To know Erica Spear is to love her. She's a motivating, loving, empathetic instructor, coach and friend.
When we found out she'd be moving to Seattle by the end of the year for her husband's job, we were certainly sad. But we were also insanely happy for the time that we were able to spend with her.
We've all learned a lot from Erica, but the feeling is mutual. So, we asked her to describe what this Village means to her, and to share a few life lessons she's learned from us.
Here's what she said. From the looks of it, we'll be on the West Coast right along with her.
Oh, this Village. We are so obviously more than a group of women who work out together. But it is hard for me to find the right term to describe us.
Here's my best shot. We are comrades in arms, stronger together. We are one loving, striving, beating pulse that pulls each other through each day. To sum up on paper the lessons you've taught me in 2+ years is an impossible task. But here are some that come to mind.
1) Sisterhood in Motherhood is the understatement of the century.
Coming to Stroller Strides when Dylan was six weeks old was life changing. As a new mom, I was scared, lonely, vulnerable, and not sure if I'd pee my pants (as many of you know, that last part has NOT really changed ).
While I knew I'd like working out, I had no idea I'd fall in love with You. You ladies scooped me up, made me laugh, and showed me strength. Alongside you, I have learned what it means to be a mom through your examples and wisdom. We've also learned together through missteps and exploration. Nowhere else could I do that without judgment. Nowhere else could I show up with sore boobs and a fussy kid, and be met and leave with joy.
You've shown me what it means to ask for help, provide confident counsel, and embrace Mom Life (even with its many imperfections). I had no idea how bad I needed You, my sisters, but I am forever grateful that you showed up.
2) If I had to bring one thing to a desert island, it would be our Facebook group. Seriously. You ladies KNOW. IT. ALL.
From teething remedies to turkey recipes; from vasectomies to vulnerabilities; there is nothing that this crew can't help with. Together we've jumped a car battery, mended busted strollers, and diagnosed rashes. We can solve everything!
But--most importantly--I've learned that this group knows how to show up for each other. We've provided each other with meals, rocked each other's babies, and shouldered each other's sadness during tough times.
There is nothing better in this world than being "known" and understood. You ladies KNOW me. You know my struggle, my joy, my victories, my challenges.
So thank you for knowing it all, and mostly, for knowing me.
3) The Village has roots. Deep ones.
As I pack up my house and head west, there is nothing that can dislodge this group from my heart. Coming together in this vulnerable, tender, magic time of motherhood means we go deep. We are deep in relationships, deep in sharing, deep in love. This depth carries me through my upcoming personal changes, because I know that my heart will always, always have a space filled with you all.
Thank you for setting up shop inside of my heart and soul and propelling me with your grace, your wisdom, your laughter and your love. It fills me up more than you know.
Seattle isn't that far, I promise. The beauty of the Internet and my deep bond with this group makes it even closer.
While I may start taking FIT4MOM classes with another franchise, know that a big piece of me & Dylan will always be singing Popcorn and doing Burpees with you.
Because of you, dear friends, I've leapt into motherhood with joy, love and laughter. You've given me the best gift I've ever received--two years of FUN, strength and support. I love you, and am forever changed from knowing you.