It’s Sunday. The Sunday before our wedding. I knew this post would come. I’ve felt it bubbling up for a few weeks now, I kept telling Jason it was on the way. It’s such a strange feeling. It’s monumental. Surreal. Comforting.
While I didn’t personally know any of the victims from the tragedy that took place in my city, the event did personally shake me. Even as details come to light, the why will never make sense.
I have loving parents and a large extended family. I spent 37 years as a single person. Now that I have a family of my own, events like these engage me differently. I can’t seem to wash the sadness off, even during the most blissful time of my life. I can never fully imagine the pain these families of the Virginia Beach tragedy are feeling. The loss. The love that was shared. The dreams and hearts shattered. The plans forever altered. I find compassion when reading the stories and feel comfort as I learn about their Christian faith.
It is hard to proceed as usual during this time. I feel as though if I’m not sad or silent, I’m not honoring the lives lost, or the first responders who are healing from what they saw, or the VBPD who carried out the returning fire and ultimately saved countless others. I’m beginning to understand that while it is necessary to grieve, we must have gratitude alongside it.
The paradigm of emotions isn’t one that seems natural. Sadness and strength? Should we not celebrate that friend who just got promoted? How about the one who is pregnant? Does celebrating a loved ones graduation seem appropriate? Even our own wedding?
Recently I attended a funeral for an individual who was more like a member of my in-laws family. A long lasting decades old relationship. The circumstances of the death were tragic. But the service that was held was a true celebration. Singing, rejoicing, praising, and remembering. While many are still angry and what seems to be an unnecessary death, we search for hope and found joy from a his life lived.
Ultimately what I have come to learn is this. All of our lives hold value. We coexist simultaneously. Some days, months, seasons, or years are full of joy for many while others are in their deepest sorrow. I believe it is important to honor where each of us is while respecting and meeting our neighbors where they are. The gratitude I have felt the past few days seems to mirror melancholy. Humans by nature are compassionate. Also we are persistent. Let us use those strengths for ourselves while propping up our neighbors.
One question no one will ever ask is how much did you weigh at your wedding? That’s because it’s a dumb question and no one cares. They may ask about your colors, your cake, and probably your honeymoon.
My hope while planning this entire thing, is for people to say how much fun it was and remark on just how much love was shared between Jason and I with all of our guests. To see beyond the wedding and see into the life we are building and have tremendous gratitude for.
The same goes true for the social media audience I’ve built on my platforms. I want any visitors who stop by to see a true love for fitness here. Not simply a love for my physique, but instead a true love for my body and how I treat it. I hope it is clear the love I have for smart products, do-able workouts, and conscious food choices. I’ve been on a mission to cultivate a true platform for living well. A new standard. That is why my page features more recipes and workout pics than selfies.
Life is constantly happening and is extremely unpredictable. You need more ways to incorporate sustainable healthy habits into that well crafted life you’ve built for yourself. The two must compliment each other. The clients or readers who are the most frustrated or the most desperate are the ones who have trouble making that distinction. They are so busy trying to force an eating style or rigorous workout program into a life that simply doesn’t have room for it. They would be better served adopting a plan that makes sense for their personal schedule and goals.
How that’s looking currently for me…
Yes! I’ve stepped up the upper body weight training for the big event…wedding/honeymoon. It is similar to how I would step up speed while training for a big race. To accomplish new goals, we must try new things. It is a simple rearranging process. I spend the same time working out, but my time spent is divided differently. I love adapting and adjusting my workout regimen to reflect new challenges. It’s where I find tremendous success both as an athlete and a trainer. By changing and shifting things from time to time, change happens. Daily prayer and meditation anchored by wellness is necessary. It’s also a great way to round out a comprehensive wellness program.
My clients never get the same workout twice. Currently, we are spending a lot of time with build-able HIIT Workouts. Great for strength building, fat burning, and building cardio capacity. Want to know more, come sweat with us!
Taking breaks, and enjoying your favorite splurge foods like burgers is also part of the program I recommend. If you think it’s strange for me to encourage my clients and readers to eat burgers, you haven’t been paying attention or this blog isn’t for you.
My tribe reflects a vibe that showcases quality of life. That includes dinner parties, restaurant openings, date nights and weddings.
We are all trying to be the best versions of ourself. The best wife, the best mother, the best business owner, or the best bride we can be. It’s up to each of us to decide and determine what our best looks and feels like.
Quality of life for me is finding a way to live stronger and sustainable in all things wellness, fitness, and nutrition. I love the word sometimes. It is another word for occasionally. Sometimes workouts leave us depleted. Sometimes we binge on never ending chips and salsa. Sometimes we run a double digit run route. Sometimes we take a day off….Sometime it rains…that doesn’t mean we live in a rainforest.
Exclusivity and restrictive eating isn’t something I’m interested in. Routine is.
Make room in your day, week, life for wellness and living well. While we CAN’T out-train poor daily eating habits, we CAN develop a program that includes for our favorite things.
A solid weekly schedule that includes workouts, meditation/prayer, and meal planning must be part of your program and is crucial for success. Set yourself up for a win by learning how to navigate your way through a vacation, a festival, or a traumatic life event. Ask me for help! Trendy workouts or fad diets aren’t the answer. The key to it all is finding a style that works for you and your needs and by joining a tribe that supports that.
It’s a month before our wedding. The best way I can describe it is to compare it to a race. All the excitement, emotions, and prep! Just like before a race, the wedding dreams have started. Mostly it’s where a hairdresser, musician, or the dress is not to be found. Luckily in my dream, I’ve laughed it all off and smiled my way down the isle regardless. Because, if the programs don’t get ordered who really cares?! All I can think about is Jason’s smile and being surrounded with our nearest and dearest. And of course the amazing honeymoon we have carefully planned to follow.
I am coming off of one of my most treasured weekends. Much attention to detail was paid in order for me to enjoy my most favorite of things and just relax. I spent 48 hours in one of my dearest places, with some of my most beloved people.
This is the tribe. These are the girls I talk to weekly if not daily. They make time and want to be a part of things, automatically, even in the midst of their extraordinary busy lives. They are my safe space. No one judges and no one is easily offended. No two are the same. As I prepped myself for the weekend away, I found myself reflecting on the uniqueness of each woman and my one of a kind relationship with them. The length of friendships range from 5 years to 30+. They have embraced each other over the years and jumped in with two feet from day one, including the newest member, my soon to be sister in law.
At surface, you may think this group seems vastly different. Some mothers, some runners, some wives, and some business owners. But there are two characteristics they all share that sets them apart.
- They all are Christians.
- They all live brave, bold lives they are carefully crafting along the way. These women dare greatly as Brene’ Brown would say. They chase dreams, goals, and accomplishments many only talk about.
As our weekend kicked off, I couldn’t help but toast them. Over the years they have thrown birthday parties, supported my business, listened to dating horror stories, and gushed and celebrated with me when I finally met Jason. My tribe is large. They are strong. They are solid. They are party planning masters! Over the past several months, they’ve lovingly collaborated, organized, and nailed an engagement party, a pajama party, and now a bachelorette weekend. As per their usual, they truly have gone above and beyond showing kindness and offering help.
What made it so great…
A bachelorette party at 39 is probably very different than you may picture for that of a 20 something. I spent hours lounging on a couch or in a beach chair.
I rarely used my phone. I was surrounded with special girlfriends. I sipped plenty of my signature spicy skinny margs. There was plenty of snacking, some cursing, and a fair dose of praying. I wore make up once. I tackled a morning workout on the beach.
The next month will be busy and full of appointments of every kind. I may have come back completely tired, but in my own way I am energized to push through the final mile of this wedding planning while running my business, and prepping to wife up!
It is an honor for me to share not only my upcoming special day but these past few months with these gals. I have fallen deeper in love with them all.
Last week I posted a little food challenge on the blog. It was designed to do a few things.
I’ve always been a late bloomer as they say. Late in comparison to others for a first kiss. Late in comparison to others to find my career path. Late in comparison to others to learn many lessons both financially, faithfully, and in fitness. Late in comparison to others to get married. Possibly late in comparison to others to find motherhood. I am not done blooming or learning, nowhere close. It has become clear that I just require a little more time in God’s molding. These moments of waiting have built my trust in him and proven his glory in my blessings. This is what makes the waiting bearable, tolerable, and doable.
So much of what I do spills over into each and every bucket of my life. I’m always scanning the internet for new workouts, taste testing out new recipes on Jason, and crafting skinny cocktails in my own kitchen…I consider this to be significant research! I even spend time each week praying with clients. I’m eating, sweating, sipping, and most definitely praying my way along this fit life on the regular. The teacher in me prompts me to consistently expand my learnings and share my findings with my tribe. That spirit is what lead me to initially create this virtual space so many years ago.
Professionally, the path has been winding and at times unclear to bystanders. But to me, each step has been intentional and necessary leading to the next one.
It’s been a year since I’ve been personal training on my own and it’s been a true joy. It took me years to get here, standing on my own two feet. There have been too many financial struggles, copycats, and even naysayers to count. Each creating their own set of challenges. More notable though are the supporters, steadfast friends, family, and now spouse. Now on the other side, I know these circumstances made me tougher, more tolerant, and more determined to keep after it. Proving just how much I really wanted this. Never settling. Learning what is worth negotiating and what I hold as true value.
I started this blog in 2011 and my hopes were to create a business that could ebb and flow with my personal seasons of life. One that would fit and compliment a life as a wife and possibly one day mother. At the time the blog began, there was absolutely no sign of either.
Now I sit, 60+ days from wifehood and if God’s plan for me includes motherhood, I imagine that’s not too far behind. But for today, I’m focused on the now, while paying respect to the rearview mirror.
My personal training business allows me to offer options attractive to those looking to broaden their health and fitness program. God has been beyond good this past year. And while daily, I struggle and continuously ask for personal guidance, peace, grace, forgiveness, and patience…I acknowledge the long list of items in my gratitude prayers. A list that grows daily.
Perspective is key to finding joy. Sometimes you must choose to look for it. As do most of us, my clients face illness, divorce, death, motherhood, loss, injury, and even financial/career struggles. That doesn’t make them unique. What does is their ability to dig deep and show up anyway. I consider that to be a form of faith. That is crosstraining.
That’s the thing about life and fitness. They parallel each other. Some days are easy. Many days are hard, forcing you to keep fighting and praying for those wins! By flexing your muscles for faith and fitness, you’ll attract the tribe and life you really want.