It has taken me a month to convince myself to write this post. I wanted it to encourage other moms, but worried (and still worry, if I am honest) that it would come across some other way. My friends pushed me to go for it….so here you go:
This month I was named Athlete of the Month at my Crossfit gym (box). Writing that makes me laugh. It is both absurd and awesome at the same time. It also makes me very thankful for recent years.
The last time I considered myself an athlete was 22 years ago. I was 14. I’ve always been active. I’ve always relished any chance at physical challenges, but…..hello motherhood!
In a period of 5 years, I had four babies. I followed that up by going through an international adoption. Basically, I did not sleep for an entire decade. There are those young moms that can juggle the early years of infancy and toddlerdom while making it to the gym or working out at home everyday. I was not one of those moms.
Even if I tried to workout at home, I’d get distracted by the dirt on the floor or interrupted by a little one needing something. Going to the gym wasn’t possible either due to schedule conflicts or not wanting to take a baby to the nursery. As much as I longed to workout, to get stronger, to feel energetic and healthy – it just wasn’t happening.
I was doing good to keep everyone alive. It truly felt impossible to even dream about sneaking away to a gym.
And then all the sudden, it all seemed to change.
My babies weren’t babies. Sleepless nights became less frequent. Schedules changed.
I looked around and saw big kids…big kids that could run fast, jump high and slept…even slept in! It was a new season.
A year and half ago, I started Crossfit. It has been a game changer for me. It is the vehicle God used to restore me in many ways.
2012 in China ~ this month
While we waited to bring our daughter home from China, I lost a tremendous amount of weight. I vividly remember bumping into a friend at church and she gently asked me if I was sick. When I told her I wasn’t, she nodded her head in understanding. She had adopted 2 children internationally and she saw the toll it was taking on me. She got it. She understood. She also told me it would get better. And slowly, it did.
You won’t see me competing at Crossfit competitions. My goal is not to be able to lift a crazy amount of weight or be the best at the gym. My goal is to be MY best. To be stronger today than I was yesterday. To play soccer with my kids and not get winded. To be healthy and ready for whatever adventures come my way. To take care of the body I’ve been given because life and health can change in the blink of an eye.
Crossfit has become a family affair – it the thing we all can do. We challenge each other…push each other…cheer for each other. My girls see beauty in strength and that makes my heart so full.
Aside from the fitness aspect of Crossfit, the community has been such a gift in my life. Chris works from home. I work from home – online….life can get very out of sync and I can get tunnel vision quickly. Crossfit has allowed me to interact every morning with people I would never have the chance to meet otherwise. I love that I don’t work out with a bunch of people just like me. We talk about graduations, engagements, job changes, getting old, new babies, and life….and it is so good for my perspective to start my day bumping shoulders with them and their unexpected community and stories.
There is a video floating around featuring me as Athlete of the Month. If you have made it this far in this post…maybe you like me enough not to judge me too harshly! I was so nervous, my voice shakes, I use bad grammar, I can pick apart so much of this video (if you are an awesome Crossfitter…be gentle…I’m a mom of 5, okay?)…all that to say, I could pick it all apart or I can celebrate the healing and restoration in my life. I’m going to choose to celebrate. If you want to see the video, click here. Chris was Athlete of the Month in the spring, you can see his video by clicking here.
Ahhhhh….I can’t believe I am going to share those videos. Makes this introvert nervous, but it is totally worth it if it can encourage one other mom out there that is in that intense season of early motherhood. Seasons change….take it from one who is still laughing at being called an “athlete”, but is so grateful for that title.