Yesterday our youngest, Tate, turned 4 years old. Birthdays are always exciting and full of reflection; I mean, kids just grow so fast. But this particular birthday has carried so much emotion with it. The improvements in Tate this year have been amazing, and looking back at our four year journey with him, I can’t help but feel so thankful for all of it. To top it all off, I started an intense body bootcamp program one week before this birthday. Now that my days aren’t spent managing life with Tate minute by minute, and my nights aren’t spent awake with him; I decided to focus on me for a bit. 

I knew that this program would stretch me, and I started ready to give it my all. What I didn’t expect, was emotion tied to a simple workout and eating program. Leaving today’s workout, I was struck with how pursuing strong is forcing me to shed the “weight” of four years of trauma. I feel for parents of sick children; and while our journey hasn’t been as intense as some endure, I know very personally just how much our bodies store that trauma. When you are deep in doctors visits, and ER visits, and hospital stays, and specialists and all these people trying to help you sort out life with this child, and day to day is so dang hard; you aren’t processing, you are surviving.  

Years of survival builds up, and now that my Tate is functioning more normal, I’m ready to shed the “weight”. What’s fascinating to me, is that its been surprisingly motivating…the thing that’s pushing me harder each day isn’t a desire to be skinny (that would be nice though!), but more this deep down drive to shed the emotions, the trauma of four years. It sounds so cheesy on paper, but my goodness, aren’t humans fascinating. The way we process and survive, not always thriving but doing our best to just get through the mountain in front of us…now I’m ready to pursue thriving, to focus on me and to shed all the “yuck” that I’m still carrying deep down in me.   

I no longer panic with breathing episodes, or when I hear a person cough in public, or when someone is clearly sick and near my kid; I no longer panic at being in public with Tate, wondering if he will sit still, go crazy unexpectedly, or refuse to participate and just “shut down” at the most inopportune time. I’m able to function with less anxiety and stress and over-preparing for every minute of my day. What a refreshing, and almost forgotten, reality. I’m sure our journey with him isn’t over yet, but I’m reveling in the peace and calm that each day brings. And the luxury of early morning workouts, pushing past my limits and forcing strong (its still just a dream), that’s surprisingly therapeutic. So please pardon my million Facebook posts, and odd emotions for these next five weeks (or more), because sometimes in journeying to strong, you first have to shed the emotional “weight” that life has handed you….here’s to life free of it all, emotional and physical, here’s to strong.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal, to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

“If you think you’re beaten you are, if you think you dare, not you won’t. If you like to win but think  that you can’t, its almost a cinch that you won’t. Success begins with a fellows will, it’s all in a state of mind. Think big and your dreams will grow, think small and you’ll fall behind. Think that you can and you will. Its all in a state of mind.” Walter Winkle 

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