By Theresa Goffredo / Herald Writer
The six moms share more than a desire to burn some calories. They share birthing stories, anecdotes, tips and advice.
They share a common bond.
All of the moms are new mothers who had their babies at Providence Pavilion for Women and Children and who attended the Living with Baby class offered there.
These women are now walking together on Wednesdays when Comcast Arena opens its concourse to walkers who want some exercise in a safe environment that’s out of the elements.
But it’s more than just walking for these friends, Diana Contreras of Everett said.
“It’s our special time,” Contreras, mother of 7-month-old Valentina, said.
Everett’s Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., opened to walkers in June on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Walkers enter through the Comcast Community Ice Rink off Broadway.
The concourse is now open from 9 to 11 a.m. most Mondays and Wednesdays. Entrance is free. Five laps around the concourse equal a mile. And there’s a flight of stairs to run up and down if walking isn’t enough of a calorie burner.
On a recent Wednesday, it wasn’t just the new moms huffing and puffing around the concourse. Staff members and students from the Mukilteo Transition Center were also getting some exercise along with lots of other folks. But even with a good turnout, there was plenty of room to walk at your own pace.
The moms said they started walking on Wednesdays when they learned from their mommy class that Comcast was open for walkers.
“It’s nice to meet with other moms and we’re all about the same age,” said Lindsay Groehnert, whose 4-month-old son, Oliver, usually sleeps through the event. “It’s great to get out and get exercise and get to know people.”
The moms do about 20 laps during their Wednesday walks and they all agreed the time just flies by.
Leise Gunkel of Everett said she doesn’t really have a personal goal she wants to reach but believes any exercise is beneficial.
“Especially during the winter months when we are not able to go outside all the time,” said Gunkel, whose daughter Eleanor just turned 3 months. “It’s great to talk with the moms and get advice.”
Contreras said the Wednesday walks are also a good motivator for her to do other types of exercise throughout the week.
“It’s a good kick start,” Contreras said. “I was struggling to find something to do.”
Because Valentina is a bit older at 7 months, she’s more alert and won’t put up with being in the stroller on her back for more than about 40 minutes. So when Valentina gets fussy, Contreras stops and puts her in a baby holder and carries her the rest of the way.
Valentina is content then to look around, and especially likes looking at the other babies.
Rochelle Tabladillo, who also lives in Everett, said her 4-month-old, Royce, sometimes gets fussy and she has to stop and feed him.
The other moms join her and they all feed their babies on the bleachers, Tabladillo said with a laugh.
“It’s great to carve out the time to come here when it’s rainy and cold and it’s a good excuse to talk and walk and be active and get into the swing of things,” Tabladillo said. “And it’s neat to go around.”
For more information on the Comcast Arena walking program or to register, go to www.comcastarenaeverett.com.
For new mothers, the “Living with Baby” class for babies age 0-6 months meets from 1 to 2 p.m. Mondays; the class for babies ages 6 months to 12 months meets from noon to 1 p.m. Mondays at 900 Pacific Ave., Everett. Cost is $20 a month. For more information on the “After Your Baby is Born: Living with Baby, Toddler, Preschooler” classes, call 425-259-7311 or 425-258-7012, or go to tinyurl.com/asglqdl.