I was talking with Ben last night about how I’m sort of in this place right now where I can’t imagine being a competitive athlete again anytime soon.
This last year or so has been such a different experience for me than the 10 or so leading up to now when competing was one of my top priorities on a daily basis. Being a wife and mom were definitely still the most important things to me, but there were a lot of times when my family made sacrifices for me so that I could live out my passion for being a competitive athlete.
There were a lot of hours logged with our incredible nannies when I could’ve been home taking the kids to the lake, a lot of hours of me hooked up to my Normatec and Power Dot stim device when I could’ve been throwing around a football or lacrosse ball with Maya and Jonah in the backyard, and a lot of hours with them hanging out at CFNE watching me train when we all could’ve been out on family bike rides or on Paul’s boat in Boston Harbor.
I missed some games and the games I did show up to were with me still in knee sleeves and oly shoes, I missed chaperoning some field trips because I needed to get bodywork done with chiropractors and meet up for team training sessions, and I spent more time than I’m ok admitting to having mental breakdowns over dissecting my effort and performances every day…and, even more time stressing out about layer upon layer of injuries and overused body parts.
And, I honestly can’t even imagine what it’s like growing up watching a mother who, literally, weighed and measured every gram of nutrition that went into her mouth. Even when we were on vacation with my portable scale. Like, that’s just not a normal upbringing.
It’s just funny because it was so the norm for me for so long that I never questioned it. I just did what I thought I should be doing to be the best athlete I could be. All of the 1%’s were checked off the list every day. And, every day I’d add a new one to the list. Every length was taken to maximize performance.
Today, almost a year out of that lifestyle, I have a much clearer perspective on the kind of balance I want on a day to day basis.
That was great for me…for that period of time. And, while it was taxing on our family, I do think I was subconsciously setting a good example for my children in regards to work ethic, motivation, mindset, commitment, dedication to a team, obedience to a coach, trusting the process, keeping perspective, embracing “failure”, being humble, chasing down fear, finding purpose, and an endless list of other qualities that I do think have rubbed off on their little brains.
But, I’m in this place right now where instead of wanting to maximize my performance, I want to maximize my health…
…as a wife to a man I want to enjoy a long life with. I want to be able to travel freely with Ben. And, ski and surf and ride bikes and do yard work and go on long walks on the beach and do CrossFit workouts together and go for runs in foreign cities and spend tons and tons of HAPPY time with good friends…not DEPRESSING time talking about all of our ailments and diseases and degrading health conditions.
…as a mother of 4 children. I want my kids to know me for the person I have always been: energetic, positive, fun-loving, adventurous, daring, competitive, athletic, and eager to get the most out of life. I want to do anything and everything in my power, including educating myself on what it truly means to be healthy, to keep them from having to take care of me when I get older. The choices I make now are made with their future in mind. I want them to be able to spend their time loving their lives as much as I do, and not wishing I had taken better care of myself so they wouldn’t have to. I want to be this person I am now with them when they’re my age, and with their kids when they are are my kids’ ages.
…and, as a human being that doesn’t want to be tied down with doctor appointments, prescription medicines, parking in handicapped spots, walking around with strong bones and joints that aren’t susceptible to breaking and being injured, organs that function without the help of medicines and machines, and an outlook on life where I can’t wait to wake up and start another amazing day…and, not just survive and “get through” another one.
Ben and I talk about this almost every single day: HEALTH IS EVERYTHING.
If you don’t have your health, you don’t have access to all of the things that make you happy. And, if you don’t have happy, you’re missing out on this life that you are so lucky to have.