My journey begins in Michigan; Corunna, Michigan to be exact. I travelled a decent amount and went to college just south of Chicago at Olivet Nazarene University, but for the most part stayed in Corunna. I have one brother who is five years younger than me. He is good at everything…school, athletics, making friends, you name it. I’ve always struggled with my weight and it never helped that I had a thin, fit brother who could run circles around me.
I followed my husband, Ben, to Columbus about 5 years ago. When we met he was living in Charlotte, NC and I was living in Corunna. He worked for a pharmaceutical company and was at a conference in Chicago. My Aunt is a biochemist and was at the same conference, sitting right next to him. She was forever trying to pawn me off on someone and he was the target that time. Here we are…married 4 years, have 2 beautiful girls, Chloe and Piper (affectionately known as “The Pipe” because, well, she definitely has pipes), and a wonderful life in Columbus, Georgia. Ben works for Synovus; he’s an IT Sourcing and Category Manager. Basically, he negotiates IT contracts for Synovus. This means we never pay full price for anything but we also have to read all the fine print on EVERYTHING….it’s a blessing and a curse really.
Believe it or not. I’ve always liked to exercise but then would find reasons to quit. My grandpa passed away the day after my 22 birthday and he was into bicycling. My entire family is/was a cycling family and I have vivid memories of riding in a Burley with my snacks and baby doll, Emily. After Grandpa passed away I got back into cycling as a way to feel close to him. I lost 40 pounds and felt great! I continued cycling until I moved to Columbus. I’m not sure why I stopped…I guess I just did, again, and subsequently put all the weight back on.
I had a rough third trimester with Chloe and had to spend the last 3 months on bed rest because of high blood pressure. I know that work caused most of this, but so did the extra weight. In the end Chloe was an emergency C-Section with a very hard recovery, not only physically, but emotionally as well.
I was introduced to Stroller Strong Moms in May of 2012 when Chloe was 6 months old. I was so excited and nervous my first class. Sara (Randolph) told me it was the hardest workout I was ever going to do and she was right. I was very intimidated but went anyway and after the first class was hooked. I couldn’t keep up, I looked ridiculous in my workout clothes, my C-Section incision ached, but OH MY WORD I had so much fun! After a month of SSM we found out we were pregnant again. I came to class religiously during my pregnancy…every day. I felt so good through my whole pregnancy and continued to not be able to keep up and look ridiculous in my workout clothes. But I was there! With Piper being due April 12 I planned on March being my last month of SSM, but with KimKap working to shake that baby out it was a hard class with Brooke W. that pushed Piper to her limit. I swear it was all the squats and my pregnant version of sprints that made her come March 29. Yup…I was in class the day I gave birth, not on purpose though. I had another emergency C-Section but this time had the easiest recovery imaginable. I couldn’t wait to get out of bed and walk around the hospital and when we got home, I couldn’t wait to get outside and go for a walk. We made a few appearances at SSM in April just to get out and get some air (no working out, yet) and finally gave in and started back the beginning of May. My midwife was supportive even though I was only 4 weeks postpartum and I’ve been coming ever since.
Admittedly, I haven’t lost the weight I’ve wanted to, or expected to really, but in the end, I don’t think that’s my goal. My goal is to be the healthiest me I can be and show my daughters that women are supposed to be strong and healthy and that doesn’t always mean skinny with thighs that don’t touch. I was so excited to run my first race EVER this month as part of a relay team in the Soldier’s Marathon. Now I’m training to run a half marathon…who would have thought? I know this is because of SSM and I never would have done anything like this without the support and encouragement from fellow mommies on the same journey.