Refining Myself


I’m not an excuse maker, and I’ve never really been someone who has much of a tolerance for people who do make excuses. I’m a realist probably to a fault, which means I’ll typically rationalize my way through any type of reasoning until I fully understand a situation. I even annoy myself.


Then I became a mom.


My ability to rationalize and reason through every situation went into overdrive, and I think I’ve finally {as in this week} realized it’s turned into the justification that I’m not making excuses when I really am.


I’ve been a workout addict my entire adult life. It’s always been a priority to me, mostly because exercising has a very blatant correlation with my mood. Some people need to shop; some people need to have a drink, but me? I’m one of those people who needs to workout in order to have control over her stress levels. I worked out my entire pregnancy.


And oh how I’ve made excuses since becoming a mom.


This week I’m in Dallas for work and I’m lucky enough to be staying at this gorgeous Gaylord property shown in the picture below.

I went into this trip with mixed emotions. It’s a six day trip, which is longer than most of my work travels, and I had to leave on a Saturday, in turn losing my entire weekend with my daughter and husband. Most of my trips start on a Monday morning and only last a couple of nights. On the other hand this trip is for our executive conference, so it’s a series of top-to-top meetings with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. So while it’s the type of trip I thrive off of mentally and professionally and walk away inspired by at least one person, it’s also the type of trip I struggle with emotionally.


One of the other benefits and drawbacks to this trip is that there’s a lot of downtime. Sunday was crazy with back to back meetings from 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., but then Monday I didn’t have any commitments until 6:30 p.m. Great, right?! Luckily, it turned out to be.


One of my biggest flaws (other than the extreme reasoning “skills”) is my inability to realize I’m stressed out. I tend to go, go, go and justify that it’s just the way life has to be. That I wasn’t meant to relax and that nothing can ever be moved around because what is just…is. I’ve traded my hour long, six days a week workouts in the gym for 20-25 minute at-home workouts that realistically only happen four (ish) days a week. And the stipulation is that they can only happen with a cute little blonde toddler hanging on me during squats, climbing on me during pushups or pulling my hair to try to get me to stand up during crunches. I never walk away from them feeling accomplished, I just walk away grateful I completed it before a tantrum broke out.


Self-care is so.important. Especially if you have a personality like mine. I have a personality that internalizes things without realizing it. Exercising, for me, relieves all of that instead of allowing me to get to a point where I lash out. I’ve relearned this about myself this week.


Monday I made my way down to the pretty impressive fitness center at this hotel, turned up the music in my ears and completed a back and ab workout like I did before I had Adelyn. I walked away from that workout feeling so good that I went back in for a cardio portion later in the afternoon before I had to get ready for the evening’s events.


This morning I went down to the fitness center for my old chest and shoulder workout and felt so good afterwards that I went out to the property’s running trail and kicked out a quick mile before running stairs I found along the way.

Late morning into late afternoon I went and worked on things for tomorrow’s event and still felt so.good and motivated after it all that I suited back up and went a run on the property trails again.

I’m like a new person.


I feel carefree. I feel happy. And while I miss my daughter and husband, for the first time I’m learning just how important it is to take time for myself. This needs to become a priority.


While my at-home workouts are definitely better than doing nothing for those days that I just can’t get out, I think that getting into a gym or out of the house where there’s always something consuming my brain is far more vital than I realized. My primary struggle is that I’m away from Adelyn all day already, so I feel guilty choosing to take another hour away from her. But now that I’m painstakingly aware of how much stress I had allowed to build on my shoulders when that simple act of external exercise could relieve it all.


It’s Tuesday, and I already feel like I’ll be a better mom when I get home from this new sense of refinement. And I know I’ll be a better wife.


So while I apologize for judging anyone who’s made excuses because I DO understand now, I’d still like to challenge you to the same thing I’m challenging myself to. ALLOW yourself to be a better person. ALLOW yourself to reevaluate and change priorities. And most importantly, follow through on the self-care of exercise. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re a better person when your mind is clear.


Until next time, here are a few pictures of the property I stayed on. I suppose these views didn’t hurt my motivation either!

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© 2013 by Heather Anders : Meet Me on the Intersection of Richmond & Style.