by Ilana Hart May 01, 2021
I’m Tess Chupinsky. I live in Henderson (Las Vegas suburb) with my husband Spencer and our 3 kids - Harper (4), Quinn (3) and Arie (1). You can find me on Instagram @tesschupinsky, running and lifting my way through motherhood.
Motherhood is a beautiful, amazing gift but as with all great things in life is not without hard work, sacrifice and struggle! I’m a big advocate of filling your cup first and sharing the great, good, bad and ugly in order to normalize the beauty AND the struggles of every day mommin’!
Supporting Moms in Fitness and in Life
Years ago I’d participated in a #motherrunnerchat thread on Instagram a couple of times and loved connecting with other moms, some whom went on to become real life friends! After it became discontinued, I reached out to the Mom who invited me to it and asked if she minded if I took over the chats. In 2020, I committed to connecting with more mother runners, creating a community where we could lift each other in times of need, answer all questions "momming,” cheer each other on in our fitness journeys and provide each other with tips and tricks that would propel us forward and make us better.
Each month, I gather a group of women and plan a date and time to have an open chat via Instagram, where each person uses the hashtag #motherrunnerchat. Each of us tags a mom to create a loop and we plan out content that is mother/runner related, each of us asking one question to the audience that we need help with. It creates an open chat via the comments, allows us to follow and “meet” like-minded women, and creates support for everyone who participates.
What I didn’t know was just how much I would need that community this year, in motherhood, in life and loss, and through Covid. Being a stay-at-home mom with three small children can be a lonely existence. Add in the last year of Covid and quarantine, and it became very isolating, not just for stay-at-home moms, but for EVERYONE. I leaned hard into my online community for advice and support.
Community and Connection - Creating an Online "Village"
When Covid hit, we created a chat specifically for helping us navigate the pandemic and talked and shared about running without having childcare, what activities to do with our kids, how to manage working from home and being full time moms and more. I think I can speak for all the moms who are part of this group - during a time when there was no social interaction, the #motherrunnerchat “happy hour” was refreshing and welcomed.
I lost my dad to Covid on January 22, 2021, and I was blown away by the support, prayers, kind words and cards I received from social media friends that I was able to connect with through this chat. While we are a group of moms chasing toddlers and PRs, the support and friendship far exceeds that alone.
I know social media can be looked down upon for its perfectly curated feeds, highlight reel and comparison game, but it is my goal to be authentic and real and use it to normalize the actual struggles and joys of being a mother runner. Connecting with other moms through the #motherrunnerchat has allowed me to feel less alone in running and motherhood and it is my hope that the support it’s given me can be passed on to everyone else who participates. It takes a village and these wonderful mamas are mine!
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