I love to exercise, I always have, but sometimes in different seasons, it's taken a back seat. In seasons of pregnancies or Master's Degrees, it's fallen by the wayside, but at this point, I'm far enough along in this journey of mine, that I know when I need to prioritize it.
The first time it really took a back seat was after I had Olivia. By any standard she was a hard baby and in the mix of my kids she was 100000% harder than all of them combined. Although, when I write that, I alway wonder if that is actually true. I wonder if the last 2 boys were that much easier, or I was that much stronger, not sure at the end of the day, but she definitely made me earn my stripes and I'll be indebted to her forever for it.
The days were long and the nights were longer. She rarely slept and when she was awake, she wanted to be held. I would walk the hallways with her at church and finally, a everyone would claim, "oh I'm the baby whisperer, give her to me." Within 10 minutes, they'd hand her back and I'd get back to my lonely pacing. Finally, a kind gentlemen, seasoned with 5 of his own kids, put his arm around me & said, "Just take her home and love her, no need to walk these hallways, you're doing enough."
While I was discouraged and frustrated, I was really just so very tired. I couldn't think straight and my patience was always thin. Everyone else made it look so easy. Night after night, I'd pray that tonight would be the night that she'd finally sleep. That prayer was never answered. Finally, I prayed a different prayer, I succumbed. I committed to waking up with her for however long she needed me to. Then I begged and pleaded for added strength, specifically at 3pm, when I was always ready to throw in the towel.
The next day, at 2pm I had an insatiable desire to run. I'd always been a runner, but didn't even try to accommodate that hobby in this phase of my life. I was sleeping an interrupted 5 hours a night and the idea of adding running sounded ridiculous. On this day though, I couldn't shake the desire. So I laced up my shoes, loaded my 2 babies into the jogger and off we went.
That night was a bit easier to get through.
The next day 2 pm rolled around and again, I had an intense desire to run. I didn't hesitate as long this time and we headed out. Again, the night was easier to get through. By day three, I was skipping for my running shoes at 2pm. In hindsight, I can see the wisdom in exercising at that precise time, it got my endorphins all fired up and suddenly I could tackle dinner time, bath time and bed time with a smile on my face.
This routine continued for a solid 2 years and even now I look back and am so proud of the girl I chose to become. I was so young and I had to show up, dig deep and fight for it, every single day. While Olivia never became the sleeper I had hoped (she is still my lightest sleeper and earliest riser!), I became the mother I had hoped.
Fast forward, 7 years and another baby and I was in the midst of a miscarriage. A story I never thought would be mine to tell, was becoming my reality. Emotionally, I was devastated. Logically, I knew I'd be okay. I was overcome with gratitude for my three kids and knew in time, my heart would heal over the loss if four was not meant to be, but emotionally, well, that was another story. There were days I couldn't get off the couch and nights that my skin would crawl. My hormones were betraying me and the effects were physical. Finally, in the midst of wringing my hands out of agitation, I declared, "I've got to work this out!"
The next day, I joined our local gym. After years of running, my knees are shot, and so I began lifting, anything and everything. I ordered headphones, found a podcast I loved and every morning at 5am found myself in the gym. I'd sweat it out, then I'd cry it out on the drive home. While I was terrified that number four would never be a possibility, I was also willing to succumb to the Lord's plan. Olivia had already taught me that lesson of submission to His plan. I had already learned that He'd provide the strength I'd need.
Exercise has never been about the physical benefits, even though there are many & I'm so grateful for them. Instead, exercise has always been a means of getting my head junk straight. After a long day, it's not uncommon for Scot the tell me to go for a walk. He knows the fresh air, movement and, let's be honest, a good podcast will yield the results I need.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.