I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. While the rest of the fitness world continues to workout because they’re hoping to birth their inner toned goddesses, I’ll be over here working out so that I don’t lose my sh*t.
Being a part of the movement of MommaStrong has granted me the privilege to be surrounded by the Real Mom, the Real Woman (you). And what the Real Mom, the Real Woman (you) deals with every day with is the big stuff of life. I think we all secretly wish we could simply just worry about our toned arms and bellies, but instead we’re worried about how to manage anxiety and depression while raising children; or how to learn, as adults, how to be grown ups,;or how to heal from MASSIVE postpartum injuries like diastasis recti, prolapse, incontinence, and many other frightening things NO ONE ever told you about; or how to be a good partner/spouse while not knowing how to be a good partner/spouse to yourself; or how to make enough money after not being able to adequately use our college degrees because we can’t work full time jobs yet; or how to eat in a way that heals, after our hormones and stress have taken our digestion and energy hostage; and/or how to be present for our kids when we literally have nothing left to give.
Mostly, it’s about sanity, right?!. I workout for 15-minutes every day because if I don’t, my brain gets the best of me. If I don’t, I yell at my kids more. If I don’t, my back hurts and I live my day in an awful dance of managing pain and feeling run down. If I don’t, I am farther away from joy. If I don’t, I just don’t feel like I am living as wholly as I deserve.
I don’t show up because one workout is gonna get me closer to a surface-level bikini body goal. I don’t even give a shit anymore about that and I’m smart enough to know that one workout or even a month of workouts isn’t going to magically erase 37 years of being alive as a woman who has birthed children. In fact, I don’t really want it to. I don’t want to trade in this vehicle, my body. I want to take good care of it in a way that is gonna deal with the engine rather than the paint job. This body and I are gonna take long road trips together and we’re gonna burn rubber. We’re gonna see incredible things. We’re gonna show my kids the world. And - if I’m choosing to honor my true value - I will have very little control over the exterior expression of this journey. I don’t know what sunset will fade the paint a bit or how many camping trips by the ocean will create sandy rivers in odd places. I don’t know how many school pick up lines will dim the shine. I can’t count how many goldfish are stuck under the seat. And I just simply don’t care. I’m in it for the adventure and the view and the laughter and the presence.
What I can focus on is this: Will my vehicle get me there? Will it be reliable? Am I be a savvy owner? The kind who is proud of the mileage because it represents Good Care?
In my opinion, I have a choice each day in that journey of Good Care. I can either use a workout to help me Show Up for life, or I can Shut Down. That’s the basic truth.
When I do my 15-minutes, I have access to all the Show Up tools I need, instantly. It’s not magic, it’s science.
When I don’t do my 15-minutes, I Shut Down. I just do. I find other ways to cope that are far less effective and that leave me chasing behind my day and my children’s joy like they are on a rabid runaway train.
That chase is painful. I’ve seen women spend their entire life in it. And while it sucks to deplete ourselves this way, there is a bigger danger: In that chase, smothered in the exhaust fumes of the runaway train, we become targets of solicitors and salespeople who all want us to believe they can help us run faster and get there more quickly. And they start to make us believe that the chase is the whole point, it’s where our value lives. If you’re not running, then who are you? If you’re not burning calories, then, watch out, you might not be enough. They’ll sell you fancy workout pants and expensive supplements. They’ll get you to believe gluten is what is weighing you down. They’ll have you enjoy comparing yourself to other women who make that chase look glamorous and easy.
And every amazing woman I know falls victim to this in some way because all we want is to get on that train and, yet, we are so so so so so depleted that we can’t ever get there and we're so so so so so so overwhelmed that we're willing to blindly trust anyone who says: "I can help you."
That is, unless you decide to drop what you’re being sold. Unhitch yourself from the extra baggage and just show up. Once you are showing up, you are on the train. It’s that simple. You’re no longer chasing. You’re no longer buying. You’re no longer falling prey. You’re on the train and then - here's the beauty - you suddenly don’t give a fuck. And, the even better part is that you’ll do whatever you need to do to protect that position once you are there. NO MORE CHASING, you'll declare. I'm staying here. I'm staying put.
Showing Up is that precious.
I workout so that I can show up, so that the engine of my vehicle is in for the long haul. Period. I refuse the other reasons with my entire being. And I dare you to do the same.