How the Mighty Have Fallen

When I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in kinesiology, it never occurred to me that there would come a time when I dreaded exercising. At the time, I was spending between 3 and 5 hours in the gym everyday. What could possibly happen that would change that?

The answer? A lot. My bunions were getting worse and after my first and only half marathon, I determined they were never going to let me do that again. My husband went active duty and I allowed myself to get swept up in the chaos that comes with moving every 20-24 months, from the research that goes into finding a new home to getting everything unpacked and put away as quickly as possible. We had a baby and that changed everything.

Before pregnancy, I never truly understood what having a baby does to a woman’s body. How it sort of turns you inside out and shifts things so far out of kilter that sometimes they refuse to spring back. Of course I would never trade our son for the body I had before him, but I do sometimes wonder if I’m forever destined to rest my coffee cup on my stomach, whether there’s a baby in there or not. Will it ever be flat again? Maybe I should do more planks. Maybe I should just wrap the whole thing in Saran Wrap and call it a day. Maybe I need to change everything.

I remember teaching about 15 group fitness classes a week when I worked as a fitness director for a YMCA in Kentucky. And then teaching more when I began managing a gym. And I never understood why women (moms) were dashing for the bathroom as soon as we started jumping jacks. Why did otherwise fit women opt for lower impact moves when they were obviously capable of more? Why did some areas of their body resist toning? Why did I think that I was special and none of that would ever happen to me?

It all happened to me. And now I just want to publicly apologize to all those women for silently judging you. I get it. It sucks. And I’m really, really sorry.

So, now I feel like I’m back at square one, back before I ever started working out….which would put me somewhere around 6th grade. Yay. But as they say, you’re never too old to start again. And so I’m taking that mantra and running (or maybe walking very quickly) with it.

The idea for this blog came to me one afternoon while I was on the elliptical in our garage, watching Anthony Bourdain eat and comment his way through Quebec. I had canceled our YMCA membership because our son was bored in their child care center and his defiance about going made the entire process that much more painful.  As a result, we donated to the Y for about 4 months before I decided to cancel and try making it work in our garage. After all, over the years we’ve collected everything you see in the picture at the header of this blog. Surely I can make that work.

I started looking into online fitness subscriptions, like Daily Burn and Gymbox, but what I decided is that there are tons of free options on Youtube, like the husband/wife duo that runs HasFit, and the thousands of free videos posted by Pop Sugar and other fitness professionals. I didn’t have to pay and the results would still be the same. I joined the “HasFit Tribe” on Facebook for extra motivation and created this blog so there would be a place to share what I was doing: what was working and what was not.

It won’t be all fitness all the time, though. I have always felt that a holistic approach is best, whether it’s fitness or just life in general. So, I’ll share some of my favorite recipes, what oils I’m using to promote health and wellness and tips for conquering the ways we hold ourselves back. Whether we are telling ourselves that we’re too old to do something, too out of shape or too restricted on time, none of it is the truth. We are all able to do something, even if it means starting at the bottom when just 8 years ago, we were climbing to the top. Is it disheartening? Of course. But it’s also a lesson: if you never stop, you never have to start all over again.

Several events coincided with me turning 40 last month and, as a result, I became acutely aware of my mortality. Not so much in the “buy a fast car and live on the edge because I could die any day” kind of way, but more focused on giving my body what it needs to be as healthy as possible every moment. Then we went to Disneyland and I ate 4 desserts at Goofy’s Kitchen and at least 3 Mickey Mouse-shaped beignets. And for 72 hours I tried to forget that my family tends to die of heart disease and diabetes. But sometimes we should do the thing we aren’t supposed to do…just for a minute.

So things are happening behind our garage door and I invite you all along for what comes next. It only gets better from here.

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