Don’t put “courage” in a box

There are two words that have been hot topics as of lately.  Courage and Love.  One would not think such words would be controversial topics. The legalizing of same sex marriage has caused the word ‘love’ to be discussed and defined. Bruce Jenner’s transformation to Caitlyn Jenner has caused the word ‘courage’ to be discussed.   Even though these two topics and events were entirely different, I group them together in my mind because I believe the same about both.  Love is love and courage is courage and it is NOBODY’S right to define or judge either of those. Leave the judgment to God.
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One of the reasons I felt so compelled to write about courage specifically is some of the comments and pictures I have seen on social media of people posting pictures of firefighters or marines etc. saying things like “THIS is REAL courage.”

One of the blessings of our country is the freedom to express opinions ideas, etc.  But on the other hand it can be hurtful to read as most of these are not opinions or ideas, they are harsh judgments and mean spirited comments.  I often wish, we could not so easily hide behind a phone or computer and open up more person to person discussion about such topics.  Like minded people “comment” and “like” each other, which does get our world any closer to understanding one another.  It just divides us more.

I have been aware of the Transgender population for sometime now and I will be the first to admit that as it became more prevalent in the media, I was very confused yet intrigued by it. I felt confused that God would put someone in a body that wasn’t meant for them and would cause them so much pain and distress.  But I also know better than to try and understand God and why he does the things he does. But did I tell somebody who was Transgender that what they were going through was wrong or mental? Did I judge them? NO.  My goal has been nothing short of trying to understand it and help my own ignorance before I make any decisions or comments about what I believe.

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Comments like “THIS is REAL courage” make me angry and sad for those making them and for those on the other end of all this. That comment alone is insulting to our whole human population.  Are people who risk their lives for our country courageous?  ABSOLUTELY.  But, we have done a disservice to courage by putting it in box.  People are struggling and doing courageous things EVERYDAY in their normal lives.  You could write a book on all the different ways people exhibit courage.

I see it all the time with the students I work with. There are days when I sit with students and just cry with them.  I cry for what they have gone through and and I cry because I wish that at such a young age they didn’t have to deal with abuse, neglect, bullying, self-hate etc. Yet, these are the strongest and most courageous young people I know.  If anybody walked a mile in their shoes, they would not doubt for a minute their courage.

It takes courage to walk into rehab. To leave a relationship. It takes courage to admit you are wrong, or scared or unsure. To walk into a new school, gym or job.  It takes courage to stand against a society that is so judgmental and harsh, that it causes people to commit suicide.  For some people, it takes an insurmountable amount of courage just to wake up every day and keep breathing.   I applaud every single one of you.  

It is really okay if you do not agree with Caitlyn Jenner or applaud her or the issue she stands for …or any other issue for that matter, that is your right!  But please understand that courage does not fit in a box.  It is as diverse as the beautiful people that inhabit this earth.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

 

 

First Trimester Recap!

You knew it was coming right?  I have bored you with talk of wedding planning, training for marathons, balancing a healthy lifestyle, career etc…..it was only a matter of time before you got a full blown preggo post.  I promise there will not be many of these as I will have many more things to write about in coming months.  However, being as I am a first timer to this whole experience it is BLOWING MY MIND YOU GUYS.

As of today I am 15 weeks pregnant!  For those of you who were like me and thought it was odd that pregnancy measurements were in ‘weeks’, that means I am almost 4 months along. But I totally get the week by week thing now, because every week is truly a victory.

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First Trimester was a little rough for me.  I cannot complain too much however, because I only got physically sick once.  Just random bits of nausea here and there when I needed to force myself to eat (not much of an appetite), so I am VERY thankful for that. However, the exhaustion and the emotions have been a force to be reckoned with.  I thought going to bed at 9pm every night in my normal life was bad, but for weeks I could barely make it past 6pm.  Sometimes I would go home, eat dinner and then just go straight to bed. And that is if I didn’t have an end of day emotional breakdown first that caused me to cry myself to sleep.  Not kidding…ROUGH.

The roller coaster of emotions and anxiety has been the hardest for me.  There should be a support group for husbands who have to manage this, or at least a warning in your wedding vows.   From the moment I found out I was pregnant I have had overwhelming feelings of anxiety and worry that something bad was going to happen, that this beautiful gift could potentially be taken away from me or that I did not deserve it.  I went through every possible scenario in my head until it made me sick. Sometimes it was enough to send me into panic attacks that caused me to have to leave work.  Luckily, that has gotten a little better. I have also struggled with some general depression, especially from weeks 6-10 and had a hard time shaking that.  It it is not as frequent now, but still creeps up on me.   Apparently these are all common things some women go through during pregnancy that I was so NOT ready for.

Lastly, my workouts could be summarized in two words, slow and WEAK.   For now, the girl that could run a marathon or throw 130 pounds over her head is taking a little vacation and is being replaced by girl who has to catch her breath after walking up a flight of stairs.  As much as I wanted to take a break until I got my energy back, I kept at my workouts and threw some yoga in too, I just had to take it extra slow.  This was a little tricky to explain to my fellow gym peeps since they didn’t know what my deal was yet. Luckily, I have been nursing an upper body injury so I was able to do some different workouts due to that and not make it as obvious.

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Current pregnancy craving: canned peaches.  But they MUST be cold.  Pregnancy is weird.

However, as of the last two weeks I can honestly tell you that for the first time in months I finally feel like myself!  This is so refreshing, I was starting to worry that having no energy and being depressed and anxious all the time was my new norm. NO THANK YOU.   My energy is back, my workouts feel great (but still taking it down a notch don’t worry) and overall my happy demeanor has returned. I even felt baby flutters the other day, SO AWESOME!

Surprisingly, I have not gained a single pound yet BUT let’s just say things have… shifted.  The abs I had are officially gone and are being replaced by this weird little pooch that sticks out…doesn’t really look like a bump at all…just looks like I ate too much ice cream or something. Can’t wait for it to look like something is really growing in there!

I have made a commitment to continuously eat clean through my pregnancy and not fall into that false trap that you have to “eat for two” or eat whatever you want.  Of course I would eat pizza and candy all day but that doesn’t mean I should.  I am allowing myself more treats here and there, but overall really being conscious about taking in good nutrients. I don’t think I have ever been so excited to gain weight…I am sure that mindset will change in a few months 😉

Stay blessed in the mess!