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April's Mom of the Month

Congratulations to Monica Lopez-Hagen, our 'Mom of the Month' for April!

Monica has been a member of Stroller Strides for the past year and is a super hard-working, athletic mama! She is also a long distance runner, accomplished photographer and great mother to Diego, her 16 month old son. Talk about super-mom! Monica is an incredibly hard worker and inspires everyone around her, that is why I am SO excited to announce that she is the newest addition to the Stroller Strides instructor team! She is attending training this weekend in Raleigh and will begin teaching by the end of April.

Monica has made great strides in fitness, motherhood, and life, and we are so thankful that she is an integral part of Our Village!

Join us in congratulating Monica and read on to get to know her a little better!Join us in congratulating Monica and read on to get to know her a little better!

Hometown (where you grew up): I grew up in Mexico, my hometown is Hermosillo in the state of Sonora (South of Arizona)

Current part of the Triangle that you live in: I live in the Quay! (Fuquay-Varina)

Education: I went to school for Industrial Engineering

Stroller Strides Member since: I started SS last May

Members of your Family: Me, Dan & Diego

Tell us about your children: I have one busy toddler Diego. He is 16 months old and never runs out of battery! But he is a love bug!

Current/previous Career: I worked 10 years for GE having different roles within the manufacturing world. I did project management, operations and my last role was Supply Chain Management for a site in MX. I quit my job to move here with Dan and Diego and now I have a 24/7 non-paid job as a SAHM, but I gotta say its more rewarding!!! I also started a small business as a photographer, which has been a passion of mine for the longest time!

What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to go to the Olympics! I was obsessed watching them on TV and wanted to go badly!

What does motherhood mean to you? Motherhood to me means giving up yourself to unconditional love for your children. It's probably the hardest job I've ever had but the most rewarding!

What is the furthest you have been from home? I love traveling! I studied in France for 7 months when I was in College and then started traveling the world after that. I can say I've touched almost all continents except for Australia and Antartica :)

What has Stroller Strides done for you (or meant to you)? SS saved my life!!! When I first moved here I had to work on paperwork and more paperwork to get a driver's license so I couldn't leave the house unless my husband drove me! Three months later as soon as I had that I was free and I got to meet the greatest group of ladies ever! It's a no-judgment zone! Everybody is going through the same challenges and is fun to add some workout to it!

What is your favorite exercise? Running is my thing but burpees I like too!

What is your proudest moment? The one that came to my mind is back in 2003 when I won Regionals 1500 mts with 4:59 min (I was never able to do that again).

What are three of your favorite things (besides your family!)? Running, traveling and taking pictures!

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us or makes you unique. I survived a brain aneurysm by listening to my body and reacting fast about it! I say it more for raising awareness than anything but it was a hard moment in my life! I was told to stop running!! So when I recovered I decided I was going to get out of my 5K comfort zone and did my first half marathon a year later... and now I just cant stop! I was given a 2nd chance why waste it!

If we asked your spouse what they think your best qualities are, what would they say? He would say that I am perseverant and follow my dreams. Also that I'm very sociable and inclusive; but most of all he would say I'm extremely competitive!

What advice would you give to moms looking to get back into shape? My advice is to get at it at your own pace! Not everything works for everybody, just make sure you set goals!

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