The American Beauty theme for this session really made me stop and reflect on how far I’ve come since I joined Kaia. Many of you know me as the smiling, happy office manager or the one who cheers you on in class. That is who I am, but just a few years ago I was in a much different place. A darker place filled with a lot more tears and junk food, lots of junk food. For the last seven years I have been struggling with infertility, and it has been a monthly roller coaster of high hopes and broken dreams.
As year after year passed, I felt more and more defeated. I was sad. I was disappointed. I was angry! I felt betrayed and hated my body for letting me down, for being broken. I had never been an active person and had absolutely no motivation to get off the couch. Instead, I just continued to try to console myself with all my favorite comfort foods. I was completely overwhelmed by all of the monthly failures and important decisions that had to be made. I was a physical, mental, and emotional wreck.
Then one day I got tired of letting my life be controlled by this circumstance. I reconnected spiritually, I started appreciating all of the many blessings in my life, and I stopped waiting until “someday” to do things. One of those things was Kaia. I had spent my whole life thinking of myself as weak and unathletic. My first few months at Kaia were tough. I hyperventilated during every workout, I was always last to finish my reps and some part of my body was always in pain, but I kept showing up and I kept working hard. I couldn’t run a mile, then I ran a 5k, then a 10k, and now I’ve done three half marathons. I learned my body isn’t broken. It’s strong. I’m strong – physically, mentally, and emotionally – and I can now see my body for the beautiful gift that it is.
I’ve found that stories of infertility are very rarely shared with others. According to the CDC, 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. I know that there are probably many at Kaia who are silently riding the emotional infertility roller coaster. Maybe you are one of them or maybe you are dealing with another frustrating acute or chronic disease or challenge in your life that makes you feel like your body is broken. My hope is that as you go through your journey here at Kaia you will also find your strength and realize your beauty, and in the times that you feel broken, just know that all of your Kaia sisters see you for the American Beauty that you are. Kaia Strong!<3 You!