Exercise: It’s MEaningful

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“Things that you are unlikely to regret: exercise, eating healthily, challenging yourself, making a plan, being kind.” ― Freequill

This past Wednesday I woke up at 5:30  a.m. so that I could get a workout in before the hustle and bustle of the day began. I walked into the gym cautiously, craving caffeine, and uncertain about the choice in general.

I used to workout at 5 a.m. I had an established routine and there were people who kept me accountable and excited about exercise. But then the whole two kids, working from home, trying to build a life thing happened and everyone and everything else became a priority. I let my own needs wander and was left to wonder, “how do I get back to where I was?”

On Wednesday, sometime between my sumo squats and single leg deadlifts, I realized I was never going back to the good old days. Yes, they were indeed good and to be cherished, but they were in the past.  And what I need, and what so many women need, is to look at and love ourselves now. Then, and only then,  can we move forward.  If those days were good, imagine the possibilities. Within this space is the realization and recognition of the power of presence.

I’m in a community of strong-minded and muscle motivated women at FitFabMoms and I’m discovering I’m capable of so much more.

Before you think I’ve gone Gandhi during group workouts, let me explain that I’ve always felt called to go deeper than the surface. As much as I want to look good, I’m forever centered on feeling good. You know the drill, it’s the beauty from within belief system.

It’s a freaking struggle to make things happen these days. But I never regret this investment in myself. I’ve never once come home from exercise thinking it was a bad idea. And every day that I exercise I’m a better wife, mom, sister, friend, and writer. Because doing good for myself allows me to be better for others. It’s truly that simple.

My motivation is not for who I want to be. It’s good to chase that girl for certain things, but not when it comes to self-love. I am proud of what I’m doing now. I love me for trying, early rising, and through every med ball slam.

I’m pretty pumped to love myself more. It’s true that exercise endorphins are real. I’m seeing me become more meaningful. For this, and even for burpees, I am grateful.

This week I’m tackling food prep, organized chaos, and the mind game that is scale obsession. Stay with me.

 

You/Me/We Need Help

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“It may sound paradoxical, but strength comes from vulnerability. You have to ask the question to get the answer, even though asking the question means you didn’t know.” Majid Kazmi

You need help. I need help. We all need help.

But sometimes asking for help is as overwhelming as the task that sends us searching for something more or different.

These days I fight the urge to become a Google expert. Do you know about this phenomenon? The people who Google everything and therefore they know everything as well.  But I’m not an expert in everything. In fact, I lack expertise in most things. And there are certain situations where help is beyond my wanting and is plain old necessary for success.

Enter the evolution of my health and wellness. I’m entirely too lost to know where to begin. There’s a science to this stuff, which is why I need an expert. I need a certified trainer and dietician to educate me.

The first step is admitting my lack of knowledge in this area. Being aware that I need help is a success on its own. I celebrate honesty and welcome vulnerability. The second step is centered on time. Specifically, how I see and use time.  I need to take the time to search for the answers to the questions that are critical for consistency and longevity. Because this isn’t some challenge with an expiration date. There’s no specific number on the scale that I’m obsessing over. It’s a lifestyle. Therefore, I need to discover and delve into the world of personal time investment. And finally, the third step is focused on listening. After asking questions I need to listen to answers while keeping an open mind. Asking questions is scary, but sometimes the answers are scarier. Here is where the truth lies. Owning this truth and working towards a better or brighter one is where I find myself now.

It’s funny how these steps are similar to the ones I undergo in my writing. But they’re much more challenging when applied to my well being.

There is strength in vulnerability. I am in need of help. Luckily I asked for it and it appeared in the form of FitFabMoms. Now I’m listening. To them, to my body, to my heart. There’s some truth in there that has yet to be discovered. It’s probably behind my abs, which are currently burning due to Turkish Get-Ups. Google that.

Saturday Night Miracle

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“Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace.” Nikki Rowe

At 6:58 p.m. a miracle happened in Madison, New Jersey.  The children were in bed and asleep. My husband was engrossed in a basketball game, and the house was clean (enough). Enter solitude.

I’ve been lusting for some solo time to write, wander in my thoughts, and hang with no agenda. It’s freeing to surrender some stuff and simply be alone. These days, solo silence is rare.

But isn’t it funny how programmed we are to believe we must be busy? It almost feels wasteful to sit and journal, drink some tea, and do nothing. Yet nothing really is something.

These quiet moments are where I root myself. It’s where I leave the loudness of the world behind. And when there’s no noise I’m able to acknowledge, accept, and accelerate the truths that need to be told and the adventures to be embarked upon.

Quite simply, the art of being alone is often my greatest inspiration. So to stillness, solitude, and this Saturday night miracle, I extend sincere gratitude. For you, I wish peace.

 

You’re Invited

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“No more wanting. It’s time to work. No more hoping. It’s time to help yourself. No more dreaming. It’s time to do. No more waiting for something good to happen to us, it’s time to make something good happen through us.” ― Toni Sorenson

I’m going on an adventure. Would you like to join?

I’ve decided to make March mine. I’m vowing to transform myself in all things, but I’m especially focused on my physical well-being and emotional engagement. I desperately desire how I look to match how I feel.

To be clear, I’m encouraged by and enthusiastic about life. I’m happy. But to be blunt, I need to get my ass in shape.

It’s time for a fitness fika.

If you’re reading this and unfamiliar with fika, start here. 

I like to talk. I love to share. Fika makes it possible.

I became a mama in 2015. In 2014, in preparation for mama mode, I made some changes.  I stepped back from teaching full-time. I sought out more writing opportunities. I engaged in more personal relationships. I forged community connections. And I’ve been humming along, happily, knowing these tiny steps would serve a bigger purpose.

Alas, it’s 2019. I’ve been a mama long enough to know that there’ll never be a right or enough time. Laundry is constant, patience is tested, sleep is precious, and privacy is limited. This beautiful, chaotic, exhausting, humbling, and invigorating life is mine to keep and cherish.

But what about that bigger purpose?

It’s now. It’s here.

Someone has to keep it real. I haven’t made myself or my dreams a priority.

“I don’t have time to take care of myself,” is not what I’d want to hear from my girls. “I don’t like my body,” is not what I’d want them to say when they look in a mirror. And to hear “I give up,” from their lips would crush me.

So if I don’t want my girls to think or speak these words I have to eliminate them from my mouth and mind as well.

It’s time. You’re invited to join me. My soulful sweat sessions are happening at FitFabMoms in Madison, NJ. I’m the girl in the corner, forever talking about something to someone, and going home right after to write about it all. For the record, while holding a plank I create sinful stories laced with expletives and scattered with visions of pinot noir. But I’m about to be one strong mama. Follow me as I fika about fitness. P.S. Help me understand why mountain climbers are a thing.

Customer Service

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Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic, and miracles.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Thank God for words. Read above. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

After the Academy Awards, I usually feel inspired. There’s nothing quite like watching someone pour passion into their work and be recognized for it within their community. But this year the Shoprite in Chatham, New Jersey and I had a thing that sort of coincided and overshadowed the Oscars. To repeat the Shoprite in Chatham, New Jersey overshadowed the Academy Awards for me.

The story can get complicated so I’m going to use simple sentences for the synopsis.

I ordered a cake. There was an issue. I felt dissatisfied. I experienced the bitter end of apathy. My mama bear mode was activated. I wasn’t nice. Then I cried. I legit cried over a cake. I called customer service. I spoke to people. People were nice. I was nice too. People made the situation better. People asked me for genuine insight. I connected with people. I got another cake. The cake was amazing. The end.

I get that this might not feel like a big deal, especially in simple summation form, but it really was significant for a variety of reasons.

I often find people lack inspiration. There’s a lack of focus or a sense of pride within their work.

From someone who craves connection, it’s challenging to witness. As a customer, it’s difficult to digest. What happened to customer service? Did it disappear? Or are we part of the problem as well?

I don’t pretend to think these questions can appropriately be addressed in one blog post, but it’s a start to a fika that needs some feistiness and genuine attention. No matter our position or title, there has to be a heartfelt investment in our work. And as consumers or customers, we need to model our expectations. If the customer is always right per traditional expression, shouldn’t we be right and nice? Because I’d hate to live in a world where aggression and apathy are the roadways to right.

I get that it’s not always easy. But why does it have to be so difficult?

No matter what we do, who we work for, where we’re headed, etc., we need Roy Bennett’s words (see above). I’m rooted in a life full of passion, purpose, magic, and miracles.  Here’s to looking for lessons and finding stories in unexpected places and through unexpected people. And here’s to Shoprite in Chatham for making Oscar Sunday discerningly different. I am inspired.