Caitlin Mullins, NEM Leader of Joint Base Andrews, MD.
I joined the Ft Meade Maryland NEM group when my son was 7 months old. I had lived at Ft Meade for 4.5 years and didn’t know anyone. I was a new mom struggling with the my new identity and struggling to find the motivation. My father had recently been diagnosed with diabetes so a huge life change was in order. I really joined to make friends (which I did) then I started getting stonger and more fit and never looked back! I actually lost 40lbs during a New Year New You challenge in 2016 and was the 1st place winner! When I moved about 45mins south to a new base Joint Base Andrews I knew this was something I could NEVER live without. I wanted to bring No Excuse Moms to the ladies in my new community. So I started my group August 2016 only a few days after moving in!
Our group meets formally 3 times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9am. We often meetup for runs and walks more informally and host “ladies nights” monthly. I enjoy track workouts most of all. I am a runner, I have been all my life. Anytime I can incorporate my marathon training into a NEM workout I’m excited. Also planks. I never write a NEM workout without planks!
From Ft Meade to Andrews I have made some incredible lasting friendships. When I was with the Ft Meade group two of the other members and I really bonded over running. We trained for a half and full marathon together and now are friends for LIFE. We get together even though they have moved away for running weekends. When I moved to Andrews and started my own group it really put me front in center in the community. Women were messaging me, THANK YOU SO MUCH. Military spouses often do not have time to workout. Our husbands work long hours and sometimes deploy for 6months to a year. This kind of support group is crucial to these ladies. Over the almost year with my new group I have made even more lasting friendships. My two co-leaders and I are very close and constantly support each other in and out of NEM. I never had any “mom friends” before NEM so this huge for me.
I decided to do a NEM Family Day because I knew I wanted to do something that would get the kids involved. We had a long winter working out inside at the gym where the poor kids really just didn’t have a lot to do. They are an amazing group of kids and they deserve a day dedicated to them. Also I really wanted all our husbands to meet. Our core group of consistently ladies see each other 3-5 times a week, but we never see each other’s spouses. We held two fundraisers in Feb and March, Chipotle and Panda Express. The money made from that was put toward the family day. I rented a lake pavilion in our community for $50 that included a park, grill, tables, bathrooms, etc. Once the date was set we asked members to bring a dish to share. We even had a member bring a bouncy castle! Everyone really came together to pitch in. My husband and I did some wood working and made a ring toss and bean bag toss, I rented a tug of war rope and potato sacks. And it was that easy. Everyone showed up, I hosted games and everyone seemed to enjoy it!
I proudly wear my NEM gear around town. I get a lot of questions and even a lot of EXCUSES. What I always tell people is if you feel you need a change, this group is for you! Even if you’re not ready, join us and take a look. We are moms who meet up and workout and we all are at different places in our journey and just need a safe place with no judgements. I often have women tell me, “But I’m so out of shape you guys will laugh at me.” Then I share with them that even though I am 140ish pounds now, I was once 200lbs! I usually get shocked looks. I have the stretch marks to prove it. The day I gave birth to my son I was 220lbs! The moral here is WE ALL START SOMEWHERE. My starting point was JOINING A NEM GROUP. Without having attended that first workout I feel strongly I would still be 200lbs or more and still feeling alone and lost in motherhood. It sounds really cheesy but NEM changed my life. Whenever I share that with new people, I get a request from them to join.
Thank you CAITLIN MULLINS for sharing your story with us! You are an incredible NEM leader and we are so thankful to have you! Join her group HERE!