructor.

Durgan has had a lifelong passion for athletics and knew once she had children she wanted to remain active.

Classes, which are held at NorthTown, River Park Square and outdoors in good weather, are held on “mommy time.” It’s not uncommon for participants to show up a bit late because of a last-minute baby spit-up-related outfit change. And it’s perfectly common for workouts to be suspended due to a squalling infant.

“Kids are first,” Durgan says. “They’re the priority.”

Durgan herself puts her infant in a front carrier once she starts fussing in the stroller.

Spokane resident Breann Sluder has been attending the classes with 6-month-old Jack.

“I love it,” Sluder says. “I feel stronger. You feel so good afterwards. You feel like you have energy again.”

Durgan leads the moms – some pushing their strollers, some wearing babies in front packs – in laps around the mall. Some of the half dozen or so moms at a recent class walk, others opt to jog.

The group stops to do push-ups against benches and quad-burning squats against the wall.

“How are the legs feeling, ladies?” Durgan asks. “You’ll love me later. I promise.”

Bree Vestal says she has lost some 22 pounds of baby weight thanks to the classes – even with the occasional pause to re-insert Maddox’s pacifier.

“You gonna let momma work out and not cry?” Vestal says in a sing-songy voice to her two-month-old baby.

She has been taking Durgan’s classes several times a week.

“It’s hard to get up in the morning, but it’s my social time, too,” Vestal says.

At the end of the hour-long class, the moms take to yoga mats for stretching. By the end, most of the moms are dotted with beads of sweat, drinking from water bottles perched on the strollers.

The babies? Many of them are snoozing in their strollers.


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