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iStroll: Connecting Moms, Dads and Children! 

iStroll is a new workout and social network created by South Tampa mom Tess Partridge. We’ve heard so much about this new group that we wanted to learn to share with you, so we asked Partridge to give us the scoop.

What is iStroll?

istroll tampaiStroll is a workout, a social network for moms and dads, and a playgroup for young children.  We’re a group of parents with similar interests and with children of similar ages who benefit from combining our workout, social time and children’s  playtime. Participating in iStroll allows parents an hour to do something for themselves, following with much needed adult social time and child social time, and time for parents to engage with their babies! A parent with young children can do all the gym classes in the world, but to be doing a workout side by side with other parents also navigating the daily mom-and-dad grind opens doors to friends with similar schedules and potential life-long friendships  for parents and kids!

What can I expect during  the events in South Tampa?

One of the coolest things about iStroll is that because we don’t have an actual building structure to host our classes and events, we are able to encapsulate SO MUCH more, especially by leveraging other local businesses.

istroll-tampa-bayiStroll’s foundation is, of course, the outdoor workout. You will come to iStroll and no matter your fitness level- the newly post-partum mom to the totally fit dad – you are guaranteed to feel welcome and get a great workout suitable for your individual  needs. By using HIIT, dumbbells, cardio, bands and body weight exercises, everything can be scaled, from really intense for the athletic parent to a modified routine for someone just starting out. We strive to keep the strollers moving and the babies happy and engaged!

We also emphasize activities for the parents and children. We host FREE Walk/Run/Coffees monthly where we get together at a residential location  and do a walk or run down Bayshore Boulevard and provide iced coffee after. We do organized crafts for the kids after the workout classes. Often, we all go to the playground after class and talk while the kids play! Most recently  we did an in-the-park Easter Egg Hunt following our Saturday workout class. We even threw lottery tickets in some of the eggs for the parents with young infants and provided iced coffee post class so we could sip on something as the kids played and parents mingled. Outside of class time, we do nights out just for the moms and family events such as pool parties, family walk/runs and cookouts.

We love to branch out locally. We’ll do workout classes outside the confines of the zoo, children’s museum, aquarium and restaurants, then do a group play date inside and grab lunch. We’ve partnered with PlayGrounds, Color Me Mine, AliSongs For Tots, and other local entities in the past. Essentially we are going to be doing the workout outside anyway, so if we have the opportunity to do the workout and an activity after, we’ll go to or near the local business, do the workout and follow up class with the local business  event.

Throughout iStroll events you’ll be working out with other moms and dads in similar life stages. You’ll get the opportunity  to make friends with other parents who have same-age kids, you’ll get to do events with your babies, and you’ll get to socialize your baby with other young ones! It’s a win, win, win!

How do I join?

At iStroll the first class is always free. Just show up to one of our classes or sign up online for time you plan on coming. After that, you can sign up for one of our affordable options: unlimited monthly classes, 10 class passes, 5 class passes and drop-in classes.

What inspired you to create the group?

iStroll was created after a chain of events led me to being a stay-at-home mom who once had big professional dreams.

I dated my now-husband throughout the last two years of college, graduated with a pre-med/microbiology degree and had to choose whether to proceed with medical school in a different state (spending 8-10 years apart from my husband) or postpone my medical endeavors and follow my significant  other to his next work location (he was/is established in his career as a pilot). After college, I followed him to Georgia, where I quickly enrolled in a nearby nursing program, only to become pregnant halfway through my second degree. I chose to discontinue the nursing program.

Once I had my first born, I quickly realized the desire to be out of the house and “doing more” had not wavered, but I now had this little human I knew and adored and I could not imagine allowing others to be his primary caretaker.

I sat down one day and did some soul searching and wrote down a list of what I loved. It went something like this:

  • Taking care of the home life for my busy husband and being the mother to my super cool kid.
  • Exercising (I played D1 soccer in Illinois) and using my medical knowledge to explore ways to increase my abilities.
  • Being outside, especially with my family.
  • Being around others (I get energy from others!)
  • Especially being around other ladies who have babies, because they just get it!

Thus, evolved iStroll.

Orginially published in the May 2017 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine-South Tampa edition.

Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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