As my very first post here I think a little introduction is appropriate. My name is Melanie, I am an ACE certified personal trainer, a gym rat, and reluctantly now call myself a runner. This last point is what has gotten me on the track to becoming an accidental athlete. I am training for my first Triathlon this summer, so I’ll be adding swimmer to the list very soon. (Right after the 15 mile race I’m running in the middle of February. Sometimes I make bad decisions…)
But let’s back up. I was never an athlete. I didn’t play sports other than one season of softball and a few years of cheerleading. In fact, I was as opposite as it gets. In the past I have struggled with anxiety, depression, and anorexia. I was a self-destructive party girl for most of my teen years and truly believed I could never be an athlete.
It was my husband who introduced me to the gym, who encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and see what I was capable of. I hated it to begin with. If you’ve read my about me page you know the journey wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for me. We worked on a military base and going to the gym was almost humiliating at first. I was the only girl in a sea of soldiers and could barely lift an 8lbs weight. I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious, I care a lot about how I looked to everyone else. With my husband’s support and encouragment I kept at it, researching excercises, form, execution, muscle groups, and nutrition. I slowly gained self-confidence and stopped caring if I looked out of place. This was my journey, and only those who supported me deserved any place of importance.
When I became pregnant with my first child I continued training. As a natural birth supporter, I strongly believe pregnancy is NOT an illness or a reason to suddenly plant yourself on a couch and wait for 10 months to pass you by. I lifted through my entire pregnancy. I was a sight to behold in the squat rack. Birthing my daughter naturally at home was one of the most empowering experiences I’d ever had. I felt strong and primal and capable of anything. For the first time in my entire life I realized that I mattered, that I had purpose. I knew then that I needed to show my daughter that for the rest of her life.
My second pregnancy was not so easy. I conceived shortly after a devestating miscarriage, I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t feel strong. I felt terrified and helpless. When I started bleeding 5 weeks in I was put on pelvic rest and didn’t even feel comfortable with hiking the trails that were my second home. I became anxious and sluggish, my stress levels were sky high and I just felt lost. My little rainbow baby was a fighter though and after that rocky first trimester she showed her mightiness with every chance she got. Another beautiful homebirth later and I was suddenly Mama to two someday women and I knew this was my purpose. This path I am on now is where I had been heading my entire life, I just couldn’t see far enough ahead.
If my second pregnancy was rougher than my first, my second postpartum period was hellish in comparison. I struggled hard with postpartum depression, I could barely function and the gym was out of the question. I started running as a way to clear my head and get out of the house for a bit. As the days passed and the mileage added up I started to feel more comfortable and confident in my new normal. Once I got back into the gym all of the pieces fell back together for me.
My journey hasn’t been easy or linear, I’ve started and stopped many times, I’ve started completely over twice now. I know that it’s not the easiest road, I know that it’s scary and uncomfortable and intimidating. I won’t deny any of these things, but I also know that the journey is worth the reward and you never realize just how bad you feel until you start feeling good.
I find so much joy in helping others to make changes, to take chances, and to begin their own journey. I have a passion for women’s health, I care deeply about the loss of sisterhood among us, it’s my dream to inspire a movement of strength for the women in my life. You’re stronger than you think you are, believe me, I know.
Please subscribe to the blog to recieve email updates and stay up to date on all the fun around here!