Mermaids

Sitting on the shore at the Ko’olina lagoons four years ago, my sister and her daughters jumped right in splashing and playing like three long haired mermaids. They were out visiting and I so enjoyed a peek into the future of what life looked like with kids slightly older than my own.

How I marveled at the thought of my then 3 and 1 year old swimming solo. Would I ever get to the point where going to the beach wouldn’t be work? Or a whole lot of sitting on the shore ensuring they had their floaties on and not going out too far? When would the enjoyment of just playing in the water with the kids take over the watching and the worry?

The minions have been enjoying their summer break, the pool, the warm weather, the pool, riding bikes, skating and did I mention, the pool?! Last summer, they were timid and didn’t want to get their faces wet. We did swim lessons, and they made some progress. But this year, Jake asked what it would take to get to go down the slide at the deep end of the pool. Nothing like a little motivation, right? They don’t allow floaties and was told he would have to pass a swim test.

f=”https://curlymamaof2.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/img_9708-1.jpg”> The slide![/capt
And so he did! He splashes down that slide without plugging his nose. He doesn’t wig out when water gets on his face. He plunges in over and over and paddles his way to the side to do it again. And again. And again. We’ve gone to our local water park (with HUGE waterslides) and the kids have a blast! Hannah and I put on our goggles and make silly faces under the water, blowing bubbles, and playing underwater chase. She goes down a smaller slide and tries to splash me as much as she can as she lands with a wide-grinned goggle face.

I get to relax. I get to enjoy them. I conquer my fear of heights and climb those stairs so I can go down the slides, too! The camera sits in the towel bag. My hair gets messed up. We all have goggle rimmed tan lines around our eyes. We get exercise and we sleep soundly with the sun-kissed contentment of a summer thoroughly enjoyed.

This is our mermaid time. And I’m loving it!

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Fair Winds and Following Seas….Again

Before every PCS move (permanent change of station) there are stages of emotions we all go through, much like the way we mentally prepare for deployments and homecomings.

Initially we receive the orders, the “penciled in” ones that are sort of for sure, but could change at anytime. This is where we don’t really get excited yet, because then there would be an additional mourning stage if they did actually change. Then hard copy orders – the ones that can be officially announced. There is some relief with this stage, just having a destination and an end to uncertainty. Then the movers come to assess just how much stuff you have and how many boxes they’ll need to bring on moving day. Then there’s about 4-6 weeks of goodbyes. This is our current stage. And it stinks.

We feel the anticipation of the move, the calendar fills constantly with last minute things; visits with friends, must see sights to check off the list because who knows when we’ll live in this part of the country again, and the kids’ ever dawning awareness that we won’t get to take all of our family and friends with us.

Have I mentioned that this phase stinks? This morning I led my final workout with my neighborhood fit friends. We’ve had so much fun, shared awesome success holding each other accountable, meeting new people and being open. This has been a tangible lesson for me on the importance of taking risks, putting myself out there, moving forward despite fear, and reaching out regardless of time limits.

After this class, the words spoken to me will forever be etched in my heart.

“Thank you, you have helped me through this deployment.”

“You have changed my life. Not only for showing me I can go further than I thought, but your class has strengthened my body so much that I have minimal pains now, where as I used to have such aggravating back, knee, hip, and ankle pain that I wouldn’t work out much. Since your group, I can almost do any move without pain!!! THANK YOU!!!!”

“You have to keep doing this. You have to keep training people!”

“Thank you for helping me get off antidepressants. My doctors are thrilled and my husband can tell a difference!”

“I did cardio for the longest with no results. I had no idea strength training and clean eating were the key and would make such an impact. I love that I’m stronger and healthier. Not to mention I haven’t thrown my neck/back out for months. You are a gifted trainer and I will continue to strength train for life!”

“I can do a handstand for the first time since my teens!”

“Thank you for giving me the tools to become happier and healthier. You’ve made this deployment a little less hard!”

I do not share these comments as a “Yahoo! Go me!” self back-pat. I share them because I said them to MY trainer. I know what it means to say these words. Now I’ve been blessed to keep a promise to pay it forward and hear the words said to me. I often wondered if my trainer walked around with a giant ego – because how could you not when you are constantly told how incredible you are?! I now know better. When people take the time to tell you how you’ve positively impacted them – it’s humbling. I am so completely humbled. (Yep, even ugly cried multiple times today!)

I learned early on in my journey that fitness is more than just trying to shrink. It’s more than fitting into a smaller jean size. It’s about confidence in ALL areas; relationships, reaching out to others (even when it’s scary!), even just trying something new! Its getting up and being engaged with life, doing a cartwheel with your kid, It’s showing up and doing so with excellence in our parenting journey, our marriages, and every other aspect of life. It’s joy. Pure, deep, and wonderful joy.
I will continue to pay it forward. Thank you fit friends! Thank you for showing up and doing hard work and having a blast doing it! Thank you for giving me confidence, for laughing at my jokes, and all of your kind words. I am so grateful for our time together.

Until our paths cross again….Fair winds and following seas!