Of course this took place over a couple of years and while I learned this incredibly important lesson early in life, I have had to re-learn it and grow it and build upon it time and time again.
BUT the foundation that nineteen year old Sarah Smith laid has FOREVER impacted my life and helped me to stop chasing everyone else and invest in my own life.
And this is why I feel so passionately about speaking out against the MANY messages in fitness, social media and popular culture that tell you,
"Be this_______[insert snapshot of popular, fit, successful person]."
Especially for pre and postnatal women, women struggling with their body image, confidence, self respect and a sense of place in this world.
Because when we are in theses states we are vulnerable.
We can be more susceptible to harmful messaging.
We can do ourselves harm chasing standards set for us by the culture EVEN when we don't know that we are doing it.
That nineteen year old young woman that was affected by what everyone else around her was doing, she came out again during my third pregnancy and postpartum period.
I found myself being affected by what fitness culture was telling me pregnant and early postpartum women should be doing, looking like, be capable of.
I didn't even know that I was doing it!
I was working my ass off.
Training, lifting, chasing kiddos, not always eating enough, exhausted, a little fried...
Because I thought that's what you did.
And then I injured my body.
The good thing about my injury is that it taught me that I could no longer copy what anyone else was doing.
NO one readily accessible to me rehabbing pelvic floor dysfunction, diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse AND training with kettlebells.
I had to look to my own body.
I had to pay attention to my own life.
I had to work around my own restrictions and capitalize on my own strength.
Once again I had to stop using what others were doing as my meter stick for success and fitness.
And it was good!
I now am SUPER outspoken about the fact that pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic organ prolapse and other injuries shouldn't stop you from living your life and crushing your goals.
But I the way that I train and the messages that I share are always based on the idea that we need to learn what works for us as individuals.
We need to challenge ourselves to grow.
But trying to keep up with other people and do exactly what they are doing is both an empty, dangerous and unsatisfying pursuit.
At the end of the day, we are 100% responsible for shifting our focus and our mindset from looking to other people to learn "What we should be."
But I also know how impactful it was to have two very successful intelligent people in my life say, "I see you. You can do more. Dig in and grow. "
And so that's what I do with my coaching and my online community.
I see you.
You can do it!
It doesn't have to look like what anyone else is doing to be good, valuable...to be a success.