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Today for the Stronger U Member Spotlight we’re going a slightly different route. Where we normally take our time to highlight a specific member and the journey that they’ve gone on to reach their goals, we certainly aren’t living in a normal time. We’re all doing the best we can to manage that in our own way, but there’s a certain group of Stronger U Members that deserve extra special recognition.

Today we’re highlighting the parents of Stronger U.

Now, before we go any further, I have to acknowledge that I’m not a parent. The only parenting experience I have is with my own two parents, who I am deeply thankful for and am currently staying with. I can’t speak from experience about the rewards of being a parent. Just like I can’t speak to the challenge of managing your time, family, and priorities that every parent within the world of Stronger U is going through right now. 

What I can speak to though is this: 

I’ve been with Stronger U for two and a half years. In that time I’ve seen this company grow and change. I’ve seen story after incredible story of members who have changed their lives and accomplished more than they ever thought possible. All along the way, I’ve always been in awe of how incredible the people of Stronger U are to each other. This community has always been inclusive, supportive, and loving. It’s no small thing to say that our members have led us, the coaches and employees, in setting that example. 

But over the past two months, the support, love, and encouragement that you, the members of Stronger U, have shown one another, has reached a level I’m not sure any of us ever thought possible. That’s especially true when talking about the support that the parents of Stronger U have shown one another.

Since COVID-19 brought widespread shutdowns, there’s hardly been a day that’s passed that a parent hasn’t posted in the Stronger U Community to talk about the challenges that come with being a parent in the time of Coronavirus. Schools are shut down. Kids are at home. Graduations are canceled. Each and every family has been impacted in some way or another, and all of our families are trying to figure out how to navigate the complicated mix of emotions this has brought. 

For most people, commutes have become a thing of the past, much like going into an office. This obviously brings along a challenge in managing time and energy at home. And that’s not even considering the added element that SU’ers know firsthand: the time and effort that goes into taking care of your food and fitness goals.

All of this coalescing together can understandably leave a parent feeling frazzled, frustrated, and unsure of how they’re going to manage this new normal. Amidst the chaos, it can be easy to decide to throw in the towel on a given goal. 

But so many of you have been there to show that you don’t have to throw in the towel just because of the newfound challenges to your time and energy. There’s another way: adjusting what is right for you right now.

Much like each and every person’s journey with Stronger U is different, each and every family is different. Every family comes with its own rituals and family habits. Each family has their own way of doing things like eating dinner together or killing time on a random Wednesday night when there’s nowhere else to go. Because of these differences, it can feel a little overwhelming to try and think of creative ways for a parent to stay on track with whatever food or fitness goals they might have at this moment in time. 

That’s where the parents of Stronger U have come to the rescue.

We’ve seen parents talk about the ways that they’ve shifted their definition of success at this moment in time when aiming to go 0-0-0 with your macros might not be reasonable. Instead, maybe just aiming for a protein and calorie goal is better for some people. Whereas for others, maybe it’s consistently prepping food for you and the family. And still, for others, it’s setting basic movement goals to hit on a daily basis. No matter what that new definition of success looks like for you individually, we have been fortunate enough to see parents sharing their new version of success with one another and inviting other parents to join them in taking care of themselves and their families, whatever that might mean at this point in time.

The true colors of Stronger U.

I think during challenging and unknown times many of us show our true colors. That doesn’t necessarily manifest in how dedicated to a given fitness or nutrition goal we are, but in the way that we treat one another. And that is where the parents of Stronger U have shone brightest. 

Inside the Stronger U Community, we’ve seen parents ask for advice on how to help their young children be more mindful of the things that they eat. What they’ve been met with have been tips, tricks, and advice that is as wise as it is compassionate. There were parents sharing takeaways from their own experiences with their own children and there were soon-to-be parents who were openly talking about the fact that those posts would be things they’ll refer back to in the future. 

Related to that, there’s been plenty of talk about how to handle the temptations of being at home and surrounded by fun snack foods more than ever. Where an office might have been a place in the past to escape fruit snacks and chips, those same foods are now found no matter where a parent turns. And this is where parents have been there to remind each other of simple strategies for success, like the magic of planning a snack into their day. 

We’ve seen parents start threads asking for tips on how to manage their time now that they’re working stressful jobs at home while also taking care of their children. Instead of callous advice like “If you want it bad enough you’ll make it happen” there’s been a resounding call to arms from parents all across the country and the world, sharing their own work-from-home-while-raising-children experiences. Sharing the things that have worked for them like getting stricter about scheduling and communicating that schedule to the family, creating a separate home office environment. And there have also been warnings about tips that parents admitted sounded great in theory, but didn’t quite work so well in practice.

There have also been plenty of parents who have involved their kids in this process. There have been children who were inspired by their parents using a Stronger U Habit Tracker that wanted to use their own. There have been families going on nightly walks together. There’s been family-friendly workouts to get everyone moving. And there have been family baking projects, like these cookies that SU Member Stephanie Bell and her son made.

(For those wondering at home: I have it on good authority that these cookies were planned into Stephanie’s day.)

These examples of members being there for one another is what this community is all about. 

Now, more than ever, there’s a lot of talk about the fact that we’re all in this together. That nobody goes it alone. But sometimes it’s hard to actually feel that, especially when most of our interaction is now taking place online. It’s easy to feel alone, isolated, and unsure if you’re doing anything right at all. And yet the parents of Stronger U have been there to show one another that, in fact, they’re not alone. Far from it. Everyone might be finding their own way to navigate a new and unknown challenge, but the parents of Stronger U aren’t left to figure that all out on their own. They’ve got an entire community to lean on and turn to for support. 

So to you, the parents of Stronger U, let us all take a moment to acknowledge all of you. There are many of us here at Stroger U that can’t understand what your life looks like right now, and there are plenty of members who intimately understand exactly what is going on. This group and company is one built on love, care, and support. And never has that been more evident than right now, when we all need it more than ever. 

Thank you for leading us all by example. Thank you for showing up for one another when it’s needed most. And thank you for being a part of this community. 

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