Meet Erin… May of the Month

Hello SLAM family! My name is Erin Hennessey and I have been a member of Stroller Strong Moms-Monterey since February 2016. I am a mom to Emma (2yo) and James (5 months) and my partner in life and husband is Jay. I am originally from a suburb just outside of Chicago where I was born and raised.

I come from a family of four girls, and growing up, we were all very active. I played sports year round and have fond memories of spending my summers outdoors. Although I was active, I struggled with having a healthy body image my whole life. It started as a young child and stayed with me into adulthood.

I pursued my passion for hair and went to cosmetology school soon after graduating high school. For nearly a decade, I worked hard and spent a lot of time focusing on my clients. This left little down time for myself and no energy to be active. I met my future husband just months after starting my own business. Jay is a Marine who was stationed at Great Lakes during this time. I knew my adventures in life were just beginning. Little did I know, the military lifestyle would take some adjusting. We had our first orders to Camp Pendleton a few months after our wedding. I struggled with saying goodbye to the only things I had known, my family and friends, and set off to begin the next chapter in life.

 My first year in a new environment was not as easy as I imagined it would be. I did not make friends nor find a new job.  I decided to try something different, and I signed up for a two week backpacking course through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). This experience was life changing for me and truly helped me learn about myself. The first night was spent lost in the middle of the wilderness where I will never forget having to hang our food from a tree with hopes that it would not attract bears. Tolerance for adversity was the biggest lesson I could take away. Fortunately the next two weeks were filled with many amazing memories and mountains were climbed, literally! It was here I learned from a mentor, that we are all good enough the way we are. My strive for perfection was holding me back with fear of trying new things. I left this course feeling ecstatic and like I could accomplish anything.

We had our first child, Emma, the following summer. Being so far away from family and friends, and learning how to take care of a colicky baby, I fell into postpartum depression. I did not know how to put myself out there and ask for help. Fast forward 9 months and a move to Monterey, I found exactly what I needed. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, because I arrived to my new home with amazing neighbors to welcome us. The first thing I learned about was Stroller Strong Moms. Many of our new friends were fellow SLAM-ers. I immediately fell in love with the workouts and the beautiful location along the ocean. This community of moms was instrumental in helping me overcome my struggles.
Soon after our arrival, we learned we were expecting baby number two. Although I was side lined during the second half of my pregnancy, I was excited to return to SLAM. I was able to join the BeStrong Challenge, which was crucial in a positive postpartum experience. I didn’t do it to lose weight, but to focus on my mental health and to gain strength. The weight loss was a bonus. My favorite mantra I took with me during this challenge was “She believed she could, so she did!” This helped me stay motivated along with support from an amazing group of women and two incredible instructors. I love setting an example for our daughter who is following in my footsteps. I am a more patient mom and better wife for taking this time for myself. Whether it’s getting through a hard slam session or a local race, these women are always here to encourage each other. I could not ask for a better group to be a part of!

To meet another stroller strong mama who climbed out of postpartum depression with the help of SLAM click here…

Are you a mama who has struggled with postpartum depression? Please share your story in comments!