Monday, February 5, 2018

Fitness and Health: Preserving the Joy

A year ago, I would not have bet money on pumping up a paddle board and setting out to meet a friend in the middle of the Napa River.  But it actually happened. I pumped up my own board and had a wee adventure - one I hope to have again and again.

On the way back from that adventure, I suddenly felt the full force of the joys in my life. I have a wonderful husband, two rambunctious kids, and I had just spent the afternoon on the river with a fantastic friend.  I have a fulfilling job. I love my home.  I could go on. I could list all of my blessings, and I did, and I felt overwhelmed with joy.

I felt like a little piece of time had opened up, and I could, just for a moment, whisper back to my 17 year-old-self, wrestling with all of the 17 year-old drama, and say, loud enough to be heard through time, "It gets better. I promise you that it gets better."

After that moment of time travel, I thought, "I have a lot to lose."

I want to keep this life full of love and light - a life that takes effort and prayer and intention.  A life that did not come easily.

Keeping my life means keeping up with my health. 

After my daughter's birth, I had my first genetic screening for Breast Cancer, which revealed a 35% lifetime risk of Breast Cancer.  Last week, I got the results for a more targeted test through Myriad. 

Thankfully, my lifetime risk has gone down to just under 30% (thank you, breast feeding!), and my doctor offered me several precautionary tips. She put me on a new regimen of vitamins and prescribed 30 minutes of exercise daily. Adding more exercise into my life isn't a huge change, given that I fully believe that a healthy life makes for a happy wife, but I took this to truly mean that paddle boarding is now prescribed by my doctor.

I want to do all that I can to stay healthy and fit for my children. I'm rededicating myself to my own health and wellness - body, mind, spirit, and soul.  

It's been a journey - none of this happened over night, but changes include:

  • Keeping up with bi-annual intensive breast cancer screening. 
  • Seeing a chiropractor to ensure that my body remains strong and limber so that I can exercise
  • Revising my skin care routine to be cleaner and simpler and setting a delivery of my makeup for every 6 months so that I'm not using old makeup on clean skin
  • Meal planning, meal prepping, and streamlining my grocery shopping routine
  • Cleaning up our family schedule to make it more nourishing and less stressful
  • Demonstrating fitness to my children with Yoga, walks, hikes, biking, and more 
  • Paddle boarding
  • Reading, reading, reading - I always have a book on my night table and something new playing on Audible, and reading is a crucial part of my kids' bedtime routine
  • Scheduling a standing date with my mom tribe - no guilt, make it or not, but it'll be on the calendar, regardless
  • Starting an online Bible study/book club (no pressure - one chapter a month)
  • Seeing friends regularly for shared meals and adventures
This list may sound like another version of "do all the things," but each one, individually, nourishes and refreshes me. I am working to keep the blessings I so longed for as a teenager and young adult. 

I realize the weight of the blessings, and I value them beyond measure. 

I will do everything in my power to keep this life. And I'll probably color my hair...just for the joy of it.

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