Guest blogger, Natalie, is an athlete and a 30-something mom with two girls and a dude on the way. With a light heart and serious intentions, she explores what it means to push her limits, seek adventure and enjoy the best of life. You can check out her written work at Hello Day and get a taste of her life at @hellodaynatalie.
Ride Like a Mother
It's 6:10 am on a Tuesday and I’m riding like a mother. I'm in the communion of a pack of fellow bleary-eyed humans who, like me, have decided to wake up and take charge of their day. We're bonded by our common goal and communal energy. The dim space gives us freedom to ride how we need, give what we want and draft on the driving force of the group. I've got 45 minutes for myself and so I spend it shirtless, sweating, cussing, hooting and hollering. I empty the tank of anxiety and stress and fill it up with energy and love. Sure, my body facilitates this experience, but it really is for the benefit of my soul. My entire being hums with energy and excitement for the day ahead.
Not even 15 minutes later, I've resumed position as Captain Mom. I'm corralling the kids, packing lunches, and gripping a cup of black coffee. I've wiped the sweat off, put the shirt on and toned down the hollering. Because Captain Mom wears a shirt (most of the time) and keeps her cussing to the occasional whispered expletive.
Because in the daily grind, things are a little more tame. I mean, I raise 4 and 5 year old humans. I interact with neighbors, teachers, swim/dance/gymnastics instructors and young children. Lots of young children. My daily life is playful, structured and intentional. It’s great fun, but there is a definite rhythm and set of requirements involved. The shirtless cussing? Well, it’s just mildly out of place. Motherhood is an all out exercise, but one that requires more patience than anything. I love it, but at times the mom vibe leaves my internal wildfire of energy, emotion and thrill wanting.
And if I ignore that wanting and let it simmer inside, I get a tad, well, high strung. Okay, more than a tad - a lot high strung. And when my sanity is threatened, you know what is first to go? Patience. Encouragement. Truth. Love. Only the very cornerstones of motherhood! Instead of risking that sort of meltdown, and the subsequent collateral damage to my kids, I find places to fan that internal flame. Place to go all out, we're talking balls to the wall behavior. To tap into my mother f$%@ing tank of badass. To lay it all out and hold nothing back.
BurnCycle is my place to flex those muscles. Away from my kids and life's responsibilities, I'm free to focus on what serves me. In the company of other athletes, I'm encouraged to push my physical limit. To shed worry, anxiety and stress. To pick up an internal dialogue about who I am and what my purpose is. That 45 minute experience stokes my internal fire and reminds me of what I’m capable of. How alive I am. It's in those moments that I can clearly see myself as more than Captain Mom - I am a strong, fierce and powerful human.
Re-calibrated, I walk out of the studio fiercely joyful, determined and loving. And I step into my daily mom grind a better person.
And that is what it means to Ride Like a Mother. To show up, and like your life depends on it, flex your entire being. To commit to more than just a workout. To focus on who you are and what you're meant for. To empty yourself of all that doesn't serve you. And to protect those cornerstones of motherhood with your life - patience, encouragement, truth and love.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you Moms who ride for the benefit of not only yourself, but your spawn. May your day be full of peace and love.