Last Updated on September 18, 2012.
TSMMA Chalfont Student Success Story
BY: TSMMA Chalfont
I AM A MOM, BUT I AM ALSO ME
“I am many things. But one thing I am not, is just a Mom. I am an individual. I am me. This is my story.
Last February on my 36th birthday, I looked around the room at the people who I love the most, more than myself. I have many blessings and much to live for, I thought. I am blessed with a supportive husband. I am blessed with three healthy sons. I am blessed with a home. I am blessed to be home with my sons every day. As a mother, I put my family first. They are the center of my life and I would do anything for them. Anything.
That night after a big piece of chocolate cake and then wishing I didn’t eat it, I began to think about my life. It seemed as though I had it all, but I was mad at everything. I was mad because I was overweight and didn’t have the athletic body I once did. I hated getting my picture taken or even looking in the mirror. I ate whatever I wanted, didn’t care then complained about being fat. I was mad because I felt run down, lethargic and sad most days. I was mad because I didn’t have the energy to keep up with my 3 little monkeys (my kids, not real monkeys). I was mad because I had a debilitating condition with my hands that made the simplest things very difficult. Just bending my fingers, making a fist or changing my baby’s diaper was very painful. I cried everyday for over a year. I was at a point where I wanted to cut my hands off. My life was completely out of balance spiraling out of control. Something was missing. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I had lost “me”. All of my waking hours were spent taking care of my family and trying to ignore my own problems.
I desperately needed some big changes to occur. I needed help. I needed to eat healthy foods. I needed to relieve stress. I wanted my energy back. I wanted my hands to stop hurting. I wanted to feel good about myself again. Many, many times my husband told me to stop making excuses. I feared change.
For the past year, I had watched my oldest son at TSMMA transform from a little boy into a confident boy. His training involved throwing punches and kicks, learning self defense, building self confidence and having fun doing it. When was the last time I had fun exercising? I wanted that for myself, but told myself no over and over. I didn’t feel right about spending the time or money on myself. My family came first. I worried about being able to bend my fingers to make a fist. There’s no way I could do it. I made a lot of excuses. Who was this person I had become? My parents didn’t raise me to be weak, to quit or to not even try. My father made me do pushups at an early age. He instilled four principles into my head to always live by… never give up, never give in, do the best of your ability and no excuses. What had happened? I had forgotten about me, that’s what happened. Every mother knows that when we have children, we forget a lot of things!
My second son is now training at TSMMA at 5 yrs old. What an amazing opportunity he has. My husband Joe and I agreed that when we had enough money (or won the lottery), he would be next to train and then it would be my turn. Haha. I’m laughing out loud because we were never going to have enough money, nor did Joe keep his end of the deal. Six months ago, he encouraged me to take my first class at TSMMA. (OK, he pushed me through the front door). My husband is my best friend and knows me better than anyone in the world. He gave me a push and a big kick in the butt, because he knows how stubborn I am. I would have said no. He told me to “do something for yourself for once, you need it”.
It wasn’t easy to walk through the door of my first class. I was nervous to try something new that I didn’t know how to do. I felt guilty for not being home with my kids. I felt that my husband should be there, not me. I was scared my hands would hurt too much. Deep breath…I let it all go.
Wow! What just happened? Where has this been all my life? These were my first thoughts after class. This was exactly where I needed and wanted to be! I had no idea the kind of impact TSMMA would have on me walking on the mat for the first time. It changed my life forever. I fell in love with kickboxing. I was exhausted, yet so full of energy. I hadn’t sweat or worked that hard in 15 years. My hands were in excruciating pain. I was seriously out of shape. I thought I may faint or even throw up. I loved it! I couldn’t wait for my next class!
I’ve been training for 6 months, I’ve lost 30 pounds, my hands don’t hurt anymore and I still look forward to my next class! I don’t ever want to go back to looking or feeling like I did on my last birthday. I did something for myself and I feel like a new person. I feel healthier and have more energy to keep up with my kids. Best of all, I smile every day and feel good about myself again!
My journey is like every one of yours… It has its up and downs. It is busy, difficult and painful at times. Our children are the center of our lives and it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves. It took me a long time (8 years to be exact) to realize… I am a Mom, but I am also me. I can make time for myself, I do have time for myself, and I need time for myself to be the best Mom I can be.
Thank you to my husband for pushing and guiding me down a new path. Thank you to my parents for making me who I am. Thank you to my children for being my inspiration. Thank you Sensei Marchand for encouraging and motivating me every day to be strong inside and out. My life is changed forever. Thank you TSMMA.”
Written by Heather D, 36, who is mom to three active boys. She has been training since March 2012 and has recently been promoted to High White belt and the Intermediate/Advanced Kickboxing classes.