Facing Anxiety in New Seasons

I wasn’t expecting it, I had been going to therapy, talking through everything I had swirling in my mind and it still punched me in the gut, hard.

Anxiety wasn’t unfamiliar, but unexpected in this new season, especially past the first trimester. I kept my pregnancy completely under wraps through the first trimester, two years ago I could barely keep myself alive so I highly doubted I could keep another human alive.

But the first trimester came and went and everything looked great, but the anxiety never left the scene. Into my 16th week, with all positive doctors reports and I still felt like I was walking on eggshells. Every time I got too hot, the car breaks slammed too hard, or I felt off I would panic. I could think logically, but it never clicked. Most of the time I combatted it with keeping myself busy with anything that I felt would keep me safe.

Why couldn’t I let go? Why couldn’t I just enjoy this season? It was defeating and isolating. BUT I knew freedom was possible despite what the enemy wanted to keep me trapped in.

So everyday I started in quiet instead of letting the days agenda start raging. Digging up all the lies and worry taking up space in my mind, taking those thoughts captive and replacing them with gratitude and hope in the future. Slowly, slowly the narrative is beginning to change. It’s only been 10 days since I started working so specifically on these moments, but every day is a little bit calmer, a little less stressful, and nothing seems quite as overwhelming.

I believe it’s the same for all of us. How often do we truly start the day in complete silence? Phones still away, no one else communicating with you yet, not attempting to conquer a workout, or be inspired by a podcast or new playlist? In today’s culture is it really possible?

Yes, and it’s necessary. AND it’s possible because God is bigger.

Put the phone down, keep the kids (or dogs) in bed for just a few minutes longer, create the boundary around that space. And work intentionally on turning every fear, lie, and overwhelming thought into something glorifying to the Lord.

Because of Him we can have hope in the future. Because of Him we can be free.

It starts with Day 1 and it may never fully feel like it goes away, but just keep pushing friend. We are in this together, and He has got you!

Back Pain: 3 Keys to Core Strength

I’m a chronic stander, it drives my husband crazy. While I do prefer to stand naturally, there is more to it than that: sitting for long periods of time causes too much discomfort. Read: I had a doctors note that allowed me to leave my 1.5 hour long classes in college early because the max I could sit was 45 minutes.

I was destined to back problems before I was born, my dad has struggled with chronic back pain since before I can remember. So, when I hurt my back at the end of my sophomore year of college I knew it could be long and drawn out, I wasn’t wrong. My junior year was basically a wash, and it was hard on my body and my pride. Don’t get me wrong, that year wasn’t wasted – it taught me a lot about just how much it would take to keep my back healthy. It also taught me a lot about myself, my pitfalls, and my resilience.

But now, almost 10 years later and I am learning every day about the routine it takes to keep everything on track. So here is a look into my weekly routine to keep my core strong and my back healthy.

  1. Yoga (2-3x/week) – If you’ve followed me for any amount of time you know that I am a strong believer in the power of yoga – all types. But I particularly like the strong and slow flows that help you stabilize your body, while strengthening your core. Depending on your pain, you might have to modify and that is okay and really a good thing. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should!
  2. Careful stretching (daily) – Proper stretching is incredibly important for keeping muscles loose and the body flexible. However, depending on where you feel less than your best you have to be careful about overextending. If needed, ask a physical therapist to show you the do’s and don’ts for you.
  3. A core routine (2-3x/week) – here is a look into the core routines that I prioritize throughout the week:
    • Plank – not the like the fad, but true planking for minutes at a time. You can stay on your hands or drop to your elbows, just make sure to keep you core tight and your back level.
    • Plank Jacks – your arms hold a plank, while your feet jump out and in like a jumping jack. I usually do
    • Leg Lifts – This one can get you in trouble if you do not keep your back flat on the ground. You want to keep your core tight and your back flat while you lift your legs from 6″ off the ground to a 90 degree angle.
    • Single Arm/Single Leg Body Weight Dead Lifts – Your right arms slowly goes down while your left leg comes up to a 90 degree angle.

All together now!

3-5 rounds of the following:

  • 30-90 second Plank depending on ability level
  • 20 Plank Jacks
  • 20 Leg Lifts
  • 10/each side Dead Lifts

Do you have any other exercises to add to the list?! If you have any questions about chronic back pain or stability + strength work doesn’t hesitate to push that contact button above!

Happy Weekend Friends!

Jordan

Running Through the Unknown and Three Reasons Why ANYONE Can Do the Peachtree Road Race

After the 2018 Peachtree Road Race I was on cloud 9. The goals I had set for myself had been crushed and I knew I wasn’t even at peak fitness. BUT with that much excitement came that much more pressure. After a short break I told myself I was ready to go, trying to prove that I still had more to give. But things never go according to plan: injuries, lack of motivation, and some health issues have plagued me for the past year.

Last July I had no idea the battle I was in for, it’s been a fight every step of the way, anxiety has been a roller coaster, and I am slower than I’ve been in three years. BUT! There is SO much I have learned and I have to be thankful for and every day that I can move my body is a gift that I am taking far more seriously these days. So why don’t we all set a new goal! It doesn’t mean it’s been easy, and it means that this year I had to walk, yes you read that right, the competitive athlete W-A-L-K-E-D part of the Peachtree Road Race because of the heat. I thought I would be devastated, but I wasn’t. It was OKAY. I got out there and did it. I moved my body, I was surrounded by an amazing community, and the encouragement from every direction can’t be taken lightly.

So where are you? How does your body feel when you get out there? Right now I have more bad days than good, but every day of proving I can still move is worth the bad days, and it’s the exact same for you! So here’s three reasons why even the furthest person from running 6.2 can participate in the Peachtree:

  1. Our bodies are resilient and they can do far more than we give them credit for when we start moving a little bit every single day. Yes, it’s a struggle to push START and yes the bad days might outweigh the good ones at first. Maybe you think there’s no way because the progress is too slow. It’s like with anything the more consistent you become the progress will start to speed up! Just be patient and start to discipline, your body will adapt and blow your mind.
  2. Don’t underestimate the power of community and encouragement. Some people relate the Peachtree Road Race to a giant parade, and it totally is from your most competitive to the people who are reaching for this goal for the very first time. There are people in ALL stages ALL around you and that’s just those on the course. Don’t forget the hundreds of volunteers and the thousands lining the streets cheering and providing water/food/etc to everyone who passes. You might think it can’t be that helpful, but I assure you, you get swept up in it and it helps carry you through.
  3. Running is optional. YEP, walking is totally acceptable. Thousands start down the street at a brisk walk, and that is completely okay. You are doing it right? Walking is a great stepping stone in seeing just all that you can do. So why not try it, you have nothing to lose and you might even surprise yourself.

So here’s to you and whatever obstacle you are facing, whether it’s health, discipline, a schedule that doesn’t seem possible. Set that small goals, in order to get to a bigger goal, see yourself reaching it, and start moving forward.

In it with you friends,

Jordan