Oh This Journey

True story... today I was scrolling through Instagram while the boys napped. Image after image people were doing some pretty awesome things. Many were fitness folks I know, riding the waves of success and accomplishing major goals. It's hard not to feel a bit of jealousy. FOMO is real.

Sometimes I wonder where my career would be if I didn't choose to mostly be home with my kids. Hard to say out loud. I don't want it to sound like I have regrets or that I'm not grateful for the life I live. It just means I feel like I have so much to give and right now I can't really do it all. 

Isn't it something we all think once in a while? What if I ______________. You fill in the blanks. Not for one second do I regret the road my life has taken me to this point. But being a mother does inevitably does hold me back from certain career opportunities. I think it's important to acknowledge that. And for someone who thrives on giving 110% of herself to any given thing, it's often hard for me to feel good about where I am as a mom AND a fitness professional. At this stage in my life it feels nearly impossible to be really great at any one thing. 

During the day when I'm home with the kids I feel pressured to check emails, work on class ideas, post to social media, etc. Even just scrolling for a few minutes online tugs at me reminding me of all the things I could or should be doing for my career. 

And then when I am working, all I can think about are the boys. What are they doing? What am I missing? I never get to go to soccer practice because it's on Saturday mornings when I teach. Does that make me a bad mom? (I know the answer to that but it doesn't mean I don't think it sometimes.) And as I walk to my week night classes I can't help but notice all the parents rushing home to have dinner with their families. It's hard not to feel guilty that I'm not sitting at the dinner table with them or putting my boys to bed. 

I've always felt that the past five years of my life have come in powerful waves. My full time teaching career started off at an all-time high and I rode that wave to it's peak. In fact I was at the hottest point of my career when I found out we were expecting Grayson. There was no way to sustain where I was in my career as my belly got bigger and bigger and my life changed rapidly. After Grayson was born I took a full four months off from teaching. I lost classes and clients. Upon my return the rooms were not immediately full of students like I was used to. I felt like I was working so hard but silently crashing. Clients had found new routines. New trainers. Just because my world had hit pause, no one around me had slowed down. Gradually I built my business back up. I'd say it was a full two years before I had really found my stride. I was back on my A game. Guess what happened shortly thereafter? Yep. Next comes Max. This time around wasn't much different. I did return to teaching a bit more quickly but still have had to rebuild my schedule, get my name back out there and work to remind people I'm back. 

It's been almost eight months now and lately I've been feeling a little down. I keep returning to the thought that I have so much to give, yet I don't know how to do it. I feel stuck. There just isn't enough time to do it all. Some days I feel like I can't compete in the big leagues of fitness anymore because I don't have the energy or time to commit to it. No matter how hard I try, maybe right now isn't my time. And then something happens that reminds me it just isn't who I am to sit on the sidelines. Everything to this point has all been my choice. To start a family and continue my career. No one told me it would be easy. I wasn't made for easy always. I just need to adjust my sails. Sounds like I'm going back and forth? That's because I do. All the time! 

The point to my ramblings? I guess I'm just sharing that the struggle can be real over here. Just as it probably is for so many of you as well. I have no breakthrough statement or advice. BUT something cool did just happen! 

So as I was having one of those "I feel a bit sorry for myself for no real reason, other than I'm exhausted and I have so much work to do" kind of days I came across a Boston Magazine article titled, "Five of Boston's Most Popular Fitness Classes." I re-read the intro paragraph a few times because I was intrigued. 

In a culture of $100 leggings, green juice cleanses, and ubiquitous #fitspo, group classes are no longer simply about staying in shape—to some gym junkies, they’ve become legit status symbols. Over the past decade, Boston’s boutique fitness scene has exploded, sprinkling the city with Mercedes-level Spin, yoga, and kickboxing spots that have turned instructors into social media celebrities and packed waitlists with people eager to sweat with the best. “The way people feel when they leave a good class, that sticks with you forever,” says Kelly Brabants, whose lower-body-sculpting sessions sell out lightning fast. Want to see what all of the fuss is about? Sign up for one of these highly coveted classes—if you can get a spot.

As I read through the list I was thinking, "yep, love these instructors," they are all on a roll. I want to be on a roll again. I felt that familiar tweak of jealousy start to emerge. I told myself, 'OK, I need to make it a real goal to get myself back out here again.' And then holy crap. There was my name. I was shocked!! 

Expect wall-to-wall mats in Phelan’s Pilates classes—even at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday. If you can squeeze yourself in among the regulars, you’ll be treated to (and tortured by) 45 minutes of core-focused toning exercises. Phelan also teaches at Equinox’s posh Franklin Street location, for members only.

And there you have it. Boston Magazine basically gave me a slap in the face to snap out of it. I'm not ashamed to admit that I needed this article. We all need reminders that we are on the right path. That even though it's really, really hard sometimes that we have to keep moving forward. Keep on, keeping on. Life isn't easy. I've learned to adjust to make things work. I feel like I have to do that a lot lately. Make changes, evaluate the course I'm on and cross my fingers that it will work out. Believe in the cause, even when I'm too tired to know if it makes sense. And I truly believe that if we come from a place of real, honest hard work, good things will happen. 

Seriously, thank you Boston Magazine for the love. It means so much! And thank you to all the students who come week after week (and baby after baby), I have so much love for the Boston fitness community. And to everyone who tells me they follow me online and read what I write - thank you! It feels SO good to have an outlet to share. I'm feeling inspired! xoxo