I haven’t always been the most motivated person around. In fact, I frequently exhibit some distinctly lazy tendencies. I’ve been known to skip the gym and instead sit at home to watch a show while sipping on coffee and munching a cookie. Or to take a nap instead of mopping the floor. Not exactly an even trade. Okay, this may actually happen more frequently than occasionally. I enjoy relaxing.
Now don’t get me wrong, I get a lot of stuff done. My love of relaxing combined with the perfectionism instilled by my dear comb-wielding Mother has led me to be an extremely efficient worker. I work quick, I work fast, or I don’t work much.
I have found that when I hit a large long-lasting roadblock that I tend to find a way around it rather than working through it. Sometimes this is fine. Sometimes it is not.
Prior to college and through my junior year I had been known throughout the music department for my capacity to memorize pieces well and quickly and for my nerves of steel and love of performing. I lived for the adrenaline rush of blasting out a Beethoven sonata that I had just learned in front of a crowded room. It was thrilling. And then I went through a bad breakup, my memory faltered, and my love of performing vanished. I still had a year left in order to complete my degree and a senior recital looming on the horizon.
I was terrified. I couldn’t do it. I hadn’t been able to make it through a single piece without at least one major memory slip in over a year and I knew there was no way I had the stamina or strength to make it through an entire program. I tried to find a way around it. A paper. A project. A recital using the music. But I was stonewalled. It was a recital or nothing.
I distinctly remember sitting down and realizing that it wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t going to graduate. I had completed five full years of classes, two full length recitals, sat in a practice room for six hours a day, had tens of thousands of dollars in student loans just waiting to come due, and I had failed.
And then I found out I was pregnant. And I knew that I had to find a way. It was no longer just me. I wasn’t just letting myself down. I couldn’t give up knowing that someday I would be telling my own daughter that she could be anything she wanted to be when I hadn’t been able to do it myself. My recital took place less than a month before my bulletin year expired. I was three months pregnant with Ryann. And I was proud.
I’ve never been an incredibly active person. I’ve never played sports. I’ve never found pleasure in exercise. And I love food. This didn’t show its effects until Jared and I met. Jared also loves food.
We love to cook. We love to eat. We love to feed others.
By the time I got pregnant I was 50 pounds above what I had been. 50 pounds. And I knew there was more to come with Ryann. I got lucky with my pregnancy and craved almost entirely fruit. I would regularly down half a watermelon, 2 peaches, 5 apricots, a banana, a bowl of applesauce, and a pear for breakfast. Thank goodness it wasn’t Snickers. By the time Ryann was two months old I was back to where I began, which was still well over where it should be.
This started my gym habit. Before this I could never sustain any exercise regimen. I didn’t care enough. It was too hard. I didn’t see results quickly. But now I had Ryann. I wanted to be healthy for her. I wanted her to see that health is valued. So we went to the gym.
Three mornings a week I would load her into the stroller at 7am and we would walk the half mile down to the gym to an early morning BOSU class. I would keep her stocked with toys or lay her out on a blanket a safe distance from the weights and would breathlessly bounce around with the ridiculously chirpy leader. Two nights a week we would jaunt back down for yoga. Ryann’s second year saw us at the gym every day at lunch. Ryann making eyes at the old men on stationary bikes, me trying to get in a couple miles on the treadmill.
It was hard to have the motivation to get down to the gym instead of having a relaxing lunch. But we did it and we had fun doing it. These are some of my most precious memories. And I was proud.
Ryann gave me a tenacity that I had never known before. She made me a stronger person. She gave me a faultless reason to better myself, my home, and the world. I will not stop now.
Ryann kicking it at BOSU