Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Several months ago, I wrote an inspirational article about hurdling life’s obstacles. It spoke to the experiences I have with clients who aren’t willing to try new things or to do things because they are afraid of the outcomes or who aren’t willing to change. It also noted how therapists are required to take our own advice and step out of our comfort zone, despite our excuses. And it publicly confirmed taking my own advice and as I entered into the 2015 State Games of America.

The last time I competed in college was 2005, when I was in my Master’s program and having fun at open track meets. Fast forward ten years, three kids (one born eight months ago), 20-50 extra pounds (depends how close to the last birth), injuries and, well, etcetera. Lots of excuses as to why I should NOT enter.

So I started training – as much as I could. I dropped 40 pregnancy pounds and worked on my sprint drills. I got faster. I got stronger. I had to take several breaks because my body broke down but I didn’t let it get me down.

I trained on vacation. I ran up the driveway at our cabin in the mountains and let me tell you, that was no easy task. I used mental imagery and imagined how it felt to long jump and hurdle. I kept a positive outlook and high expectations. I wasn’t going to give up on myself and I would do my best. Above all, it was the experience and the fun!

What I couldn’t account for was how my body would react. I wasn’t able to train with long jump equipment, hurdles or blocks. My mental imagery saw things as I remembered them from ten years ago, not as my now-body would react.

In college, I averaged 18′ in the long jump so I figured 15 feet would be a good goal ten years later. I went 13’3″ on Saturday. Talk about seeing your goal go up in smoke!

In college, I ran the hurdles in 14 seconds so I was aiming for 17 seconds ten years later, but jokingly said under 20 seconds would work. When I took the first step out of the blocks, I knew my legs didn’t have it in them. Four attempts in the long jump just an hour prior left my legs too exhausted for hurdles.

When I crossed the finish line and heard the announcer say my time as “…19 seconds…”, I stopped listening (so I have no idea how the sentence ended). To make matters worse, Olympic hurdler/bobsledder Lolo Jones asked which of us was the over-30 hurdler (she would have been in the same age group) and the two girls who were ten years younger than me pointed at me. My thought: I’m totally and utterly embarrassed. Can I please just crawl into a hole?

Reality check. I’m older than I once was. My body has changed. I have children. I have extra pounds. I get tired faster and recover slower. I have other priorities that come before training. I can enter 5Ks without worrying about my time because I was never a distance runner but placed in my former competition areas and I have high (and apparently unrealistic) expectations.

Reality check. This is what I work with in my clients. Expectations aren’t met. Repeatedly. So they give up. They won’t try. They want others to do it for them. They are unrealistic.

Reality check. I did it. Despite my injuries, age, family and work obligations, I got into shape. I was the oldest woman hurdler competing. I got to meet Lolo Jones, take a picture and get her autograph. I got to see people I competed against/with in college and get reacquainted. I got to use my knowledge to help several others with their events. I had fun.

Things didn’t turn out like I imagined. Not by any means. My reality check was hard on me, as they usually are. However, I choose to overcome this hurdle. In fact, I think I’ll take the advice I give to my clients: Learn from it. Change something. Try again. Know that you are doing your best. Live knowing that you don’t have the regret of not trying.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jessica McCaslin

Jessica is a mom who is working outside the home part-time and who is learning to cope with the ever-changing daily challenges of full-time parenthood. She graduated with her Master's degree in community counseling from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2005, and works with a diverse mental health population. Jessica resides in Central Nebraska with her husband and four children on the family ranch.

I Don’t Want To Do Your Exercise Challenge, Facebook Friend

In: Fitness, Health, Motherhood
I Don't Want To Do Your Exercise Challenge, Facebook Friend

Hey girl!  I cringe. Do I dare open it? I do, of course. It’s a new friend I’ve followed on social media, so I try to be kind and just make an excuse as to why I don’t want to do any weight loss challenges. Just 30 minutes a day, it’s so simple. You can make time to work out if you wanted to! You should take care of yourself. I run low on excuses after a minute because hey, you’re absolutely right. There is an extra 30 minutes in my day spent scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest. OK, if we...

Keep Reading

Sorry Gym, We Just Aren’t Working Out

In: Fitness
Sorry Gym, We Just Aren’t Working Out www.herviewfromhome.com

  Dear Gym, After four long years, I feel our relationship has come to an end. I doubt you are surprised by this since we have been seeing each other less and less frequently ever since 2016. But I wanted to end things between us now, before we both end up with too many regrets. Now, I know when people say “It’s not you, it’s me,” that is usually a lie. But I graciously admit that most of the blame falls on me. After all, I have been seeing someone else…on the side. I tried as hard as I could...

Keep Reading

How Zumba Gave Me Back My Social Life

In: Fitness, Journal, Relationships
How Zumba Gave Me Back My Social Life www.herviewfromhome.com

There’s a spacious park near my home that has a gravel trail in our community for walkers and joggers to enjoy. For years, I frequented this park with my close friend while our children were in school. We met each morning with our water bottles in hand and tackled five miles on the track in the blistering sun. Despite the heat and achy muscles, I enjoyed the 90 minutes of “girl time” I shared with my friend. We laughed and chatted about everything—from our family life, fun vacation spots, the stress of raising teens, concerns for our elderly parents, and...

Keep Reading

Goodbye Size 6

In: Fitness, Health, Mental Health
Goodbye Size 6 www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Size 6, It’s hard to tell you this, but it’s time we part ways. I’m both relieved and ready to finally let you go. I’m sure you saw this coming, didn’t you? It’s just… Things change. People change. I’ve changed. I’ve grown through the years, and well, you haven’t. Oh, we had our fun together, didn’t we? You and I fit perfectly. I felt spunky and full of life when I was with you, doing all the things we did and feeling like we were meant to be. Oh, the memories of our glory days… We were so good...

Keep Reading

Mama, It Takes More Than Six Weeks

In: Fitness, Health, Mental Health, Motherhood
Mama, It Takes More Than Six Weeks www.herviewfromhome.com

A study from 2011 by Dr. Julie Wray at the University of Salford has recently been revived and is making the rounds on parenting sites. The finding from Dr. Wray’s research boils down to: women need more than six weeks to recover from childbirth. In other breaking news, water is wet and the sky appears to be blue. The vast majority of women who have had a baby are sitting there thinking, “I could have told you that without a study.” Look at it logically: six weeks is a month and a half. It took nine months, or somewhere in...

Keep Reading

Working Out with Kids

In: Fitness, Health, Kids, Motherhood
Working Out with Kids www.herviewfromhome.com

It’s no secret that I love working out. It has helped me drop 130 pounds in a year and clears my mind after a hectic day. Working out is my “Me Time.” Wait a minute, did I really say “Me time?” If you are a mom, you probably laughed out loud at the phrase “Me Time,” not even understanding what on earth that means. When you become a Mom, “Me Time” becomes as rare as a fine wine– it tastes amazing, but you only get it on special occasions. Yet, I can’t wait and just workout out on special occasions....

Keep Reading

What This Mom Discovered When She Was Body Shamed on Social Media

In: Fitness, Health, Journal, Mental Health, Relationships
What This Mom Discovered When She Was Body Shamed on Social Media www.herviewfromhome.com

I love social media. You know that whole Facebook memories thing? I have a feeling that someone, at one time or another, was thinking up all the ways they could make moms of young children spend even more time on Facebook. “Why not let them look back at all the old photos of their kids when they were babies?” they said. Why not make my ovaries burst and make me go tearfully hover over all my sleeping children while wondering how in the world they have gotten so big, is more like it! Do I post adorable pictures of my...

Keep Reading

Feeling Like You Just Can’t? This Record-Setting Mama Has A Message For You

In: Fitness, Health, Inspiration
Feeling Like You Just Can’t? This Record-Setting Mama Has A Message For You . www.herviewfromhome.com

(Feature image via Gameface Media-Bruce Muhlbradt) Running a marathon is hard. Pushing a jogging stroller full of kidlets (and actually jogging) is hard. Heck, just being a mom is hard. Put all three together and it sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen. One rock-star mama made it a dream. Theresa Marie Pitts, a Montana mom of eight, shares a refreshing perspective on achieving that dream. For her, doing tough things is sweetened by including her “whys” in the journey: “Nothing else brings more joy to my heart than being a mother. So, in celebration of life and motherhood, I chose...

Keep Reading

How a Middle School Track Meet Set me on an Unhealthy Course

In: Fitness, Health, Mental Health, Weight Loss
How a Middle School Track Meet Set me on an Unhealthy Course www.herviewfromhome.com

If I introduced myself to you today, the first things you might notice about me are my muscular arms, shoulders, and legs. Based on these features, you might also assume I am an athlete. If I met you in 2011, however, you’d make a much different evaluation of my physical fitness. At 300 pounds, it was quite clear that exercising was not a priority of mine. In fact, it was something I completely avoided because the fear of failure was so debilitating I was not even willing to try. This fear, which set me up for over a decade of...

Keep Reading

Dear Woman in the Yellow Sweatshirt at the Gym

In: Fitness, Health, Healthy Living, Weight Loss
Dear Woman in the Yellow Sweatshirt at the Gym www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Woman in the Yellow Sweatshirt: It was late one Thursday night. I had just finished a body pump class. I went to fill my water bottle in preparation for getting a few laps in on the track. I was so focused on the workout I just completed I really didn’t notice anything. Until I noticed you. You walked up the stairs. It was incredibly hot and humid out, but you wore long, black, baggy sweats and a long, yellow sweatshirt that you kept pulling down. As you hit the top of the stairs you looked around hoping the “I’m...

Keep Reading