SANTA MARIA: US = THEM

The women that we go serve are really not that different than you or me.  Yes, these women are in recovery for drugs, and alcohol.  Yes, they have lived on the streets, hustled, stolen, prostituted, gotten arrested, and anything else that one would need to be able to be an addict and live in the streets.  When we sit in a group with these women though….the same topics arise that are shared with us all of the time.  They have insecurities, and eating disorders, they want to get rid of belly fat, have flatter stomachs, work on their butts, lose weight, and want to want to exercise. 

This particular Share The Show Up place is a 90 day residential program where the enrollment is open and rolling so there are always new women coming in and others leaving.  It usually takes a few minutes for these women to warm up to us every week.  Some are skeptical, some are wary, some are excited, some have forgotten anything we worked on the previous week, and some are proud of what they did the week in between us visiting.    

In this environment, the women have to relearn how to do simple acts, social acts, without the use of a substance, their best friend.   So something as simple as sitting around socially with people would not have been done without using, or the using was what they did socially.  This picture taken of these women playing volleyball I find very beautiful and strikes me as incredible.  They start off a little whiney, a little sluggish, and somewhat reluctant.  Then, with some laughing and running after volleyballs, or random cheerleading, these women find their playful selves.  They start to get more ready for the ball.  They start to high five each other.  They hate that we have given them the 5 minute warning.  All of this happens in an environment without the use of drugs.  Again, we help them relearn what it is like to feel your body and to be present and how to tap into the pharmacy in your brain.  We try to demonstrate what can happen if you use the power of play and movement.

Momma Strong also has it’s unique challenges.  You may or may not be using drugs, but you are trying to incorporate these 15 minutes and bring it into the fold of your lives. Into your habits, your system, your schedule.  Like brushing your teeth.  You are disrupting your system and doing exercise in a way and maybe for a reason that you haven’t done before. 

So, you see, I feel like Momma Strong is in the world of recovery.    Recovering from old habits, from old systems, from self-sabotage, people pleasing, from the ability to be kind to our selves, from taking ourselves too seriously. 

We applaud you for your hustle and for showing up.   I’ve observed these women get humbled to hear that you, through your own sweat, not just worked out for you, but, got us to them.