We all have to start somewhere.

I don’t tend to say much as it pertains to anything political, religious, or socio-economic. I was always told not to engage in those conversations outside of my immediate circle for fear of offending or not being in alignment with others.

Therein lies part of the problem.

It’s become such a polarizing thing, you either have to be on this team or that one, but what about those of us that live in the middle? (I’m not talking about politics, but that is a prime example) Now, there are things in my mind that are WRONG, regardless of what “team” you are on. Treatment of people is one of those things. ALL humans deserve to be treated as human beings. Decency is a minimum, and I will raise my hand and say that given my upbringing (which I am not ashamed of, but bares mentioning) had me in the “all lives matter” camp. And of course they do. But recently I have allowed myself to sit with a word that I’ve been resistant to for so long and really marinade in it. To be honest, it has been incredibly uncomfortable. And eye-opening.

That word is privilege.

I have it.

I was born with it.

My children were born with it.

It allows me to not engage in difficult conversations because the reality is that I don’t have to. But as I spend more and more time thinking, reading, listening, and reflecting I realize that I do not desire to sit on that and simply be content. Yes, I have a choice, many do not, and it is my responsibility to use that choice for good.

Racism is learned, so is racial bias. I was raised with bias and I know that. I don’t fault anyone, but I acknowledge that it was prevalent. I’ve spent over 90% of my life living in white, affluent, conservative communities. I am raising my family is one now, and there are days that I absolutely hate it but it is the choice my husband and I made for our family. This fact alone tells me that I still have plenty of bias to unpack, and plenty of bias to make sure I do NOT pass on to my son and daughter.

I have friends and family that are black. They are some of my absolute favorite people, and yet at no point have I really thought about what it’s like for them every day. The things I take for granted, the conversations I don’t have to have, the places I don’t have to worry about going, the assumptions that aren’t immediately made about me because I’m a white woman.

Please don’t mistake me, I will NEVER know how it feels. But if my willingness to at the very least listen, become educated, and speak up helps to make change then I am committed to showing up.

I think back to interactions I have had, and I cringe. I cannot take them back but I can say with 100% certainty that I am sorry for my ignorance and I am working to do better. For the sake of this post it is past interactions within the black and BIPOC communities, but I know I have ignorantly had plenty of moments with people that I consider friends in the LGBTQ community as well. I can continue to beat myself up about it, but instead I’m going to choose to recognize the indiscretion, apologize, ask for forgiveness and not let it happen again.

Sometimes it feels like climbing Everest without oxygen, like one person cannot possibly make a difference. But the thing that I’ve had to also realize is that this whole thing is a compound effect. It’s going to require all of us to do one little thing each day in order to see long-term change. My actions will have carry over to future generations, and as a parent I have to be the example in my home, everyday, for my kids.

I attended a protest this past week in my current hometown of Parker, Colorado. To be honest I didn’t even know there was going to be one until the morning of. A client of mine emailed me saying what an outrage he and others in the community felt that this was happening “here”. Racism doesn’t happen in Parker, a protest had no business here. I was so angry after I read the email, first because of his attitude and second because he thought to send that to me assuming I would agree. I had subconsciously in some way told him that was ok.

I went to the protest. I listened to a mother share how her children had experienced racism at school and her experiences being a white woman-married to a black man- having biracial children. It was sickening and it was heart-breaking. We laid down in the park, face-down, hands behind our backs for 8 minutes saying over and over again “I can’t breathe”. I couldn’t even stay in that position without moving for long because it was horribly uncomfortable. I didn’t have someone on my back with their knee in my neck. I walked with people of all ages, all races, through downtown and the surrounding area repeating George Floyd’s name, Breona Taylor’s name, and a few other things as a reminder of what we were there for. So many people driving through honked at us, cheering, encouraging and engaging even though they weren’t walking. In support, in solidarity, in a majority white community.

We have a long way to go, but to be a part of that lit a spark in me that has been there since I was a child but as an adult I have been unsure and even unwilling to fully allow it to grow. I did email that client back and politely let him know that it was a beautiful and peaceful demonstration. He has not replied, so I’m sure there will be something said next time I see him. Which is good, I see that as a chance to let him know sending that wasn’t appropriate and I won’t continue training him if the behavior continues. I could cut him off, but I do feel like a conversation, regardless of how uncomfortable it may make both of us is necessary before severing the tie.

2020 has been a year that none of us will forget. What I can say at this point is that 2020 is a year that has made me really dig deep into a large mountain of personal stuff. I thought I’d started in 2019, that was a small pile next to this mountain. The only way to reach the summit is to keep walking, so that’s what I’m going to do. The journey won’t ever be over, but the terrain changes, and if I’m open to the exploration only good things will come. Thank you for reading!

~S

Welcome 2020

It’s finally here!

Did anyone else feel like the last couple months of the year simultaneously flew by and also never wanted to end? I’m not one to wish time away but holy hell, it’s been a crazy couple months.

Anyway, new year, new decade. Lot’s to look forward to while also just being another day in the life.

I personally am excited about my plans of what’s going down in 2020, at least for ALA. If I’m being honest, I think that’s why this last quarter has been so antsy for me. Several of the things I’ve been waiting to be able to start moving forward on have been in purgatory. But now I can finally share what’s on the horizon.

B!RTHF!T classes to be offered in the Lone Tree, Parker, South Denver Suburbs. I have been waiting to be able to officially coach the curriculum and that is now a GO. Stay tuned for class dates and times for Prenatal Fitness Foundations, The Post Partum Series and Post Partum Breath and Flow. I am passionate about getting this information out to as many moms as possible, it is a game changer in all the best ways possible.

Online Coaching with my program The Mom First Project. This has been in the works for years and it is finally in a space where I am ready to scream about it and welcome women into a community that I have wanted to create. I got sick of wishing, so I decided to make it myself and put it out there for others. Lots more to come on this in February and March.

Lastly, I’m looking forward to having a kettlebell group again. It will be on Monday & Wednesday evenings in Lone Tree. My first love in fitness has always been kettlebells. It’s where I started, and when I get the privilege of watching someone I coached throw a bell around with confidence and great form it’s like a proud mom and her child. I see so much bad kettlebell form and hear so many disappointing stories that when I have to opportunity to influence positive change I jump on it.

So those are the big ones, at least for now. 2020 is just beginning and there is SO MUCH opportunity out there I’m giddy as hell just thinking about it.

More soon Awesome Humans

S

Musings on Postpartum

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of postpartum is “occurring in or being the period following childbirth”.

I feel like this deserves some expansion, and it deserves a wee bit more of our time then just “the period following childbirth”.

Often the magic 6 week mark is what we think about. If you had a vaginal delivery then your 6 week check up is when the Doctor or Midwife makes sure all of your physical recovery look good, your mental space doesn’t appear to be horrible, and you’re off! Back to exercise, sex, and most anything else that you were doing before you squeezed a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon. Congrats!

In a conversation I was having the other day, a woman recounted a story where she watched her own mother working full time, raising children, and she had dinner on the table every night. That is what she remembered and so when it was her time to have kids that is what she assumed motherhood to be and the expectation she set for herself. At the same time she was wishing for help but felt like she shouldn’t ask for it. She felt guilty asking for help. She felt like she was drowning, and yet she didn’t want to inconvenience anyone else by asking for help.

Why do we do that to ourselves???

Society has placed this magic 6-8 week number on being postpartum, then like the magical unicorns we are, we’re supposed to *POOF* be unapologetically back as the Jaclyn-of-all-trades. It takes us over 10 months to incubate a babe to term, but then we get 6 weeks to recover. What kind of fucked up math is that? Really?

I have a point in all of this I promise, and that is being postpartum is a long term gig. Like forever. Yet this time frame is marginalized and neglected and doesn’t receive the recognition and care that it deserves. Then people wonder why mamas are overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, in chronic pain, or feeling like they are hanging on by a thread. Look no further friends, we are expecting super-heroism out of the strongest mortals and eventually even the strongest of them crack.

Ladies (And Gentlemen if you’re reading this) We deserve better then this. For ourselves, for future generations of child-bearing humans, and for the women that brought us earthside. It’s not a popular conversation, and it isn’t the easiest topic to bring up at family gatherings. But the only way we are going to see change and make it happen is by having these conversations.

I plan to start lots of them, from lots of different angles. I hope you’ll join in, I’d love to hear about other womens’ experiences during the first year of motherhood and beyond. Only by doing better can we expect something to get better. I’m on board for all of it mama, and there is space for everyone!

Over half way to 2020

Just typing that title made me a little queezy, I can’t believe we are already in July.

About a week ago my husband and I were siting on our newly finished patio, doing a play back of the weekend, when I went a little bigger and started replaying the past 3 months. I say that I don’t know where time went, but the reality is I know exactly where it went and fuck did it just blow right by.

In all fairness I knew that if I made it through March, April was going to take off, and I would wake up on December 31st and be delightfully surprised. However, when you are in the moment everything just seems to fly by faster then you ever give yourself time to prepare for.

April sent my to Columbus, Ohio to become a B!rthF!t Coach. I made the choice at the beginning of 2019 to go ALL IN on B!RthF!t (more on that in a later post) so Coach’s Training was step one. Bonus I got to briefly stay in C-Bus with some of my favorite humans, but that weekend is what made the ball start rolling.

In May I spent a week in Austin, listening to people that are smarter then I will ever dream of being, making some rad new friends, eating lots of tacos, and staying in a REALLY shitty motel. At least, that was the first part of my trip. I completed DNS Exercise 1 as another part of my B!rthF!t puzzle, and was given a glimpse at what I could be doing to already make what I get to do for a living better.

The back half of my Austin trip landed me at the B!rthF!T Summit. I don’t have the space in this post to go into everything that made the weekend life-changing, but let me tell you I drank the Kool-Aid and enjoyed every damn minute of it. I made connections with some of the most incredible people, I heard stories and passion from people just like me out there doing some Queen Shit work in their everyday. These people not once made me feel like I didn’t belong, and they reminded me again why I was called and then chose to bet all my cards on B!rthF!t and what it’s all about.

June was nuts with personal things, and now I have July to try and find peace while I also enjoy the summer that finally decided to show up in Denver. I’m still working at my normal place of employment, but in my vision my days there are limited as I look towards what I want to build in the future.

Coming up in the next couple months:

I am co-teaching a class with my Business Bestie to high school-aged girls beginning next week. I am beside myself to be able to share with these young ladies information I WISH I would have had access to when I was in high school. Obviously hindsight plays a role, but the power we are looking to give them will only help them navigate their lives both in and out of the gym for the better.

I tentatively have a new “home” to begin seeing clients. With this new space, my passion to train women, especially those in all fazes of the Motherhood transition moves to the forefront. I am currently putting together ideas and collaborations to offer the women of the South Denver Suburbs. As women, and especially as mamas we have SO MUCH on our plates all the time. It has taken me five YEARS to surrender to the fact that I need a community. I cant do to alone, and quite frankly I don’t want to. So I open my arms to the other women that feel that way too. We’re going to workout, laugh, get weird, and realize that we all have more in common then we thought. It’s going to be awesome so I hope you’ll come along.

I have exactly 5 months left make all the things I set out to do this year happen. Not sure if I’ll get around to all of it, but best believe I’ll nail the things that count.

Stay Tuned Awesome Humans

S

I’m baaaaaaaack

I maybe said that in a creepy Jack Nicholson voice. Or am I thinking the wrong movie? Likely the second, but whatever. February has been a weird ass month, and now that the final week is upon us I am done “thinking about” what I want to write and back to pushing the pink publish button.

In this over-full internet world there is so much to consume and so many conflicting messages and opinions that it can be challenging to figure out how you want your voice to sound. My brain has like 4 million tabs open at any one time and all of them are varying topics with different voices. All of them want to leave an impression and add value. Make you laugh or make you think or give you a hug. At the end I don’t know if they do any of those things but at least I enjoy sharing them.

I still have intention of expanding on the Simplification Shift, likely in March since I decided to stick my head into a text book for the past month and have neglected this little space. Can I tell you how over reading that particular book I am? I did learn some new information, but overall I found it to be rather underwhelming. I miss the money that I shelled out for it, but you’ll have that sometimes. Moving on.

So simplification, the motherhood journey, movement and health, and the importance of finding/ creating your community. To me, those things make up an awesome life, or they allow you to create the pieces that will in turn make your life more awesome. Cart or horse, either way it’s a step forward.

Stay tuned anyone that takes the time to give this a read, I have so many things I can’t wait to share here.

Later Awesome Humans

S

 

Constant Evolution

Does anyone else ever feel like they are on roller coaster that they cannot get off? I feel like that has been life for a while. I feel like anyone that has known me for any amount if time possibly wonders if I’m ever going to actually get off the roller coaster and move forward in life. Like if ALL the shit I’m always spouting off about and the things I say I want to do/ achieve/ accomplish are ever going to actually happen or if I’m just completely blowing smoke up their ass. Realistically I doubt anyone actually thinks those things of ME specifically since as a species we’re 90% self involved, so we mostly don’t actually care what other people are up to, and even if other people did think these things of me then its really not any of my business anyway SO. Now that I’ve word-vomited all that, lets get down to the real stuff, shall we?

I just re-read my initial post of what I want Actively Living Awesome to be. I’ve actually written that particular post about 100 times, but that iteration is in my opinion the best one. I’ve stalled out in building an online community for a host of reasons, including but not limited to- not knowing how to differentiate myself, LOATHING all things social media, having a really big picture idea but not narrowing it down, wanting to do too many things at once, and sucking at all things time management so everything I start I don’t finish. Man, that list is longer then I thought it would be. Truth? Maybe not.

I decided to make an investment in myself back in August, and THIS TIME I’m going to actually do something with it. Like, really. I purchased the Certified Pre/Post Natal Coaching certification through Girls Gone Strong and am finally deep into reading, processing, and eventually applying the information. But already, it’s not enough. Already I know, without a shadow of a doubt that this is the lane I am meant to travel in for the foreseeable future. This is where I WANT to live, and so it is where I know I will thrive as I push on. I’m not blind or ignorant to the fact that there will be challenges, set backs, and “God Damn Its” along the way, but it is so refreshing to not be feeling wishy-washy about something I want.

I have to stop being afraid of what others are going to say and think about the work that I want to do and how I want to choose to show up in the world. I’m not for everyone (Lord knows I never have been) and quite frankly I’ve spent so much time trying to garner approval from people that don’t even fucking matter that in the process I have been in a tailspin for almost 5 years. Fuck, no wonder I’m dizzy.

I am going to tell my story, the way I have lived it, and in doing so I’m going to offer ways to help other women, especially the mamas not have to experience things the way I have and hopefully allow them the strength and encouragement to see past the bullshit in their way to achieve their most Awesome version of life. I’m not always going to be politically correct, I’m going to have opinions that are different from what’s popular and what’s mainstream and I’m not going to filter them. I’m going to swear and not apologize for it, and I’m going to own up to my end of this place in this world regardless of how that is perceived by anyone else. I’m tired, I’m dizzy, I’m sore, and I vow to myself to show up for anyone else out there that feels this way too sometimes. We are all in this together, and somewhere along the way it feels like that has been forgotten. It’s “us against them” and then we wonder why we’re still sitting on that proverbial roller coaster, clicking up that hill for the 87 millionth time just wishing we could get off and do something else.

My car has pulled into where people get on and off, I’m getting off and I’m exploring the rest of this amusement park. Hopefully I’ll see you all around. Later!
S

What the Hell is Actively Living Awesome?

 

Actively Living Awesome(2)

I’ve been talking about this idea for about two years now, but there has always been something that makes me stop and not DO anything but keep talking. (If you know me, then you know I can be a talker. It’s a gift and a curse but, take the good with the bad right?)

This past year and a half has included almost as much personal change for me as the big move three years ago that essentially re-hardwired my entire existence. I started training people in a gym environment (something I had been talking about for YEARS) and realized that I had a passion that I could make a living at simultaneously. But there is something else that I love just as much (sometimes even more) and that’s helping the person build their strength in aspects besides the physical. Helping build the person, all the way around.

But here’s where I’ve gotten hung up, and why this concept of Actively Living Awesome hasn’t left a very small and close circle. Here it goes-

I am not the picture perfect trainer/ coach/ mom/ lifestyle whatever-you-want-to-call-it that you see on social media. I’m not, I don’t want to be, and a filter or two aside on occasion, I’m never going to be. It just isn’t me. I don’t have six-pack abs, I don’t eat clean all day everyday, I barley make it out of the house with my teeth brushed let alone with make up and a matchy-matchy work out ensemble from Lululemon. I wear about 25 “hats” on any given day, and I don’t want to “sell” something that doesn’t feel real and natural to me.

The people that I want to work with are the same way,¬† they want to work together¬† because I have the ability to help them figure out something or accomplish something that they couldn’t do on their own. It does take a village, so let’s build one!

Maybe that something is develop a workout routine that fits in during nap time while still having the time to get housework done and enjoy 10 minutes of quiet. Maybe it’s developing a new habit that will be life changing but seems unattainable. Maybe it’s getting stronger so the monkey bars at the park aren’t just for kids. Maybe it’s just figuring out how to set up the day so at the end of it there’s guilt-free gratitude with a glass of wine for all that is awesome in life. I want to work with these people because it’s what makes me light up, it’s the very best part of what I do. It doesn’t have to be hard, for anyone, but that is what I’ve made it for far too long.

So what is Actively Living Awesome? It’s a space to go for health, fitness and general life tips that help you live YOUR most awesome version of life. That’s it. I can’t tell you much more then that right now, because there is a whole lot of AWESOME going on behind the scenes. But what I can tell you is to expect an authentic, sometimes random, but always honest voice from an imperfect human with a pretty awesome life.

Are you in?

Sara