Show Up (again)

I'm reposting this blog post because I need to be reminded myself today of the Big Why.  And I hope it stirs in you an attitude of beginning again.  It's not easy.  It's murky.  But, within that darkness, there's so much to grab on to.  Do what you need to do today to remind yourself that you are strong and that you are enough.


I've been getting lots of the following question from people lately:  "What is Momma Strong all about?"  I'm quite sure they are expecting the perfect "elevator pitch" to then come pouring out of well-rehearsed lips.  And while I probably do have a proper elevator speech, I rarely want to say it.  I mean, it's basically that here at Momma Strong I offer effective and efficient fitness for women in a format that is accessible.  But, yawn.  Sigh. 

You know? 

For me, it's so much more than that.  I mean, I could easily preach that I'm here to help women get stronger and to feel more confident, which is all a piece of what ends up happening to those that become part of the program.  I could also preach that we're about empowerment and about exposing authentic modern motherhood, also a huge piece of what I'm all about.  But.  There's more.   

I don't really tell a lot of people about the following truth and, yeah, I know how weird that sounds knowing that you are reading this public blog post on a well-read website.  And you might be thinking that me confessing this is just a way for me to sell or gain exposure.   I know.  Trust me, I've seen that so many times on the internet.  And maybe one year ago, that might have been a sliver of what was behind some of the posts I wrote.  I had read enough "blogging to promote your brand" manifestos to definitely start drinking that koolaid.  But, not anymore.

I'm 100% here to serve and to show up, for myself and for you.

Before I started Momma Strong, I was coming out of nearly a decade of hiding.  No one probably knew that though, as I was a high functioning escape artist.  I smiled.  I made the necessary appearances.  I had a job.  I did my thing.  But, what no one knew is that as soon as my part time job as a trainer ended every day and I had two hours before my daughter's school pick up, I'd go home and eat my lunch in front of the TV and then fall sleep on the couch in a stupor, narrowly missing getting to her on time.  After school pick up, I'd manage to make my way through the afternoon, trying to appear a high energy mom.  Trying to look like I had had a busy day full of awesome stuff.  I didn't tell anyone how hard it was for me to just be around other people, that I felt completely depressed, and that I often sweated my armpits off while talking to other moms at the school playground.  I didn't tell people that I felt lost and bored and puffy and sick and anxious and excited mostly about 5:00pm when I could have a glass of wine. 

And, then, something happened.  After my second little one was born, I felt the weight of that need to hide to an even higher degree.  It was so heavy.  Yes, there was an element of postpartum depression happening, but there was another layer of muck that I couldn't see my way out of.  It was the burden of potential.  In some way, I knew there was more to life than I was living.  There was a whole bright version of my existence that I just couldn't grab on to.  Not because it wasn't within my grasp but because I couldn't even get myself to reach.  And so I felt lazy on top of being depressed.  Which, yeah, is not such a fabulous combination if you want to function as a normal human being.

I started toying around with creating workouts for moms who felt like I did, but - the truth - mostly because I wanted to find a way to work from home so that I wouldn't have to ever see anyone, so that my hiding could be protected from every angle.   

I know, right?  WTF?  That's the truth. 

But, what happened next was that the more I started digging into this way to make money at home and the more passionate I became about creating this sort of lifestyle for myself, the more I was forced to ask for help.  Website design.  ECommerce solutions.  Business in general.  And, so, I joined a business networking group, which was attended by amazing women in Houston doing amazing things.  It was not within my comfort zone, but I knew I had to do it in order to create this portable empire and to never ever go back to normal work life again.  As much as I loved this group, though, I couldn't show up for it.  It was the same pull to the couch I had felt for so many years.  And I had plenty of valid excuses, in fact, I had a 6 month old baby who provided an adequate substitute for the truth behind my not showing up.  She was the perfect cover.  Who could be disappointed in me?  I mean, shit, I was a mom of two kids, one nearly a newborn.  It was a safe refuge and I used it as much as I could.

But, eventually, things caught up to me.  I was forced to see that my not showing up had consequences.  Severe ones that no longer just harmed myself.  I lost friends, dear friends who took my absence and my excuses personally (understandably).  I lost business contacts and damaged my reputation within certain circles, being known certainly as a flake and probably as a wee bit nuts. 

I started losing a lot.  And, so, I realized one thing:  It's time.  Time to show up.  


We all know what this feels like, right?  It is painful to wake up after a deep sleep. 

But, the thing that cushioned it all - the thing that gave me a safe place to fall amidst all the discomfort - was the fact that if I was losing these things, then one thing was true:  I mattered.  I existed.  This may sound silly to folks who have always known this, but for me it was a huge epiphany.  My actions matter.  My existence matters.  I matter.   

Show the fuck up, Courtney. 

And that's when everything changed.  Or at least started to.  I jumped straight in.  Tore off the veil to my life and dug deep.  And with every day that I showed up and kept on going and tried and failed, that pull to the couch became less and less intense.  The pull that became more intense was the one that made me feel alive and vibrant.  And that meant I had to start showing up, which became my motto for every day.  Which also became the foundation for what Momma Strong is on its way to becoming.   

But, before you get too excited:  When you decide to show up in full force and without guise in your life, things shift.  They get messy.  You are forced to deal with the mess you made when you were hiding.  And while waking up is painful, cleaning up the mess is downright torture.  But, it's kind of like getting a tattoo on your face:  Once you decide to show up like that, there really is no turning back. 

The reality is that, as the head strong momma here on this site, I'm still cleaning up my own mess and there are days (weeks) when hiding is a pull I can't resist.  And in the last few weeks, I haven't been showing up as much as I need to - for my work here with you all and in my own personal life.  I know, confession time, right?  Another big ouch.  The difference this time, though, is that I'm talking about it.  I'm getting it out on the table and I'm calling myself out.  I'm unwilling to hide.  I have too much at stake now.  You all matter too much to me.  I am holding myself accountable.  And I am going to hold you accountable.  But, let's be clear:  This is not being held accountable to being a "good" girl, a "good" wife, a "good" workerouter.  No way jose.  This is being held accountable to the notion that you matter and that you will treat yourself in every second of your day like your existence is important.

That is what Momma Strong is about.   

I'm here.  I'm committed.  I want to help shine light on this area of our life and I want to give you soft place to land when you start to wake up.  I want to help you show up.  Will that also get you strong and confident?  Hell yes.  It's all part of the package.  I want you to know that I have created - and am recreating - programs that meet you where you are, no matter what place you are in your path.  I get it.  100%.  Holy hell, I get it.

Check out Momma Strong's indiegogo campaign.  Launched today.  FORWARD MARCH.