Amy is Stroller Strong Moms Columbia Member of the Month! Amy has been a constant motivator/supporter to other mamas, impressed us with all her accomplishments, and a SLAMer that has been crushing the SLAM hammer since the beginning. In our 2 months of being open Amy ran her first 5k, her first 10k (at an awesome pace!!!!) and is on her way to completing a 10 mile race and half marathon. She has also impressed us beyond belief on her motivation, her enthusiasm, and how she shows up for support to every SLAM mama that joins us. Stroller Strong Moms Columbia is SO lucky to have Amy and we love her SO much.

Hi SLAM mamas! I’m Amy Jackson and I’m part of the wonderful SLAM community in Columbia, SC! SLAM was love at first sight for me. My journey started on opening day this past October with Bridget and the other amazing Columbia mamas. I just love this group of moms that comes together to support one another, not only in their fitness goals, but in the everyday trials that come with motherhood.

Rewind to seven years ago and you would find me working toward my degree in Exercise Science. I was also working as a personal trainer. I fell in love with another (totally dreamy!) trainer who is now my husband of almost 6 years! While I was working on my degree, he was finishing pre-requisite courses for medical school. Life felt as if it were falling into place and everything was perfect. However, the same year I met my husband, Josh, I was also diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that took away my ability to exercise, work as a trainer, and continue in my classes. Life suddenly felt upside down, and the next several years were a rollercoaster of highs and lows.

The highs were really high! I married my dream guy and he was accepted to medical school in Alabama shortly after. We welcomed our first baby into the world-a high spirited, precious girl we named Caroline, who is now turning 3 in January (excuse me while I go cry now). We found out we were expecting a second baby, a boy! Baby Aedan is now 15mos and is an adorable walking tornado. Then, Josh graduated medical school and began his four year residency in Psychiatry here in Columbia!

While we had so many highs and blessings, the lows still felt pretty low. I continued to battle my illness and was tried on many medications. I struggled with the isolation it brought and the loss of my ability to exercise and work toward my career as a trainer. When we moved to Columbia, I left behind some of the best friends I’ve ever made, and even though I was never alone with 2 kids under 2, life as a mom felt so lonely! Life was just hard.

Fast forward to August of this year and for the first time in almost 7 years, I went medication free and was healthier than I’ve been in a long time. I heard about the grand opening of “Stroller Strong Moms Columbia” the following month and I LOVED the whole concept of it. I was nervous to start working out again because I was finally healthy (exercise previously made my illness worse), but thanks to Josh’s encouragement I gave it a try! When I thought I’d never get back to working out again, SLAM came into my life and has helped me achieve goals I never thought I could attain! I completed my first 10k on December 16 thanks to the support of Bridget, the other Columbia mamas, and my amazing husband! It’s amazing looking back at how far I’ve come since our first day just 2.5 months ago! I don’t think I ever told Bridget this, but after my first stroller class, I thought I was going to throw up, pass out, or maybe both! But I was already hooked.  Getting to be around other moms who get it, and finally doing something for ME that I love, combined with Bridget’s contagious energy kept me coming back for as many classes as I could attend! Stroller Strong Moms has truly been a gift and blessing in my life, and because of this I tell EVERY mom I meet to join us! Every mom should have this kind of inspiration and support around her. It doesn’t just affect your fitness. It bleeds into every part of your life! Thanks Bridget for allowing me to be the Columbia “SLAMer” of the month! My journey with all of you has just begun and I can’t wait to see where it leads. Love to all of you mamas! Keep sweating like a mother!