What I learned about being a fit mom

fit mother

Before kids, I’d been a competitive athlete since I was young, making time for difficult athletic pursuits during even the busiest times of my life. When I had my first child in 2013, exercise – a fundamental piece of my identity – came to a sudden halt.

For years after, I put everyone else in my family above me and my needs (it’s just a mom thing). I juggled full-time work, a long commute, and family time. I didn’t have time to sleep, and definitely didn’t have time to exercise. The birth of my second child in 2016 compounded the situation – there simply wasn’t enough of me to go around.

After a while, I realized how badly I’d neglected my postpartum body (core in particular). After trying to get back into exercise too quickly, I ended up with a bad case of sciatica. A family move to a new town and an emergency abdominal surgery shortly after, and I was in bad shape.

Then we moved to Boulder, and everything changed. I started at CrossFit Sanitas in February 2018, and was immediately greeted by friendly faces. Laura coached my first workout, helping me find options for my ability level and cheering me on. I was light years slower than everyone else and couldn’t run, but it felt good. I came back – slowly at first – and I kept coming back.

Jacob Corley, boulder

At the time, I was still new in town, had given up my career to stay home with my kids, and a divorce was on the horizon. I ended up working with Jake Corley, Sanitas’ in-house massage therapist and mobility coach, who found the root cause of my sciatica and put me on the road to recovery. Because of him, I was able to attend classes, and the classes kept me sane.

CrossFit Sanitas became my sanctuary during the most difficult period of my life; it was my lifeboat, my happy place. No matter how bad the rest of my life was, I could come into the gym, be around people who cared about me, and heal my soul by getting my butt kicked.

Between April and October of that year, I worked with Tom to dial in my nutrition (tracked with Macrostax), and found out that I’d been eating way too little. In a few months, I’d gained muscle, lost body fat, and felt better than I had in a long time.

happinessI had a huge transformation, and the most beautiful part of it was all internal, all mental. I gained my sense of self back – my sense of self-worth – and was reminded that taking care of myself was not just ok, but critical. People started noticing the changes I’d made, telling me how fit and strong I looked. I appreciate all the positive comments, but they’re not why I do CrossFit, they’re not why I keep coming back every day, hungry for more.

I come to the gym because it’s empowering. I check my self doubt and low self-esteem at the door. I limit my negative self-talk and accept compliments. For 60 minutes, my brain gets a break from the daily muck, because I put all my focus into the workout. I always tell myself that I can always get one more rep, or 2, or 3.

The knowledge that I can push myself bleeds into the rest of my life. It makes me stronger and more perseverant. There are so many things in life I can’t control, but I can control my attitude, my effort, and my mental toughness. CrossFit Sanitas is a family that I chose, and I’m grateful for this community now more than ever. Every day, every workout, I know I can do whatever I set my mind to.

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