“Becky! Becky! You have to see this!” her focus broken, the first thing she thought was, “Oh no, what did he do now?” She ran down the hall, her heart racing, and her mind rationalizing every step of the way. As she burst through the doors, she was shocked at what she saw.
Anxious and Tired
Becky was 45, and devoted entirely to her family and career, so much that she didn’t realize she was ignoring her health. After years of focusing on everything and everyone but herself, she realized she was always on the edge of having a panic attack. Anxious, tired, and all-around unhappy; her physical and mental health were both suffering.
She realized significant changes needed to happen – but how? Many times she had thought about joining a gym, but all her life she had felt like fitness or athleticism wasn’t for her. “I didn’t think I was coordinated enough, experienced enough, or disciplined enough to be fit and healthy. All of those wonderful things were meant for someone else and not for me.”
Listen to Your Heart
Becky had finally reached a point where it was time to get real with herself. She knew that if she continued down this path, she would never be satisfied. If she continued to ignore her health, her four sons would never have the happy and active mom they deserved.
Even though she knew in her heart that she needed to change, she was still struggling with self-diminishing thoughts. “It was as if there was a voice in the back of my mind that kept saying it was selfish; it wasn’t for me, and I would eventually give up.” But then she realized that the voice in her head was wrong and that she needed to start listening to her heart.
On a hot summer day, just before the 4th of July, Becky and a friend were discussing a promotion that a local gym was having. Together, they decided to join and support each other in reaching new goals. But Becky was smart; she knew that they also needed to safeguard their goal. The gym they chose wasn’t random; it had two locations, one location was near her work, and the other was near her home. “These locations made it hard for me to come up with excuses not to go; either way, the gym was always on the way.”
Not only was it convenient in location, but it also had a fun daycare that her boys loved. What once seemed selfish, now became a small hour of fun for them and motivation for mom. She could walk out into the gym with the days stress weighing heavily on her mind, moody and tired; then step out refreshed and refocused on the things that mattered – her family. That’s something that she didn’t realize before, that a small hour of taking care of her health could mean a lifetime of taking care of her family.
A New Life
Over time, Becky grew stronger, and so did her bond with her friends and her family. Together they made changes beyond their daily routines. Her newfound healthy life opened doors for new relationships and new adventures. What was once an evening spent watching t.v. was now spent making healthy meals with her boys. And a girls night out, soon became a weekend of ziplining through forests and other outdoor adventures. Their ability to support each other in these lifestyle changes has not only helped them stay focused, but they also help hold each other accountable.
The Ripple Effect
Racing down the hall she thought of all the mischief a little boy could get into, but mostly hoping that he was okay. As Becky burst through the gym's daycare doors, amazement quickly replaced her worry and fear. " I was shocked," Becky said. "My 4-year-old son, Alex, was proudly doing a headstand for me to see." It was at this moment she realized how her beliefs about herself would impact her sons. Because she was no longer afraid to try something new, they wouldn't be either. And believing that being healthy was meant for her, they would believe it was meant for them too.
"I find that if you surround yourself with people who are continually pushing their limits, it creates a culture of excellence, where a "no excuses" mentality becomes a core belief." Traci Callahan