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October Mama of the Month
Hey mamas! I’m Cathy, mom to 15-month-old, Lilly, and wife to my high school sweetheart, Ryan. We also have two 3-year-old fur babies, Maui, an American Eskimo, and Jasmine, a black lab, who are currently in Florida with my family so I can keep my sanity during my husband's deployment. Like most people here, we were brought to Norfolk by the Navy almost 4 years ago and will be moving to Charleston in January for Ryan’s long awaited shore duty! 
Some fun facts you may not know about me:
  • I was born in Hayse, United Kingdom, a small city outside of London and moved to Florida when I was 5. 
  • I skipped kindergarten in the U.S. when I moved here, which led me to always be the youngest person in my grade growing up. I was just barely 17 when I graduated high school! 
  • My grandma, mom, and I all ended up marrying men who became electricians in the navy! 
  • Disney world is my favorite place to vacation. My husband proposed there, we found out we were pregnant while on vacation there, and I’ve been at least once a year since I’ve been in the U.S.!
  • I met my husband when I was in the 7th grade, and he was in 8th grade. We officially started dating a few years later. 
  • I played steel drums in high school, and used to travel to Virginia Beach from Florida every year to compete with my school!
  • I’m obsessed with broadways musicals, and can quote most of them word for word. Car rides usually consist of musical karaoke in our household!  
  • I’ve had 7 different jobs since I was 15 - I have worked retail, food service, and even sold cars for 6 months at a Kia dealership! 
  • I’m one of the younger moms in FIT4MOM Norfolk - I just turned 22 this year! 

I found out about FIT4MOM last September while sitting at Starbucks in Target and a random stranger sparked up a conversation with me about this group she loves. The stranger ended up being Shannon Gearhart who, if you know her, you know that this scenario isn't her first time approaching a stranger because she’s just so dang friendly and talkative!! Honestly, I am so thankful for her though, because a week later I went to a Stroller Strides preview and have been coming ever since! 

It’s been such a necessary addition to our routine every day, so much so that we’ve come to basically every class since we joined. I’m physically in the best shape I’ve been in in a while (down 65lbs since April!), I’ve started running (even joined Run Club this session!), and I’m certain it’s helped me become a better mom from all of the advice and stories people have shared over the last year! Most importantly, it’s been a big factor in my mental health and sanity during my husband's countless underways, seeing as most days, Stroller Strides is the only adult interaction I have. 
I am so grateful to be Mama of the Month before moving! Not to be sappy, but I definitely couldn’t have survived this last year in Norfolk without this village and I’m definitely going to have to soak up these last few months I have with this group of awesome mamas and kiddos. 

Thanks for reading my rambling story! I’ll see y’all in class! 
Cathy Volker

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