I think too often we forget where we started.
My fitness journey began when I was a child. I was in just about every sport you could imagine, from cheer leading, volleyball and basketball. Ultimately I settled with track and cross-country.
I joined the military at nineteen, after a semester of college. Maintaining a certain level of physical fitness in the Air Force wasn’t a challenge for me. The challenge came after separating.
I separated after seven years of active duty, as a single parent of two. After the birth of my daughter, postpartum depression had set in. So there I was with a preschooler and a newborn, with no support system as my immediate family resided out of state.
I longed for a sense of belonging, not knowing my place as a civilian. I chose to use my GI Bill and go to school full time. Now I’m a veteran, full-time student, single mother of two.
I dedicated all my time to my studies, striving to be the best mother I could for my kids but it wasn’t easy. I felt alone, being older than most in college, single with two kids. I needed to find balance in what had felt like a chaotic time in my life, unsure of how to juggle it all.
It was the summer of 2018 when I was introduced to No Excuse Mom through my neighbor; who had just started holding meet-ups in the same location her husband taught my son’s martial arts. When I was approached by another leader about leading workouts, I was ecstatic. I started holding my own workouts in the park on Saturday mornings, creating bonds and fitness goals with other mamas.
I began engaging more online, realizing we are more alike than we are different. As a single mother, I feared the judgments I would receive. Initially I viewed No Excuse Mom as a group for married stay at home moms, and wanted no part of it. When I began attending meetups, and began engaging with members who attended mine I was surprisingly mistaken.
There’s more support with a group of women looking to better themselves, not only for themselves, but their children as well. What I found after separating from the Air Force was a new sense of belonging. I discovered a way to create change in the world, looking to empower and support one another while doing the hardest job in the world, motherhood.
It renewed a sense of confidence in me and opened myself up to more opportunities, allowing me to touch more lives through the power of health and wellness. You can channel all your energy into your job, getting an education, or your children, but in order to be well-rounded you can’t forget about yourself. When one challenges themselves physically, it allows one to be mentally and emotionally fit as well too.
I needed to be in a workout routine, pushing my body to new levels in order to deal with life’s stressors. As mothers it’s important we focus on becoming the best versions of ourselves.
What better way to do it, than with the help of other mothers with the same goal in mind?
I’m a 28 yr. old USAF veteran single mother of two. I have my AA in communications, and am pursuing my BA in journalism at Sac State. I write for The State Hornet, and am a co-leader for No Excuse Mom. They say it takes a village, sometimes all that entails is a group of women committed to bettering themselves through a healthy lifestyle. After all, health starts at home.