Two years ago Lauren Owens was ready for a lifestyle change. Feeling run down and stressed, she decided to switch up her habits. She started working out more and eating healthier, which led her to want to help others.
She got certified as a health and wellness coach through BODi — a fitness, nutrition and support program.
“With the program I use now, there are so many choices,” Lauren said. “There’s always something that will work for you no matter what season you’re in. Your life changes and this program helps you maintain some sort of fitness, and to be healthy and active and feel good.”
After getting certified, she began taking clients online, but wanted to reach out in-person to local women.
“At the time when I started Moment for Moms in May (2023) I had one kid going to football practice at Bondurant Middle School and one doing track practice at Bridgeport Elementary School,” Lauren said. Her children are Tucker, 13, Ryder, 9, and bonus son, Cooper, 18.
“I was here (at Bridgeport) for two hours. There were also soccer and baseball practices happening. All of the moms and dads were sitting in the parking lot playing on their phones for two hours. I thought, ‘what if your workout was here?’ You could drive up to (the Bridgeport) campus and do a 30-minute workout.”
Lauren reached out to Jennifer Bingham, dean of students at Bridgeport, to see if it was possible to host a free workout class for moms.
“I reached out to Jennifer with this idea to make this a community of women having fun working out together,” she said. “I‘m not charging anything or selling anything. We’re here to have this moment to ourselves. To laugh and sweat and to just have fun in a positive way.”
Jennifer, who was doing cardio drumming videos in the gym by herself or with one other person, at the time, said to Lauren, “Lets go! Here’s a calendar.”
Since then, the Moment for Moms group has worked out just about every Tuesday — even through summer break — from 5:30-6:15 p.m. in the Bridgeport gym, unless the gym is occupied with other activities. In those instances, the group works out in the school library.
“We’ve had some classes where it’s just me and Jennifer,” Lauren said. “But, I’ve had 12-15 participants at my max.”
When the class first started it was limited to just Bridgeport moms, but Lauren has since opened it up to all moms across the county.
“I realized it’s something we all need,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt to open it to other schools. It’s not limited to where you go to school.”
Lauren’s main goal for Moment for Moms is to provide a community for moms who are all going through the same things — including herself.
“I’m not the trainer leading it. I’m the coach bringing you here and showing you the tools I used that changed my life, and I’m helping to guide you through what is going to work for you.
“If you can pour into yourself and make sure you are physically and mentally cared for, you will be a stronger person and have more to pour into everyone else. Exercise releases endorphins, which make you less stressed and happier.
“Combine this with eating healthier foods that literally make your body function better and feel good and a supportive community of women doing this life right alongside you, cheering you on — that’s a whole new life right there. You have just transformed into a happier, healthier, less stressed version of you. That rubs off on everyone around you.”
Creating community is why Jennifer — mother to BT, 9, and Maggie, 6, who both attend Bridgeport, and Corey Rogers, 26, and Brianne Mack-Bingham, 22 — agreed to let Lauren host the classes. Jennifer is also the grandmother to Christopher, 1.
“Our goal is to increase parent involvement,” Jennifer said. “This allows a vehicle for that. It allows us to reach out to families districtwide and support them.
“I also get to connect with Bridgeport moms on a personal level. We can connect because we’re all moms dealing with the same issues.”
Jennifer said that, personally, she began taking the Moment for Moms classes because her husband recognized that she needed to take time for herself.
“As moms, you take on everything and carry it all,” Jennifer said. “We’ve held strict to the idea of taking time away from the kids and focusing on you. When I leave here, I’m a happier person.”
Lauren agreed about the importance for moms to take time for themselves.
“It’s not until you’re spent and sitting in your car crying,” Lauren said. “Sometimes, it takes until that breaking point until you realize that it’s time to do something for you. But, I want to help moms before they get to that breaking point.
“(Moment for Moms) is a way to help get you started with something for you. This is for fun and for the community.”
To encourage moms to participate in the class, Lauren says “just show up.”
“Not one person here is a great dancer. Not one of us is a superstar athlete. We’re just regular moms who want to come and have fun and relax and sweat and do something positive together. Just show up and try it.”
Lauren said she’s always proud when a mom comes for the first time and doesn’t know any participants.
“It’s powerful and brave to show up and not know what to expect,” she said. “But, we’re not an intimidating group. Most people continue to keep coming back for more, even if they whine a little in the middle of it.”
For more information, follow the Moments for Moms workout Facebook group. Lauren can be reached at LCOREYemail@example.com. If you’re interested in learning more about what Lauren offers, fill out her challenge form at https://form.jotform.com/221276308572052.