Mom, Wife, Teacher, psychologist, neighbourhood snack maker, organizer, planner of events, payer of bills, cleaner of house, creator of fun activities., walker of dog, wiper of tears, worrier, meal planner, grocery shopper.
If you are anything like me, somewhere between University, starting a career and having children I lost myself. I lost Julie, Julie the adventurer, Julie the writer, Julie the canoer, Julie the book lover. I lost her somewhere between cloth diapers, report cards and midday park visits and in July 2016 I realized that if I didn’t find her, if I didn’t make room for self-care and self-reflection; my mental and physical health were going to continue to deteriorate.
The last year has been transformative in more ways than I probably even realize. Carving out an hour a day for ME, where I can unplug and cast aside my worries, where I can be surrounded by likeminded people who value community and togetherness as much as I do has been truly life changing.
A journey is defined as, “an act of travelling from one place to another.” My journey to self-care, to personal wellness and to a life time fitness has been made possible by what I see as the trifecta that embodies Crossfit: constantly varied functional movements, persona
lized coaching and the support of a likeminded community. Once I finished my one-on-one mechanics classes, I jumped right into classes 4-5 times a week.
My number one goal has always been, self-care. Weight loss, increased flexibility, an overall sense of better physical and mental well being all came naturally as I continued to train. About 4 months into my journey I started to feel the differences in my body, I could bend over without effort and touch my toes, my stamina at the gym was better with every workout and my clothes were feeling baggy. Big changes were happening. My kids started coming with me whenever they could: hanging out with other kids, playing on the rings, practicing their rope climbs and watching/learning from their mom, seeing with their own eyes, my strength and commitment to putting myself first so that I can be the best mom, wife, teacher (and all the roles in between) I can be.
My journey to finding Julie has only just begun, the person I’ve found on the other side of childbearing and those first few years of being a parent is different. She is focused, empowered and strong. She is fired up about “getting jacked” and about spreading a message of positivity, self-love and self-care.
One of the essential members of my team is my amazing coach, Jonathan DiPierro (owner of Crossfit Actus), without whom this journey would not be as epic as it has been so far. My membership at Crossfit Actus includes unlimited classes but also a once a month check in personal training session. Jonathan has guided me in my weight loss journey as well as my overall health/eating well being. He has helped me make sure I’m taking the right vitamins, that I’m eating enough and that I’m getting enough rest. He has been there to celebrate very victory with me no matter how small, he has been there for every rough day (or 5). His guidance, his insight and his reassurance have been pivotal in my success. Jonathan has ensured that my success will be long term, that my journey to “getting jacked” is one that is sustainable and that I do not sacrifice nutrition in the face of losing weight.
I am still travelling along this road. The road sometimes feels long (really long), like on days when a weight on the barbell should go up easily and instead every single rep is a struggle. I am travelling through my journey and retraining my brain to see food as fuel not as a reward. I am travelling through this journey of laying aside guilt and putting my personal self-care first. Along the way I get to be a part of an absolutely outstanding community of friends/supporters/cheerleaders, I get to be inspired everyday by the successes big and small of my fellow gym members and of my colleagues at work who have witnessed my journey and have embarked on their own. The journey, the adventure is the thing; there is no “end game”, no stopping point – the journey is fluid and it changes and grows right along with me.