By Kathryn Menu
Like many first-time mothers, Brooke Cracco fell instantly in love with her newborn twin sons, William and Dean. But her pregnancy and her sons’ premature entry into the world, had not been without their challenges.
While her children were healthy, Ms. Cracco found that motherhood was an isolating experience.
That was until one day, less than a year ago, when she bundled up the twins for a daily walk on a boardwalk in Sunken Meadow Park near her home in Northport.
“There was a mom instructing a group of 20 women, each with a stroller,” said Ms. Cracco. “And these girls were sweating and crunching and singing to their babies. I needed that. And so I took my first class.”
What Ms. Cracco didn’t know was in taking that first Stroller Strides and Fit4Mom class she was about to embark on a journey that would change the shape of not only her body, but also her professional career.
Ms. Cracco earned her national certification from Fit4Mom last September to teach classes in Nassau County. But the Sagaponack native kept hearing from friends on the South Fork about how they were looking for a similar experience—a place where they could engage in a full-body workout with like-minded moms without the burden of having to figure out childcare arrangements.
“I wanted to bring it home and then this opportunity came up in December,” said Ms. Cracco.
Ms. Cracco now owns the Hamptons Fit4Mom franchise and began by teaching a series of indoor classes at Evolution Fitness in Southampton. After meeting with the Mashashimuet Park Board, Hamptons Fit4Mom will launch its outdoor Stroller Strides classes in Sag Harbor, starting Wednesday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m. If Wednesday weather calls for rain, the event will be held on Tuesday, April 29.
Photographer Diana Lee will be on hand to shoot portraits of everyone who signs up for the grand opening class, the first 25 participants will receive goodie bags, and raffle prizes from both local and national sponsors will also be offered. A free stroller strides class will begin at 11 a.m.
Following the grand opening, the class will be held at Mashashimuet Park every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 a.m., with classes moving inside at Evolution Fitness on rainy or cold days.
Fit4Mom is the country’s largest fitness program for expectant and new mothers, with more than 250 franchises offering classes for every stage of motherhood.
Ms. Cracco will also launch a stroller barre class on Thursdays at 10 a.m. at the YMCA East Hampton Rec Center on Gingerbread Lane.
“The stroller barre class mixes stroller strides, the barre method, L.A. Pilates and yoga,” she said. “It’s a great, killer transform-your-body kind of class.”
While all of the Hamptons Fit4Mom classes are designed to give clients a full body, strenuous workout, Ms. Cracco noted it is about more than just getting your body in shape. It’s also about connecting with other mothers.
“It’s a community of moms that develops through these classes,” she said. “It is a full-body workout, but it is also about getting your mind refocused and your spirits recharged. It really becomes a culture, a community.”
“It’s just nice to have an outlet for yourself, and to be able to find that connection with other people,” she added.
And don’t forget those helpful endorphins.
The class is ultimately designed to give mothers an invigorating workout, starting with a warm up that leads into stretching, power lunges, and cardio and muscle exercises.
“You are constantly on the go,” said Ms. Cracco.
And your child? They are entertained.
“The kids really stay engaged in this class,” she said. “There have been so many moms who tell me, ‘My kid will never stay in the stroller’, but they do. They are listening to goofy songs, and it becomes something the children look forward to because it is interactive. This is fitness for the mom, fun for the baby.”
For more information on Hamptons Fit4Moms, visit hamptons.fit4moms.com or call 516-480-4341.