By Gwen Rollings
Many retired folks might remember the Stroll. The Stroll of the 50s was a group dance that was done in two lines, with boys on one side and girls on the other. The people in the lines would wait for their turn to stroll down the middle.
Fast forward 70 years. Dances and family dynamics have drastically changed. In the 50s, the proportion of working moms in the U.S. was 33 percent.
According to FlexJobs, today, almost 70 percent of all mothers with children under 18 years of age participate in the labor force in the United States. That includes 57 percent of mothers with infants, 64 percent of mothers with children under 6 years old and 75 percent of mothers with children 6 to 17 years old.
The 30 percent who stay home are encountering problems those from 70 years ago and more did not: the isolation and diminished social life of moms who choose to stay home. However, some things that have not changed for women are their creativity and determination in solving problems.
Tess Partridge, a medical school applicant, chemistry lab researcher and accomplished athlete, decided to be a stay-at-home mom. After having her baby, Partridge found getting out of the house without her baby difficult.
That’s when the idea hit her. With her athletic background, schooling and love of fitness, Partridge started her own stroller-based workout. On June 1, 2005, she hosted her first iStroll class.
iStroll is the ultimate 60-minute, book camp-type stroller workout made by athletes for parents. iStroll incorporates running, body weight, dumbbells, resistance bands and a stroller. It gives moms and dads a full body workout while keeping babies involved. It is also a place to meet other parents with similar interests.
Eighteen months ago, Amada Aufiero became the owner of iStroll Brandon. Like Partridge, Aufiero is accomplished professionally with an MBA, anticipating pursuing a promising career. However, becoming a mom changed those plans. Also like Partridge, she wanted to remain physically healthy and participate in a community of moms who were health conscious and wanted social interaction.
Aufiero said, “Everyone in iStroll is so kind and empathetic. We are all in this together and become each other’s best friends.”
She encourages moms, dads and even those without children to join. The first class is free with different packages available. Meetings are held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday at BayCare HealthHub and Tuesday and Thursday at Bloomingdale East Park.