Quiet time

prana mantra pants

I’ve been a bit of a homebody and a hermit this last week, thanks to sick baby quarantine (#necessary) and some behind-the-scenes developments that I can’t share yet but are making me sad and reflective.

prana mantra pants
Living for these prAna mantra pants these days – the perfect playground to yoga play pant.

The silver lining to staying home and keeping quiet is that it’s given me a chance to feel grateful for the community we’ve built in Austin. There’s nothing like a baby to spur you to make connections and make new friends, and having this easy point of entry into finding my people in a new city has been the greatest gift. (Besides, of course, the baby herself).

New staples: the bike, my Essence pH10 water, and sunglasses of the week (sure to be broken by the time this post publishes…)

I’ve also been making more space for home practice—still such a work in progress; I live for the energy and structure a group class provides—but hey, any poses are better than no poses.

prana mantra pant sweat pink
What standing splits turns into when the baby goes mysteriously quiet… #troubleafoot

Mac and I have been having some special mommy & me dates: at the park, on the bike, and at home,  where she’s become a champion selfie-artist.

These pants, people. I just can’t stop wearing them.
A selfie by Mac. #artistinthemaking

I’ll be back with more details and more glee in the near future; in the meantime, I’ll be online shopping while the baby naps. If you want to be my pants twin, they (and everything else at prAna) is 15% off with the code S4P17AMB. 🙂

Stay sweaty, stay connected, my friends.

 

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Don’t go high and dry

sweat pink essence ph10

#momlife is all about adjusting to the new normal. Every time you think you have something figured out—like how to get some sleep, how to get some exercise, or what makes the baby happy—everything changes.

A lot of the advice I got about having a child involved concrete skills: breastfeeding advice. Sleep-through-the-night tactics (hah). Babywearing and naptime scheduling. I’m working on all those skills, but above all, being prepared for and adaptable to whatever’s presenting itself RIGHT NOW is the most significant skill I’ve been honing over the last 13 months.

On our ski getaway weekend, I was super proud of myself for preparing for… and then actually hydrating like a boss. Going up to high altitude always leaves me really dehydrated, to the point where my dry mouth wakes me up at night. I took along my Essence pH10 water (and yes, my checked bag definitely got extra security screened as a result) and kept up a rigorous hydration regime. It was the only thing I could control, y’all.

Essence pH10: the freshest, cleanest water you’ve ever tasted. Pure as the driven snow.

To be honest, I had no idea what alkaline water was when I first met the team at Essence pH10. So, in a nutshell, here ya go:

“Influences such as environmental stresses, medications, processed foods, disease states, conditions of exhaustion, acidic drinks, for example, can weaken the bodies’ homeostatic mechanisms that work to maintain our body’s pH level. An Alkaline environment helps promote optimum health and may help to support a cancer-free life. “

I can get down with that.

sweat pink essence ph10

Another win from that weekend: Mac got to play in the snow, reducing the cost per wear of her snowsuit by 50%. With special-use baby clothes, that is a BIG DEAL.

Yeah, she was way more interested in this weird patch of snow by the wall than in actual pretty fields of snow. Doesn’t she know I need to take pictures??

Even though we don’t have boots or any kind of snow-appropriate footwear, her feet stayed miraculously dry. Bobux shoes FTW.

Now we’re back at home, back in the warm Austin ‘winter,’ and Mac and I are spending lots of time tooling around town on my bike. And guess what? I’m still hydrating like a boss.

Fun fact: my diaper bag bottle pockets fit (a) baby bottles, (b) wine bottles (c) water bottles and (d) all of the above. #preparedforanything

All this hydration has me feeling seriously like I can do anything. And it’s good for Mac, too: since I’m still breastfeeding, I like to think I’m passing on that good health and hydration to her as well.

This post was sponsored by Essence pH10. Opinions are, as always, mine and mine alone. Thank you for supporting the brands who support the sweat pink community!

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You know what you need?

You know what hasn’t changed since Mac has been born? The things that make me happy.

If you’re surfing (drowning in?) the postpartum emotional riptide, you know what you need?*

The same stuff you always need.

If bliss to you is a bubble bath, take as many bubble baths as your pruny toes can handle. Binge reading YA lit? Find a way to escape into a fantasy land made for 12 year olds.

For me, the things that reliably turn my frown upside down are exercise and time with my oldest and dearest friends. The ones who always lift you up and give you energy, even if you’re an introvert and generally have diminished capacities for social interactions.

I got a LOT of that over a visit to Tahoe for my aunt’s milestone birthday and some quality Jamie time.

We spent time outside playing in the snow with the Surge and the Kamagon: two pieces of equipment that customize the weight on by filling with water. The water sloshing around inside means you get a lot of stability work, too. Between the snow and the lake and the water sloshing around in our equipment, there was water, water everywhere!

Jamie always makes me work out, but she is nice about it: for example, her Kamagon ball is WAY heavier than mine. Mine was practically empty. That’s one of the things I think are so great about water-based equipment: if you’re shy about how much weight you’re working with, nobody will know how full or empty your Surge or Kamagon are.

The equipment meets you where you are, and you can be all stealth about how hardcore (or not) you are.

prAna hoodie, #sweatpink laces, pink Kamagon.

The difference in our resistance reminds me of a time that we took a HIIT class while traveling in New York. I forget where the class was, but I DO remember it started at 6am and we’d been out til 3am the night before.

It was a ROUGH class. I could smell the adventures from the night before coming out of my pores and the room seemed to spin on its axis every time I stood up from a squat or a plank. Burpees were a sick, sick joke.

The best part about it, though, was that the instructor switched our names. So when I was dropping to my knees for pushups or dragging myself too slowly from one exercise to the next, he was yelling at “Jamie” to pick up those knees or hustle. The real Jamie, of course, was doing everything perfectly, while I snickered secretly at his mistake and tried not to throw up.

Anyway, I was in much better shape for this workout with the Surge and the Kamagon while my awesome dad braved the cold and the wind to take pictures.

HOORAY FOR FAMILY.

prAna hoodie, pink Kamagon, Canada mittens from Susie!

And hooray for exercise. The time when you don’t want to do it is the best time to actually make it happen.

And then we took Mac snowshoeing for the very first time. She loved it.

Also, I love babies in snowsuits. SO MUCH.

And the thing that makes me happiest, hands down?  Snuggle time with furry friends. <3 you, Abbie.

Stay sweaty, stay happy, my friends.

*I don’t actually know what you need. I’m not a professional. This is just a guess. 

 

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The simplest answer is usually the right one

Mac turns one on Friday. Tonight is the anniversary of my water breaking, and the beginning of a looong time waiting for that baby to come out.

Her birthday is prompting a lot of self-reflection, as birthdays tend to do. In those early, hazy postpartum days, and in the ragged months that followed, the refrain I heard most consistently was that it gets better. Specifically, by the time she turns one, all the extremes of new motherhood will soften and erode. Sleep deprivation. Mourning for past lifestyle. (Ir)rational resentment of husbands. Shattered resilience, broken body.

Y’all know—or at least, I haven’t been hiding—that this first year has been a doozy for me. I’m used to being in control and making shit happen and having my own fucking agenda.

So I’m pleased to report that one of the walls I keep running up against—finding time to take care of myself, or, more specifically, exercise—is starting to crumble. This is happening just this week, so, early results, and all. But still.

In the last week, I made to a class or the gym four times. FOUR TIMES.

For all y’all I know through fitness, this probably sounds like a pretty weak week. Or, in more gracious terms, a recovery week. Some of you regularly do that in a single day.

But this, for me, right now, is major progress. Here’s how I’m making it happen:

In the simplest way possible. I’m not trying to work out in the morning, because I don’t like mornings, and having a baby has not changed that about me.

I’m not trying to go to mommy & me fitness classes because, fun and kill-two-birds notwithstanding, the baby’s nap schedule rules all and often overrules our ability to attend.

Nope, I’m doing what comes most naturally to me, and what makes the most sense for our new lives.

I’m doing it after she goes to bed.

Stupid simple, right?

So simple I feel kind of silly writing a blog post about it.

But it’s working. And, bonus points, it eliminates a lot of decision fatigue: there are limited options for yoga or dance classes that start after 8pm, so those are the ones I go to.

That means, this week, I’ve taken lyrical contemporary, candlelight vinyasa, and jazz funk, all three of which were new to me, and all three of which I liked.

I also went to the gym once, which is not exactly new to me but is pretty rare for me.

Is this new routine making me happier? YES. More productive at work? YOU BET. A better mother? 100%. Nicer to my husband? In progress …

I’m doing my best to appreciate what’s working right now without getting too attached. If there’s anything the last year has taught me, it’s that once you think you have something figured out, everything changes again.

The timing is spectacular because this week is all about goals, and I’m grateful to have a more positive progress report to share.

Here’s to being nimble. Here’s to finding your way to the other side of whatever it is you’re running up against.


Other stuff you should know about:

  • This week’s #IAmEmpowered theme is all about goals, goals, goals. Tag #EBGoals2017 #IAmEmpowered @egglandsbest #sweatpink to get in on the action!

  • We are hosting our first-ever retreat this March in Sonoma, CA. It’ll be a weekend of yoga, hiking / running, sweat, community, and WINE TASTING. yeahhhh. Come join us!

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In 2017, I will

2016 started on such a high note, with the birth of my daughter and the opening of Flex & Flow.

2016 wound down to a devastating close. It was the year that showed us that the glass ceiling is disinclined to break, but will take advantage of your proximity by stabbing you in the back and grabbing your lady parts.

I took a break from the internet, from the news and social media, for a few weeks in December. I had to break free of the masochistic tendency to open up the comments section on any news article (why? WHY?) and to step away from the trolls that sank me into a major depression about how much our country hates women.

Anyway, I digress. The whole point of this was to step away, to recenter, to come back with renewed energy.

To stop feeding the trolls with my attention.

The last week of the year is typically easy on my inbox—thank god for small mercies—and it’s a time I typically use to step back and plan and power through some projects that hadn’t been given the attention they deserved earlier in the year. This year, this week, I’ve been focused on how to change my mindset from this dark shitstorm that closed out 2016 to one of empowerment and action.

Our theme for 2017 is #IAmEmpowered. The community will be rallying around positive action, and I’m so eager to see my community lift up inspiration and inclusiveness after a hateful, divisive year.

I’m tacking on to that my word for 2017, which is actually two words, because #IAmEmpowered to make it so, dammit.

Begin again. 

Did I mention this has been a brittle, tough year? My resilience is beaten down. It’s saggier, less springy, and it has dark circles under its eyes. In the moments when bouncing back feels too fucking hard, I repeat these words to myself, again and again, until they lose their meaning and become pure sound.

Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. 

In 2017, I refuse to let anyone strip me of my power. I refuse to give up. I will make change and I will stand up for what I believe is right and I will keep hammering at that fucking ceiling.

In 2017, I will not let little setbacks add up and become insurmountable. I will begin again.

Bring it, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

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