One thing I'm sure about, and the older I get the more sure I become.
I know my body.
I've always been very in-tune with my body.
I don't think you would look at me and think wow, that girl is in-tune with her body. But, I know myself. Ironically, I don't always take care of myself, I'm always searching for balance and it's always something I struggle with. I think this is common with everybody. Between taking care of your family, working, people pleasing, running errands, cooking, and cleaning; when are you supposed to take care of yourself?Pre-accident, sometimes somewhere something would sometimes click. I would get a creative jolt or go on a health kick. I focused on myself in some way, shape, or form. It felt good. I'd feel a little bit guilty, a little bit selfish. But I would always remember this:
Growing up I was the youngest of 7... actually 6 because my 2nd oldest sibling, my brother (Ryan) died of a heart defect at 6 mos old. My Mom never would get in a swimsuit and I remember begging her to. I didn't understand why she wouldn't. I remember promising myself when I grew up I would go swimming with my kids, in a swimsuit no matter what. I think for most kids swimming is the all time funnest, and they don't care about what Mom's thighs look like. It's about getting outside, being active, and spending time together while having fun.
After I had Finn I remember shopping for a swimsuit, my first swimsuit that I'd actually worn in over a decade (probably longer). I've got some wiggly bits and I blocked them out, pretended they didn't exist, and went swimming amongst the other Moms of all different shapes and sizes. The Summer Colum turned 1, I took both of my boys swimming religiously at least 1-2 x's/week and they are some of my favorite memories, for Colum LOVED the water more than anything! He would sit next to me in the pool and splash and splash. After about 45-60 minutes he'd crawl into my lap, wrap his arms around my neck and lay the side of his face on my shoulder and fall fast asleep. Right there in the middle of the water park, in the middle of all the people and the noise. I loved it. I'll always cherish our times at the pool.
Post-accident I've found that I don't have a choice in whether I take care of my body or not. If I don't work hard I pay for it mentally, physically, and spiritually. I was given the opportunity to live, to walk, and to toilet myself again and I want to take full advantage. I want to live my best life. I want to have more babies, be the best Mom I can be and never take a single day for granted. I want to raise money for other families that are in a tough situation like we are. I want to donate my time to Foster Children and just plain help out others. I'm sad, really sad...but I'm also grateful. I work really hard on my physical self and a lot of people will never be able to begin to understand how far or what I came from & I don't really need them to, I just want to be treated like a normal person. I'm working on myself, it's still a struggle to find balance. I wasn't just automatically handed an easy ticket for the rest of my life, neither of us were. The balancing act is very hard, harder than it's ever been, but the importance of taking care of myself is clearer than ever now.
After Ryan and I were mistreated and I wrote about it here, I also wrote how the next morning of my last day there I brushed myself off and went somewhere new. Well I'm happy to say I'm still going there! It's called Karve and I absolutely love it!, (picture my eyes closed with passion as I say that). I was scared to go anywhere else because the Pilates owner would talk a lot of sh!# about every other kind of workout, every other types of Pilates, crossfit, bootcamp, the gym etc. I had an instinct that it (he) wasn't good for me, being treated this way was the last thing I needed, but I didn't listen to my instincts in the beginning. I need to be treated with care...actually just normal, just with respect, but I wasn't. Physically I wasn't being challenged enough, and I was recently told that he told people that I'd go from reformer to reformer, one person to the next and talk to them about poor me and what happened to us. This wasn't the case. I was going bald and was mostly just self-conscious about my hair & how to handle the quff I had left on my head at the time. I didn't want to be the star of the show, I didn't/don't want people looking at me. I just wanted to do Pilates! I listened to other people talk about how their in-laws found their sex toys when they were moving, how their Father's were tortured & killed by the mafia in front of their other family members, how their teenagers were depressed...yet, I wasn't aloud to say why I walked a little funny or basically talk at all. I still get angry when I think about it. Mostly angry that I aloud myself to be treated so poorly by somebody who's strange personal issues made them jealous or insecure that maybe our tragedy was worse than theirs & caused me to feel ashamed about being the victim of somebody else's poor decisions instead of being proud of how far I've come & getting stronger. I never once got emotional there, and trust me, when I talk about what we experienced I almost always get emotional.
I just want to take care of myself, be my best self, wife, and mother. When I first went to Karve I felt it was a lot more challenging, it can be deceivingly challenging actually. I didn't feel self-conscious and the instructors smiled kindly and corrected my posture and technique to prevent injuries. I didn't have to yell over the chatter about what to do next and feel like I was putting out the instructor so he couldn't talk about himself. The instructors want you to improve and everyone's range of movement is different. Karve fuses highly focused and controlled movements through ballet barre work, core strengthening, yoga, Pilates and orthopedic stretching techniques. Click here to learn more about the Karve method. Your first class is free so you can try before you buy! If you've never been to a Barre class before click here for 10 tips.
At the end of each class you are congratulated on taking the hour out of your day to take care of yourself. It's always a good reminder for me. The first class I went to, my flexibility was... well it was non-existent. The instructor handed me a band to hold onto so I could keep my balance at the barre. After a few classes, I no longer needed that band. I never felt self-conscious even though there are still some things that are very hard for me because of my injuries. I've never felt funny or self-conscious. I let myself go and live out my ballerina fantasies each & every time at the ballet barre. My thighs are getting definition, the same kind they had when I was running! I don't have a favorite instructor! I've tried to pick a favorite but they are all so fantastic and precise it's hard to choose one over the other. Every one is treated equally and every one has gone for their first time so I don't feel like it's a competition. I can't believe how much my strength, posture, and flexibility have improved in such a short time. You go for one purpose - to work on yourself.
Karve is located in Arizona and Lindon, Utah. I talked to the owner Brooke about how much I loved her studio and how much it was helping me. I was happily surprised that nobody realized I was (mild-moderate) disabled after going for a few months. I love supporting small businesses and she said I could offer a special to all my readers!
**Oh and they also have childcare! You don't feel like your kids will contract hand, foot, and mouth disease when they are there because it is so cute and clean!
**You book your classes and childcare online. It's simple, fast, and easy!
**Be prepared to work hard but feel good, you will be sore no matter what shape you're in. And don't forget to wear socks for they are required!
**Please if you come, don't be shy. Come say hi to me!
Also, Karve is offering a giveaway to all my readers! One free 2 week unlimited membership + a free pair of Karve grippy socks! (Lindon, Utah location only)
(Just click here to like their Facebook page & leave a comment below to enter.)
A winner will be picked at random on December 17! So if you're local be sure to enter and get your butt to the free class.
Present the coupon below and try Karve for unlimited for 2 weeks. Remember that you can sign up for your first class for free. Try it!
“Effective fitness at the barre”
2 week unlimited membership only $35
coupon expires 2/28/13
Happy Holidays every one! Don't forget to take care of yourself, schedule time just for you!
***Sometime in January I will posting info on the I HEART COLUM 5K we will be hosting this Summer to help out a very special family near & dear to my heart. Just a heads up to start getting in shape. You will be helping others and doing something for yourself at the same time, it's a win win! It's going to be huge, it's going to be official, and it's going to be awesome! I will keep you posted!