Raising a brood is a tough job, but moms are a tough breed.

Jamie Allison discovered this when she decided to start a Santa Barbara women’s triathlon team in 1999 called Moms in Motion, locating 13 other local women who wanted to take part. Leaving the kids with dad or the sitter, the women gathered every Saturday for 12 weeks and trained themselves into the best shape of their lives. They also had several potluck dinners, a few ladies’ nights out, and a lot of quality time away from the nest.

The next year, Allison rustled up 80 women. Then, in 2001, membership hit 200.

“By then, I knew I had struck a niche in the community with moms who wanted to be a part of an athletic team and also a chance to focus for a little while on no one but themselves.”

Allison, a mother of two, sees Moms in Motion as a perfect opportunity to encourage busy mothers to become physically active while motivating just-as-busy fathers to do a little pro-bono babysitting.

“I love seeing dads with their baby on their back or in the stroller cheering on their wife, and I love watching older kids run with their moms. It’s quite moving and great role modeling for children to see Mom taking care of herself through fitness.”

Today, Moms in Motion consists of 4,000 members and 85 teams in the United States, and seven more internationally. Additional teams are still springing up, as women everywhere unite to cycle, swim, ski, dance, and do yoga. In the fall, a local surfing chapter will begin.

Members need not be mothers; daughters, aunts, and friends are encouraged to visit the Web site and join a team or create one of their own. The fee is $65, and members may cross-train on several teams at once or jump into a new sport when one season comes to an end.

“As a mother, it’s so easy to put everyone’s needs in front of your own, and we often do so out of love. But for our own sanity, we often need something like this.”

For more information, visit momsinmotion.com or call (877) 8-GO-MOMS.


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