Saturday, June 18, 2011


At Christmas my parents gave one of the best gifts ever, a membership to the gym! With two babies that are 15 months apart, plus postpartum, plus, the special needs, I needed to get stronger, healthier and be able to have a break from them for an hour. Stroller walks are fine in early spring but the constant whining and need for me to stop for drinks, snacks, and the dropped toy, defeated the purpose of doing it to 'work out'. The gym is at our church and the facility is super clean and the childcare is amazing. So, it has provided the much sought after oasis in the desert for our family. I got these new Nikes for mothers day and along with them came the hope for a better quality of life. The smell of the new leather, the clean sole, the spotless laces were full of promise. Since then, those shoes have seen me through countless hours on the treadmill, up and down the court, stations in the weight room, and carried me when I thought my sore muscles would collapse.

The past two days that I have been at the gym and I have seen this girl there that is beautiful with these amazing sculpted muscles. She has to be a body builder or something with just rippling back muscles. Still very lean, very feminine, very pretty, but could easily go on the cover of any fitness magazine. I had been feeling really good about my progess at the gym until we sat side by side on benches. It felt like one of those before and after photos submitted to a magazine, much like the time the personal trainer and I showed up wearing the exact same thing. Looking around the weight room, I saw a varying scale of individuals that ranged from very fit, strong, and healthy to very weak and overweight. Part of me wanted to ask the girl what she did, how long it took her, etc., but I didn't. I just marinated on this simple thought that at the core, everyone is eating and everyone is moving their bodies. Some eat more than others, some move more than others. The different appearances is the result of the recipe that they use for life. Some use a better quality or mix of ingredients than others, some don't follow any kind of order whatsoever... She had to have worked years at creating her sculpted physique. I am only a few months in, but I am on the road to someplace better. Achieving peak performance requires continued effort for an extended period of time. She didn't get those muscles after 1 month of walking on a treadmill. No doubt there was sweat, fatigue, and days that she wanted to stay in bed.  Such is our adventure with Cruz. There is often fatigue and of course days I would like to stay in bed, at least past 6:00, and many days I feel sore and times I have to rest to avoid injury. But we just keep on keeping on.

 My cousin Nick has a little boy, Conal, who has neurofibromatosis. Nick put together an amazing youtube video that I linked below. I think all parents of kids with special needs can relate to Nick's metaphor that  "Life with NF is an endurance event." For those of us with special needs kids, we all know that every day is different. Sometimes every hour is different. It is a long distance endurance event. We are trying all the time to do the best we can day in and out to provide the right mix of treatments, stimuli, education, discipline, fun, and encouragement. Some days we do alright, others we'd like to forget. So we take note of what works and what doesn't and we make substitutions where we need to. There are highs and lows, days of exhaustion, moments of mental exhaustion, and then there are those moments of victory that make the training so sweet. As a family, we realize that there are so many families that have way harder and more difficult situations that us. Some families are in a race for the  fight of their lives, literally for life and death. We are so fortunate to just be striving for normalcy and a better quality of life. Nonetheless, we are in this adventure event with Cruz, thank you for following us. Just like those marathoners need their supporters on the side cheering them on and handing them refreshments, we appreciate all of your encouragement! Please watch the videos attached below, when you have a chance.

My Cousin Nick's Amazing Video

The amazing Hoyt Story.

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