I let go of the rope and fell to the ground like a ton of bricks. My ankle rolled out and I shrieked in pain. I couldn’t stop screaming. Blood coursed through my veins. I couldn’t think clearly. I couldn’t even talk.
My instructor very calmly told me to stay on the floor and not to remove my shoe. After a few breaths, I stood up and my ankle was unrecognizable. It had swollen to three times its size in the matter of seconds.
That was two years ago.
I’m not a natural athlete. I never played sports as a child, and I loathed any sort of physical competition.
When I was a senior in high school my mom finally convinced me to join a local gym just to keep some sort of physical momentum going for me. I was lucky enough to never think twice about what I put in my body: mac and cheese, corn dogs, whatever…. It never clung to my hips or packed on the pounds. In fact, I used to get made fun of for being TOO skinny, and I would take weight gaining supplements to offset the laughs I endured regularly.
That was 20 years ago.
Somewhere after college, I developed a habit of going to the gym, but I never took the time to really know what to do. I would set my timer for the cardio choice of the day and count down the seconds until I was done. Then I’d lift some weights, but never understood the mechanics or cared to understand the science as to why it was important.
However once I had kids, that all changed.
Like many things in life, having children either changes you for the better, or the worse, and it’s always a choice.
For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight after my second baby. I was running, trying P90X, attempting push ups, etc. daily. As much as I tried, the weight would not budge.
It was time to get serious.
I spent all my spare time consumed with the science behind food, movement in the body, and how the two would coincide. I learned that vegetables were my friends, and they’d give me the proper energy to fuel a workout. I’d work out and replenish my body with healthy fats, proteins and carbs.
After nearly two years, I saw a difference in my body. I was getting stronger, more efficient, better. I could keep up with my kids and last all day. I could tend to work, home and still spare some extra energy.
I completed a round of Whole 30, and learned even more about my body.
Too many nuts and I feel sick. I usually have sugar cravings in the afternoon. If I eat like crap, I get sick – inevitably – after a few days of poor diet.
I tried Crossfit. Oh how I loved the challenge.
Then I tore my ankle.
Going back to the beginning of my story and that swelling ankle, my life changed completely for two years, and it nearly wrecked me.
I was coming down from a rope climb, and it was sheer user error. I didn’t know the technique, but I had enough strength to get me to the top of the rope. On my way back down, my hands started hurting and I decided to let go. The second I did, I knew it was a bad idea. I dropped to the ground, rolled my ankle out, and became black and blue and swollen up to my knee.
No more working out.
My kids had to help me sit and stand, let alone trying to fix dinner or give them baths.
I was a wreck. Two years, three doctors, and two MRIs later, I finally had some answers. Letting my body heal took time, and patience, which I apparently lack when it comes to my own healing.
I finally had surgery on that ankle a few months ago, and the doctor placed two screws and ligament band in my ankle and told my husband that my ankle was a complete wreck and hanging on by a thread.
Finally, a few months later I’m now back to working out, and I couldn’t be happier. I never realized how important it was for me to stay active and fit, and live a healthy lifestyle with eating foods that fuel my body.
That two year journey taught me that I’m a better mom, sleep better at night, eat better during the day and have enough energy to fuel my dreams and plans when I’m taking care of myself.
For a while I battled with thoughts of feeling inadequate and that perhaps it’d be impossible to ever workout again.
I feel lucky to be able-bodied and healthy enough to workout and exert my energy in this manner. My kids know that it’s a part of my life daily. They know it’s a priority so I can be strong and healthy enough to play with them.
I know each person is so different, but I’ve loved this whole journey and to be able to learn so much about my body. I have one life, and I plan on living it to the full. Without taking care of myself, there is NO WAY I could accomplish what I plan.