What many of you might not know about me is that I battled post partum depression after the birth of my son, Emanuel in 2009. My husband deployed while I was 6 months pregnant and did not return until E was 7 months old. I thought things would get better once he got back, but the reintegration period was very difficult and I struggled with motherhood and being an Army wife.
Then one day I stumbled upon an online ad for Stroller Strides. I submitted my registration form online and immediately Joni responded with an email. They were starting a new class on Schofield Barracks and I attended my first class there in April of 2010.
I was the last runner and huffed and puffed my way through those first classes. I was in awe of these women flying by me with their double strollers. They were all very inspiring and I decided then and there that I would make a change in my life. That summer I was encouraged by Michaela (an instructor) to run a 5K. Two years later, I have run 26 races in Hawaii from 5K to full marathon and everything in between. So suffice to say, finding SS completely changed my Hawaii experience for the better.
Living on Oahu has been such a unique opportunity for me as a military spouse. I have been able to meet so many other wives from different branches and have learned so much from all of you. I have seen the support you give each other whether your spouses are gone for one week or one year and shared in the joy of welcoming them home. I consider myself lucky to have been given an opportunity to work with all of you. Day after day, week after week, pregnant, spouse deployed, getting ready to PCS or sometimes all three- you guys are out there and you are giving 100% despite the extreme stress that I know you are under. I am so proud of each and every one of you and have seen you change right before my eyes from your first class. Emanuel will miss everyone very much and are both thankful for the friendships we have made here. Aloha and Mahalo for everything that you and Stroller Strides has given us.