A lesson in patience

I am not a patient person. I do not pretend to be.

I am raising two independant and also not very patient children. To my own demise there are moments in which that is a recipe for disaster.

This morning felt like one of those moments.

My son informed me last night before bed that he was going to be making breakfast sandwiches for himself and his sister in the morning. He needed to be woken up early so he could do that for her before she needed to leave (she goes to school 90 minutes before he does).

So I made sure he was up and began putting away the clean dishes from last night trying to stay out of the way. Watching the mess and general slowness that comes with still learning how to cook had me counting to ten and taking as many deep breaths as I could without being audible. While he was tossing eggs around she was preparing her lunch in the most unconventional way I think I’ve ever seen and there was peanut butter EVERYWHERE.

Still trying not to say a word, scream, or otherwise take over because I want them to be able to do these things on their own (even at the expense of my kitchen) I stayed out of the way and only offered assistance when it was implicitly asked for.

Two breakfast sandwiches were consumed, lunches were packed, and after 10 minutes all peanut butter, crumbs, and egg remnants had been removed from the counters. I know it sounds like such a dumb, small thing. It is, and I know this. But its another one of those times in parenthood that you don’t think about until you’re living it.

I’ve worked with teens that didn’t know how to cook even scrambled eggs or a grilled cheese. Didn’t know how to do their own laundry, or had never cleaned the bathroom. I want to be sure that my kids are not those kids. At this point they can cook small things with minimal supervision, they know how to start the washer and dryer (even though that is one thing I am not ready to pass the torch on), and they alternate who cleans the bathroom every other week. The bathroom has been a fantastic lesson in aim for my son so I count it as a win.

While they are both picking up skills that I hope they take with them when they no longer live under our roof, it comes at the expense of my patience and sanity. I do have some OCD tendencies that seem to be more prevalent as I get older, and there are moments where it is so much faster if I just do it myself. But then they don’t learn. Then they expect me to always do it for them.

I love to cook for my kids, I enjoy doing thing for them (can you guess my love language?) but there is a fine line between love and enabling behavior. So here we are. A lesson in patience before the coffee is ready on a Monday morning. We live dangerously around here, but I know in the long run it will be worth it.

Is there anything that you are doing while raising your kids that sometimes makes you crazy?? I’d love to hear about it if you’re willing to share.

SG

Happy Mother’s Day

I’ve felt very loved today by my kids and husband. I’ve also felt the love from friends and family as text messages have been sent back and forth wishing each other the best.

Being a mom is rad.

I’ve known since I was a kid that I wanted to be a mom. It isn’t something I ever questioned, and I am ever grateful that I met my husband and I shared a vision of having a family.

Motherhood makes me laugh daily, cry frequently, scream occasionally, and always end my day thanking God for the two humans he assigned to my care.

Summiting our annual 14er last summer.. Next up this year- Quandry Peak

I am also grateful for the relationship I have with my own mother. It is not perfect, and we are different humans, but I know without a shadow of a doubt my mom is my number one supporter and fan. She always has been, and I know she always will be. From sports practices to sleepovers, moving me into my dorm at Northwood to helping plan my wedding, welcoming grandbabies and helping me drive across the country with a toddler and 6 month old, even if she might not love an idea at first she’s usually the first one in the front row. She’s also Grammie-extraordinaire to all five of her grandkids. There is nothing she loves more then having us all together, which is rare but an event to be sure. We’re going to have a good time when we all invade their house this summer.

I’d be remiss not to also give a shout-out to my mother-in-law. I know many women that married into families that come with a Monster-In-Law. I was NOT one of those people. I’ve been married to my husband for almost 15 years and known his family for 20. They are some of the kindest, most genuine, often loud, always supportive humans I’ve ever met. I was welcomed by the Galsters from day one and as we’ve all grown together from across the country to in the same house, to in the same metro area, I am so happy to be a part of the Galster Clan. My mother in law is also one proud and crazy Nana. If there’s an event, she is there, and the smile that overtakes my children’s faces makes my heart full.

I know that not everyone celebrates Mother’s Day, like any other holiday we all have our reasons for doing what we do. Today is just another day for some people, maybe a day to be skipped all together for some, and for others it’s a day to celebrate. Whatever you choose to do today I hope your day is filled with love and to my fellow Mama’s out there- Happy Mother’s Day!

SG

Hips Don’t Lie

And they get incredibly bitchy if you don’t pay them the attention they feel they deserve.

The number of injuries, tightness and general discomfort that come from having tight hips is more then I’m willing to bet you even realize.

As women we carry stress and trauma in our hips. How interesting between our hips is where we carry babies, where our reproductive organs live, and is also where we as women are most grounded/ rooted. That isn’t coincidence friends, that is how the creator intended us to be.

Low back pain, knee pain, guess what often (not always, but often) plays a roll? You guessed it, all the muscles around your hips.

Ok, fine, so what am I supposed to do about it?

Ahh, I’m so glad you asked! (Yes, I have these types of conversations with myself often.)

There are TONS of exercises that you can do, but today I’m going to show you just one that I try to spend time in every day. I notice when I don’t take the time, so I have to assume that it’s working even if it feels only marginal.

The z-sit or 90/90 sit is Queen in my book. You sit with your legs in a “Z” or both at 90 degrees. Rocking and moving around in circles will help the hips loosen up. Not going to lie, the position can be a bit uncomfortable at first. If it is, that’s a subtle (or not so subtle) indication that more time in that position will be beneficial.

Starting with a couple minutes while scrolling your phone or watching Netflix is perfect. Increasing the time and eventually the range of movement will come as you get more comfortable in the z-sit.

Give the z-sit a try, and let me know how it goes.

SG

Why is healthy so HARD???

A question I have not only asked but that I get asked by clients on almost a weekly basis. Why is living a “healthy” life or making healthy choices so hard?

As with everything in this space, that is a very broad question with a rather nuanced answer but here are three reasons that stand out to me being the biggest reasons why.

  1. It’s easier to be unhealthy. Sound like BS? Depends on the person but really, our life of quick accessibility and immediate gratification have made anything that takes even a small amount of effort an inconvenience. Health is a life-long journey. It ebbs and flows, and it requires constant tweaking. Discipline is necessary in order to maintain any progress that has been made, and if we’re being honest discipline isn’t sexy. It isn’t fun. Modern life has made it EASIER to be unhealthy.
  2. Being healthy/ making health a priority is EXPENSIVE. Take a look at any menu- what is the most expensive vs. the least? When you’re in the store, is organic produce and pasture raised meat more expensive then the normal produce and pre-packaged stuff? Then look at what comes out of the freezer, canned and boxed areas. That stuff is pennies on the dollar by comparison. How about medical care? I have MANY strong feelings as it pertains to our healthcare system (95% them are not fantastic) but follow the dollar signs. Even the way fitness is marketed- what does a Peloton cost? How about a boutique gym membership? All of the things that point to making healthier choices usually come with a price tag. Are there free options out there? Of course there are! But they aren’t nearly as sparkly.
  3. Change. Is. Hard. Period. The way we are hardwired (as humans) we don’t like change. It’s uncomfortable, it’s challenging, and in order to see results we have to put effort in for an extended period of time. That doesn’t not correlate with the current world we live in, but this isn’t a new phenomenon. Making New Years Resolutions has been a joke forever, and yet people set themselves up for the same failure every year. We’re going to start on Monday, or after we do this, or after that happens, and then we don’t do anything at all because #hard.

So am I here to defend the above reasons and tell you that your health is not your problem and that it should be made easier so you can make the changes you need to make.

If you think that you don’t know me very well.

I’ll say it again (I’ve been saying this for months) YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Nobody elses.

In rebuttal to the excuses commonly used above I will encourage you to consider instead-

  1. Instead of focusing on how hard it is, look for easy wins. You’ve heard this before but instead of taking the elevator (if you actually go anywhere these days) take the stairs. Or park in a further parking space instead of right up front. Go outside and take a walk if you have a break instead of scrolling social media for 10 minutes. Pack your lunch instead of eating out. Read a book instead of zoning out to Netflix. You don’t have to make huge choices all the time to see progress, the little things become the dial movers with consistent practice.
  2. Yes, health is expensive. But being SICK is more expensive. Buying better quality anything will cost you more up front. Better food, better supplements, better beauty products, yes it adds up. But if you want sticker shock- google how much a heart bypass surgery costs ($20,000-$30,000). Cancer treatment ($5000-$70,000 depending on treatment). Insulin for the rest of your life ($200-$500 per month depending on insurance coverage). Sure Medicare will cover some of it, but even the best insurance plans leave people broke from paying for treatments to illnesses that can often be prevented by taking care of your health. That doesn’t mean you have to overhaul everything about your shopping list and life all at once. You might go broke if you try to do it that way (especially right now). But when you run out of something, replace it with a healthy alternative (things like personal beauty care products, home cleaning products and laundry soap). Don’t buy things that you know trigger you to over-indulge. Invest your money in the dial movers one at a time. Something is almost always better then nothing.
  3. Instead of focusing on the Hard, focus on the Wins. As I mentioned before, we aren’t wired to like making big changes in our life. We get set in our ways, and once that happens See Ya Later Alligator. Instead of looking at how far you need to go, sit back and acknowledge how far you’ve already come. I’m a big fan of rewarding yourself for progress (the trick is finding a reward that isn’t going to set you back and trigger other negative habits or feelings) so find something that will bring you joy to reward your progress. Also, when you mess up or don’t perfectly execute something shake it off and keep going. The number of times I’ve seen people (and at times done this myself) throw in towel after one small mistake is enough to make me pull out the small amount of hair I have. As I said before, the small things add up to become the big things. Celebrate the victories no matter how small they seem and keep moving forward.

So let’s wrap this up… Why is “Healthy” hard? Because it benefits way more people for it to be hard, not easy.

It’s up to you grab the bull by the horns and decide for YOU what being healthy means and what YOU are willing to do to get there. Start small, be intentional & gradual, and celebrate the wins regardless of how unremarkable they may seem. “Healthy” is a challenge, but it only has to be as hard as you make it.

You’ve got this, I have the utmost faith in you!

~Sara

Let’s get intentional

If you have followed me for any amount of time then you know how I feel about New Years Resolutions. The whole “New Year, New You” thing is overblown and quite frankly it sets you up to fail before the new year even begins.

It is also an excuse.

Instead of making changes NOW, people wait until the New Year and then when it goes to hell in a handbag (as is usually the case) people throw in the towel and wait until next year. It’s such a waste.

When it comes to celebrating the new year I personally use reflection to measure where I’ve been and how close I got to whatever my goals were last year. Then as I’m looking towards what I want to accomplish this year I set a theme or word of the year.

My word of the year is my guide. I have it placed prominently in places I’m going to see/read it everyday. It is a reminder of my goals and what I want to achieve in the days, weeks and months to come. Sometimes it changes, but most of the time whatever word I begin the year with is also the one that will close the year out.

In 2020 I chose the word Connection and Lord how necessary was that when lockdowns started? I wanted and needed to feel apart of something even when we were told not to physically interact. That word became a lifeline I didn’t know I would need when setting it.

In 2021 my word was Intention. To go through my year doing all things with intention. More then once I found myself asking why I chose that word and those were the moments that I knew I had chosen well. It’s hard to do things with intention if your way of life doesn’t always align with what the majority believe. I married a contrarian and I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing, so acting/thinking/living with intention is a must.

Even with Intention, as 2021 wrapped up I found myself feeling trapped and small. I felt like I was too comfortable and I felt lazy. I was content to just coast, and that seemed fun until it wasn’t anymore. I wanted to be pushed. I wanted to be forced out of my comfort zone. I wanted to be sure that I was not in the same place in December of 2022 as I was in 2021.

So my word for the new year is Growth.

2022 Word of the Year

Growing is my focus. Personally, professionally, and though the path is still unclear spiritually as well. Embracing discomfort is a significant step in growing, so taking the time to wrap my head around being uncomfortable on purpose. It scares me a bit. I know there are things I’m not going to enjoy, but in the end how much better off will I (and those closest to me) be because I embraced the “suck” that most people are not willing to face.

Might sound a tad arrogant, but if it pushes me out of that space of “meh” that I was feeling at the end of 2021 it’s worth it. Regardless of the things around me that are out of my control (of which it seems there are many) I’m going to make the best of 2022.

I hope you’ll join me!

SG

What the Health??

When you hear the word health, what comes to mind?

To you, what is the picture perfect definition of the word?

Do you fit into that picture?

Why or why not?

I got into the fitness world almost a decade ago because I saw for the first time that women could be strong as hell, lift heavy stuff, and not actually have to worry about getting “bulky” (Can you guess what I was told growing up???) But as most people do, I found the more I dove into different disciplines, the more that I saw being strong was such a small piece of a very intricate puzzle.

Health to me is all-encompassing. If 2020 taught me nothing else it was how much I value what I perceive to be “good health” and diving deeper into all the things I can do to tweak and maintain it.

It includes physical, mental, and emotional health, and deep dives into various aspects of each health pillar. I’ll go out on a limb and say I dive a bit deeper then the average human on these topics and I spend a decent amount of time “bio-hacking” on myself to figure out what works best for ME, and then what might be beneficial to the people that trust me as their trainer and coach.

Our bodies are BRILLIANT machines, and they are made to run as such when we treat them as such. Modern convenience and lifestyle has turned us into lazy, sugar-addicted, screen worshipping zombies. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say I’m just as involved as anyone else.

In the same breath I acknowledge where I can be/do better, where I’m not willing to budge and where I know I need to do SOMETHING because otherwise it’s just madness.

My goal here is to provide insight and be of assistance to anyone trying to navigate health themselves while maybe not having a specific starting point. We ALL start somewhere, SOMETHING is better then NOTHING, and no two people are exactly the same so what works for you may not work for someone else.

Instead of all the screaming, polarizing and condescension that seems to go down on all the big social platforms I’m going to hang out here and see what happens.

Thanks for reading/ following along. I’m excited to wax poetic about our bodies, brains and feelings (I couldn’t come up with a third “b” word to insert there). If there’s something specific you want to hear about leave me a comment below.

Thanks!

~S

Holidays in 2020

Because this year hasn’t been enough of a dumpster fire, now we are entering what is usually a very festive and joyful time of year.

A time spent with family and friends, a time to be present with the ones we love most, a time to actually get out and be among those we enjoy being around.

Except this year we’re being told NO. We need to stay home, we need to distance, we need to sacrifice so we can get out of this pandemic.

For some that’s exactly what they are doing because they are rule followers and it’s for the greater good right? For others (and there is a big part of me that falls into this group) the minute you tell me to do something, the next minute I’m going to tell you where you can shove it.

Now before anyone gets their panties in a wad, I am NOT denying that we have a situtaion going on in this country. We do, and it sucks.

My struggle through it all is that a very large entity that can’t run it’s own business effectively is essentially trying to tell everyone how to run theirs and as it hasn’t worked the way they hoped so far, then maybe it’s time to take a different approach. You may disagree, that’s fine, we’re all grown ups here. This is how I am going to choose to see it.

I’ll wear my mask when I go into a public place, I’ll distance where I can, and I’ll not venture out if I’m feeling sick. When I am at home, my mask can go to hell and I will continue teaching my children to observe and question the world they live in.

For Thanksgiving I will pick my brother and his family up from the airport on Tuesday morning and I will enjoy every loud and crazy minute that they are with us the next couple days. We will not be wearing masks in my house, we will all sit down together to share meals, play games and watch movies.

I am not in denial about what is going on in the world. I value my time with my family more right now, in a moment I am promised and won’t ever get back, then I do living in fear of a virus that may or may not take me down.

This opinion isn’t popular, but I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. We will get back to something that looks like a normal life one day, there are just several roadblocks along the way. Until then I’m going to live my best/ most healthy life and keep showing up each day.

I cannot and will not live in fear of something that I cannot control. I think if we all just did our best to be thoughtful humans we might avoid several of the pitfalls we seem to have created.

On that note, have a joyful and gratitude filled Thanksgiving and I’ll talk to you again soon!
~S

Moving back into Alignment

If 2020 has done nothing else, it has showed me quite clearly the importance of acting from your center.

Like anyone else my world was turned upside down in March of this year, and I have spent the past 7 months trying to piece it all together in a way that makes sense.

To be clear it is still murky, but at this point I feel comfortable in saying I’ve found level ground and that feels like one hell of an accomplishment.

The thing that I discovered was out of alignment was my values. The things that usually meant the most to me were no longer a priority. I was purely in survival mode, I was allowing outside sources to dictate my thoughts and in turn my actions. I was miserable, overwhelmed, and not coping well.

This led me to make decisions that in hindsight I would make differently, and while I cannot go back and undo some of them, I can choose to move forward from a place of heart or a place of panic and fear.

I know which one I choose.

I’ve hesitated to write/ post in quite a while. I haven’t wanted to come off as “insensitive” or upset anyone. I haven’t wanted to share what I’m thinking for fear of how I would be perceived. It’s been a pretty shitty way to live.

Many of my thoughts do not align with the mainstream media and the agenda of people with more power then I.

I’m so over it.

I know I’m not the only one.

I’m tired of being told to be afraid.

I’m tired of decisions being made for me that are presented as being “for the greater good”, but there is very little logic behind it.

I’m tired of lies, fear, and doomsday.

I’m ready to live my truth and values, so it is what I’m going to do.

I truly hope you do the same. Whether our “views” align or not, I hope you are able to focus on living the best life and situation for you and yours. At one time or another we were able to coexist with people that didn’t think exactly like we do, I’m hopeful that one day we might be able to get back to that.

Until then, choose to follow or choose to cancel, I’m not too worried about it either way. I’m going to keep doing me, keep trying to put good into the world, and keep loving on my kiddos and family because in the end that’s really what’s most important to me.

See you soon!

~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!