No Excuse: Local moms give each other a leg up in fitness
In a show of spunky resolve and cheerful determination, a group of about 20 local moms ran in the rain last Saturday, joining in virtually with other moms across the country for a national fitness relay.
No Excuse Mom, founded in 2014 by fitness advocate Maria Kang, is an international organization of women who prioritize health in a supportive environment.
The idea is local groups get together regularly to exercise—it’s completely free, and kids are welcome.
“I absolutely love it,” said Marie LaForce, a Culpeper mother of two, ages 1 and 6. “The best thing is that everybody is so welcoming and accommodating—it doesn’t matter where you are on the fitness scale, everyone just embraces you and helps you move forward.”
On Saturday the Culpeper group ran a virtual 5K relay with other No Excuse Mom groups across the country, combining their distance with others to reach their goal.
Meeting in a downpour at 9 a.m. at Yowell Meadow Park, Culpeper’s five teams of four women completed the three-mile-plus distance, reporting their statistics from fitbits and smartwatches to the national coordinator in Austin Texas.
The Culpeper teams—Moms Just Wanna Go Run, The Scrambled Legs, Up and Running, Not Fast-Just Furious, and Running on Empty—showed as much pluck as they did humor, with kids, husbands and friends cheering them on from the sidelines.
“There were 88 involved in our virtual relay, and 20 of those were from Culpeper, so we really showed up well,” LaForce said. “We even had one team member who was out of town and finished her leg in Colorado.”
She said some of the other 88 moms had their own challenges. “In California, they had to adapt [to the fires and smoke]—they did a leg on a treadmill,” LaForce said.
The best thing about the event was getting all the different moms to run at one place and one time, she said.
“It’s been kind of crazy lately with COVID and virtual schooling and everything,” the local mom said. “It was great having everyone there together, even if they haven’t been able to come to the regular workouts lately, and support and encourage each other.”
LaForce said the rain wasn’t even an issue.
“We’ve been used to working out in the summer heat, so it was actually kind of nice,” she said.
In Culpeper the group meets outdoors on a regular basis and their children can play near by, Laforce said. Sometimes a dad will come and keep an eye on all the kids at a playground, or the moms will take turns making sure kids are safe.
LaForce said the ages of the moms in Culpeper who have joined the group range from their early 20s up to their mid-50s.
“Age doesn’t matter when we get together,” she said. “Once you’re there and start talking we all find things we have in common.”
LaForce said the local group’s Facebook page has 400 members. “But we have about 20 come regularly,” LaForce said. “Once you’re a member we’ll share our workout days and times—both during the day and in the evening.”
LaForce leads a high-intensity workout several days a week—“not too crazy,” she said. “And my co-leader does evenings for the working moms—it’s more running-centered.”
The sessions last 40 to 45 minutes. “And there’s always time afterward for socializing,” she said.
The group tries to continue exercising outside as much as possible through the winter.
“In past years, they’ve hosted some meetups in the library! Unsure how that will look this year with COVID guidelines, but as long as the weather is above 40 degrees, we bundle up and power through it,” she said.
For more information visit the Culpeper No Excuse Mom Facebook page, or go to www.noexcusemoms.com.