Kerry Chan/Daily Journal
Donna Lanam practices with mothers who will be participating in a strollerobics flash mob in San Mateo’s Central Park at noon Saturday.
It’s not uncommon to see moms pushing their babies on a leisurely stroll through a park, but a group of women plan to crank up the music and put on a truly unique Mother’s Day performance at San Mateo’s Central Park with a strollerobics flash mob.
There’s nothing quite like a mom who’s proud to be one and shows it, said Donna Lanam, who organized Saturday’s performance.
What’s now a nationally used exercise model, Lanam said she created strollerobics nearly 20 years ago. Lanam said she’s also a big flash mob fan and decided merging her choreography into a routine was a perfect way for moms to shine.
“It’s really fun for others to see people that are happy. So they’re sharing their joy, especially on Mother’s Day, just expressing this happiness that’s happened to them and it’s a really fun way to do that. I honestly believe that people get a kick out of it when they watch. They can’t believe they’re seeing a stroller in this manner,” Lanam said.
Lanam and a group of brave moms will meet in the center of Central Park Saturday, May 10 around noon and put on a spectacle to highlight the holiday like no other.
Moms at any age deserve celebration and recognition but for some with infants, Sunday will be a first, Lanam said.
“It’s a new holiday for these girls, and they’re working so hard. They especially deserve to celebrate when they’re taking care of young ones, infants and toddlers. Oh my gosh, they’re always on ... they’re the most deserving, they never stop. They’re always concerned about their baby first, never about themselves. That’s where I come in. I try to bring them some pleasure and thrills in their lives right now, some perks. This is one of them,” Lanam said.
Lanam said her children are all grown up, but she still remembers what some of the challenges are. Lanam said she was inspired to create strollerobics because it can be difficult for moms who want to get back into shape after having a baby to attend an exercise class if they need to find a baby-sitter. Caring for a young child can sometimes make it difficult to make new friends, so having a workout group with other mothers is also a rewarding social activity, Lanam said.
Lanam said she still teaches strollerobics year-round at San Mateo’s Beresford Recreation Center, where’s she’s led various exercise classes for 34 years.
Cheryl Zuffi is a friend of Lanam who’s been helping connect young moms with this unique flash mob opportunity. Zuffi said she runs a day care and although her kids are also grown, she plans on joining in with a teddy bear filled stroller or at least watching.
“I think it’s just a way for moms to come together and, in a very fun way, do a dance and have some fun with their baby and stroller. It’s a way of celebrating motherhood in a very healthy way,” Zuffi said.
A first-time flash mobber, Lanam said she knows advertising it goes a little against the grain. But surprised or not, spectators will get a kick, Lanam said.
“There’s no reason we can’t spin and jog and skip and throw our leg over and lunge with [a stroller], it’s really an exercise tool,” Lanam said. “So it works very well and babies love seeing moms dancing around, it’s really positive. They’re already setting an example, it’s entertaining for the baby. ... It’s hard to stroll without music now.”
Lanam said gaining participants was mostly word of mouth, but she’s posted a link to a video online for moms to learn the choreography on their own. She’s not sure how many will show up, but even a handful will be enough to put on a one-of-a-kind flash mob.
Zuffi said if some of her clients just want to watch, she’d even consider borrowing a baby to jump in. Either way, it’ll be a sight to see, Zuffi said.
“It’s going to be great. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it before. It’s really going to be a first-time flash mob ... it’s going to be moms with strollers which is quite unique, it’s not something you would expect to see,” Zuffi said. “Especially when you go to the park and you see moms there with their babies and strollers, and I think it’s going to be hilarious.”
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