Keeping Up With The Joneses

Do you ever feel like the saying “you buy things you don’t need, with money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t know?” applies to some area of your life?

Comparing ourselves among ourselves is not wise.

We all have different strengths and different weaknesses, or parts of our lives where we can be better than we once were.

Over the last 3 & 1/2 years, I have said “I just want to be the best me that I can be at the age that I am.”

I basically started that out loud since I started going to the gym and doing CrossFit.

I have done some type of exercise routine since I was 19 years old.

I jumped on a mini trampoline, I went for a run, I joined a gym, I had a personal trainer, got a treadmill, did Tae Bo, Abs of steel, Buns of steel, and just about every Beachbody workout that has been on an infomercial.

Then, I started CrossFit.

Strict pull ups. When I started, I couldn’t do one.

There is something about working out with other people and putting your score or the time that it took you to finish a workout up on a board for everybody to see that can be very comparative.

The gym I go to now doesn’t have us put our scores up and that works for me!

I did not realize that I was a competitive person until I was 43 years old!

I switched schools twice when I was growing-up.

Once in junior high because we moved, and once in senior high because my parents thought it was best.

I played basketball for one year and by year two,my understanding for mathematics was so poor that instead of putting me on the bench until I got my grade up, they kicked me off the team.

Basically that’s what I looked like in 1985.

That was a blow to my confidence when it came to sports, even though it dealt with math.

I didn’t play any more sports throughout high school.

That was my choice, however, had there been someone who said you should try out for track because you are a fast runner or we need someone on our team, that probably would have been the encouragement that I needed.

It wasn’t until I was much older that I was able to look back on that experience and recognize the link between not playing high school sports and continuing an active lifestyle right after Billy was born.

Fast forward to the worst night of my life. January 27, 2018. The night my child was senselessly murdered.

My boy.

I had had,major surgery four weeks before that awful night. I was still healing and had two weeks to go until I could start slowly working my way back to CrossFit workouts.

I’m usually not one to sit down at all. I go go go go go to a fault sometimes.

I was really trying to embrace the six week rest period of healing.

That six weeks of recovery was what frightened me the most about the surgery. Not the surgery itself.

What six weeks looks like on a calendar.

How do I rest? How do I not want to get up every day and go workout at the gym and miss six whole weeks?

I look back and I understand that mindset was way off! Rest is so important in many ways.

When Billy was murdered and I was four weeks into the rest period, I was propelled once again to go go go go go.

You do the things that you absolutely have to do with this adrenaline rush and through all of the utter disbelief,numbness and shock.

If I could tell you the whole story of what happened immediately after my son was murdered, many of you would have a jaw dropping reaction.

I try to genuinely share my heart, but there are some things that are not meant for others to know at this point, but trust me,it was absolutely a whirlwind of situations that had nothing to do with Billy’s death.

In the midst of everything, we went to the funeral director, we picked out a casket, we wrote the obituary, we figured out where he would be buried, we met with the florist and picked out the flowers,we figured out who would speak at the funeral service and where it would be held, got the photo albums out, filled the picture boards and planned the memorial service from start to finish.

Billy’s father and I had been divorced for 23 years when our son was brutally murdered.

We each had to agree to and plan together with our individual families a lot of details and it was very sudden.

We all came together as Billy’s family and did what was best and what we needed to do for him.

When Billy was buried, it was my five week mark after surgery.

I was not even allowed to vacuum for six weeks.

I had one more week to go before I was allowed to get back to life as usual but it would never be usual again.

When I walked into the gym at exactly 6 weeks after my surgery, I don’t know if people were surprised, shocked, or encouraged to see me.

The gym isn’t just where I work out, it’s a community of people who get to know one another and support one another and encourage one another.

I needed my people.

CrossFit Ephrata Where I started CrossFit.

Some had come to the funeral, some had brought us food, some had signed a card, we are a community.

I started to realize then that although these are the same people that I could easily compare myself to, it was not wise to do so.

Everyone has battles in life to overcome. Everyone has stressors. Many people go to the gym to relieve some of that stress.

That realization continued to unfold as I had to modify workouts to something that I could slowly work my way back into.

This was really about post major surgery, bereaved Mother me, versus pre-surgery nurturing Mother who had never imagined losing a child me.

I have come a long way since I started CrossFit, and since I returned from surgery and the worst nightmare any parent could ever face.

I often have to find ways to remind myself of that without using it as an excuse.

I hate to admit that some days I have the thought “you know, I should be doing this work out with other grieving mothers who are my age to really see how I hold up!”

I know that is the wrong attitude.

I just keep going.

Even if it requires slowing down, going lighter on the weight, taking more breaks or even crying mid-workout.

Some of the movements are easier post surgery to be honest with you.

Surgery helped bring balance to areas in my body that had been very weak.Video of me doing a few push ups! ^^^

I have gotten stronger in some ways and not as strong in others.

There are things about CrossFit movements and weights that I haven’t ever been able to do yet.

I still want to be able to learn how to do handstand walks,and do a muscle-up , and string together 100 double-unders for starters.

Muscle- Up progression.

I am a different person since Billy was taken from us.

It affects our family on every level.

Spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.

I’m a different version of the me I used to be. I still want to be the best me I can be for the age that I am.

I’m glad I’ve finally embraced that comparing myself to anyone younger or older, weaker or stronger, thinner or heavier, shorter or taller, faster or slower, louder or quieter, healthy or sick,is not wise.Its actually pretty foolish.

Ephrata Strength-and Conditioning. Our gym. Our community. Our people.

Whether that means at the gym, at the grocery store, driving down the road,at the office, on Facebook, in my neighborhood, at church, anywhere and everywhere I go.

As my son Robbie says,

” You be you Mom.”

That’s all I can be is me.

Me being me

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