Confession of a Recovering Busy Person

This is the first week in 5 months that I get to come home each day after work! I have been personal training a couple nights a week, but recently decided I needed to step away, unfortunately for the second time.

I HATE thinking of myself as a “quitter”, and so instead I’ve decided I’m learning just to be a “focuser”.

I started personal training full-time when I moved to Northern Virginia in January 2014. It wasn’t my major, but it was my passion; one I had greatly studied and prepared for through my college rec center, and one I felt called to pursue in some capacity. I had just spent the previous year promoting health and wellness as Miss Virginia, and I thought, “heck! Now is the time to give it a shot as a career and build up more experience in a space I know really helps people.”

After 3 months in, my joy started to become my exhaustion. I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of my clients, but I knew I wasn’t giving them my best. I was training from 5am to 9pm many days, without weekends to recover, while also doing two part time internships and planning my wedding. That winter felt especially cold and isolated.

I slowly (and sadly) had become the trainer who never exercised.

I started applying for a full-time job to find a way to have a more regular schedule so I would actually have time to take care of my own health, rest, and see people outside of the gym.

I then tried to live the best of both worlds by working full time AND training a few mornings and evenings a week. But after a few more months, I realized I was totally spent just a month before my wedding. Cause you know, the way to handle too much on your plate is by trying to do more…

Around this time, I had a flash back to high school when I was working a part time job, playing three sports, in the school play, leading youth group activities, and taking all AP classes. My English teacher was worried, pulled me aside and told me that I was burning the candle at both ends. I laughed it off at the time saying something about being the energizer bunny, but over the years I really began to recognize her perceptiveness of a re-occuring tendency of mine: Doing TOO MUCH.

So a few weeks before my wedding, I made the hard decision for my future marriage and my own sanity, and quit my gym job. I felt like I had disappointed my boss who believed in me, and I let down my clients who trusted me. I wasn’t quite sure if this passion I thought God had given me, and that I now was “giving up”, would ever come back.

However, I was so much more at peace walking down that aisle, less stressed, more rested, and more focused on the meaning of marriage than I otherwise would have been.

The first 3 months of married life, eating dinner together for an hour at our table just talking and learning, were absolutely priceless. The priority at that time was figuring out how to be married and live with someone else, and enjoy being young and madly in love! It was so important to build a strong foundation in our home before we rushed back into our crazy schedules. The sun that summer never shined so brightly.

Jump ahead to January of 2015.

We both knew our “slower” pace couldn’t last forever, as Ryan’s work picked up and I started itching to get back into my love of fitness in some way. We were in a new year, and wanted to support each other to pursue our dreams!

We both got heavily involved volunteering at church and Ryan picked up soccer again. Ryan supported me as I re-launched my blog, and started up Beachbody coaching and personal training at the same time mornings/evenings. They all seemed to flow together so well! I was happy to get back into the swing of something I knew God had prepared me for some years before. And I was also happy to be investing in an interest that I could likely do as a mother one day.

Being a coach has been tough work, and yet so very rewarding. It has helped me to view social media with purpose and as a vehicle to encourage and minister to people.

I not only found a way through Beachbody to feel healthy again when I had slowed down in my motivation and doubted my ability to get back into it, but also found a community of support and love with inspiring coaches who also believe in taking care of the body they’ve been given.

I believe in this business and the way it helps people, and the gift that it can be to so many. This was something I wanted to get up early for, and stay up late for.

With personal training, I know I was meant to go back for a second time, to meet the new clients I did and build meaningful relationships with them; to personally watch them lose weight, baggage, and timidity…even if only to get them started for 5 months.

BUT yet, I had suddenly, once again, found myself over-extended. UGH.

My own emotional and spiritual capacity for my spouse, family, church family, and friends had significantly shrunk, along with my mental capacity at my full-time job and physical capacity for taking care of things at home; it was clear something had to give. I was so stressed and caught up running from place to place, that eventually I didn’t get as good at hearing, or listening to the still small voice. I had said yes to many good, good things, but had not made the best choices.

All of my “yeses” had a purpose, but they weren’t all in alignment with my top priorities I had discerned God had told me to concentrate my heart and mind on now in THIS next season.

I needed journaling and writing time. I needed more prayer and study time. I needed more family time. I needed more cleaning time. I needed more business development time. And I really just needed to guard and protect taking care of ME time. (something that I know not a lot of people get the opportunity have)

So. I re-evaluated priorities. Chatted with the husband. Prayed about it. And knew I had to once again, humble myself and say goodbye to a love: personal training. It was the only thing I currently could cut back on, giving me an extra 8 hours a week.

I knew I had learned a little bit from the first go around, because once I was convicted to give my 2 weeks notice, I didn’t feel once sense of guilt like before.

I didn’t feel like a failure. I was sad, but I knew it was right. I’ve started to feel a great sense of satisfaction after discerning it’s not an addition I can currently handle, and being able to confidently say no, politely.

Somehow I feel like balancing a lot has been ingrained in me from a young age. Maybe it’s because I was trying to save the world, or maybe I just have a lot of interests and have always wanted to fulfill them all. I have always desired to take advantage of every opportunity. This is something I am now aware of enough to be sure the balancing a lot doesn’t become a totally UNBALANCED, unhappy cycle.

It took me a long time before I realized “being all you can be” doesn’t always mean wider, thinner, more quantity… it can mean deeper, higher, more developed. Think VERTICAL, not horizontal.

As humans we can’t have it all and do it all alone. NOT at one time. But we can have it all in different seasons. Just because we put something on hold for a year or 5 years, doesn’t mean it won’t be there when we decide the time is right to pick it back up again.

Life is never easy, and always going to have it’s very stressful and busy times. I’m not saying we should drop everything whenever we start to feel overwhelmed because life itself is challenging. It is however, my aim to let nothing make me so rushed and empty, that I missed the big things, and very little daily things, God has in store for me. In a world that tell us to do MORE and be MORE, we must work hard to find the great  beauty in simplicity, in stillness.

And so I’m in recovery…attempting each day to not be a people-pleaser, to not feel pressured to compete with my expectations, to not be super woman, to just be Rosemary, the daughter of a loving, guiding, all-wise God.

We don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to be perfect. We just need to be faithful.