Hello! Let me introduce you to the fabulous Candace Prowell! Candace has been a part of Momma Strong from the very beginning. I have had the honor to get to know her over this last year and all I can say is that I am privileged to have her a part of the Tribe. She is courageous and insightful and strong and curious and vulnerable and wise and open and badass (of course). I can say without hesitation that this is a person to know. Thank you, Candace, for sharing you with us.
Here is her experience ...
Almost 5 years ago I quit my job while I was pregnant to stay at home to raise our daughter. I worked in the oil and gas industry which was not exactly my cup of tea so it was not a big deal to leave. I was anxious to leave and start this new part of my life as a mother. While I was working I had been going to college so that first year I was home I graduated with a BS in Sociology. I did my internship with the juvenile probation department and we worked with a group of young women who were "high risk" in a special program. While in this internship I felt like it was definitely something that excited me and also something in which I had something to offer. So, it was a bittersweet to leave that internship because I loved working with the girls but I had my own little girl at home to be with. I have a almost 5 year old daughter and a 22 month old little boy and it has been a wild ride of trying to do the "right" thing while parenting. I have learned, of course, that somebody else's right way is not your right way and that is okay. Being a mother has made me question things a lot more than I ever did before...has made me realize that I was perhaps taught things in my childhood that were not exactly the most beneficial to my well-being. I strive to instill in my kids they have a voice that matters and we are here to listen ... while I am teaching them this I am also teaching myself the same thing. Life is all about learning and it's exciting so I hope through our journey of life together we can all learn from each other and look back and smile. I love it when you run across groups that you connect with like Momma Strong. It has been a great place to go to when you need that little pat on the back when you feel beat down and they lift you up and say they have been there too..then they tell you to go move your ass (hahaha).
About ten years ago I started running and getting into exercise and really have never looked back. There have been periods where I have taken "breaks" but never long term. My benefits from exercising are 99% about what they do for my emotional well being. It's like magic happy pill. I love signing up for races and being in that huge group of people and we are all running ... it is an awesome thing.
Feeling strong to me is when I know that I am in control of my feelings and my actions. Feeling strong for me is knowing that I have to accept the good and bad and that I do not have to be perfect.