S.L.A.M. is Everything That’s Hard and Wonderful
Shall we start from the top? I’m Kelsey Landis, marketing professional, military spouse turned stay-at-home-mama. I still sprinkle my life with some freelance marketing copywriting, but my main focus is my family, with two kiddos currently leaving sticky fingerprints on my heart (and car) and one kiddo on the way! As we speak, I’m living in Washington State, and I get my sweaty endorphins with SLAM Tacoma every day of the week. My SLAM journey didn’t begin here though, it began on the other side of the country in North Carolina at SLAM Cameron-Sanford. As a marketing guru, I’m proud to testify in saying Facebook ads work y’all! If it weren’t for Facebook, I may have never discovered SLAM and everything I didn’t know I had been missing in my mom life.
I consider myself a socially awkward person, so after becoming a SAHM, where I didn’t have built-in friends at my work place, I found myself on an uphill climb. Who was I as a mom? How do I make friends? Where did the woman I used to be go?
Becoming a mom is the most rewarding dang thing in the world. But the transition? It’s HARD.
I used to go to work, workout, occasionally go out with coworkers, eat a quiet dinner with my husband at 7:30pm (GASP! So late, right?!), go running with my dog, go to movies with our friends, etc. etc. etc. You know the drill. We all had this life before kids that gets flipped 180 degrees the moment the doctors lay that squishy newborn goodness on your chest for the first time. Then suddenly you don’t know what day it is, your spouse’s name, when you last fed yourself, or how to make a stroller fit into your trunk.
It’s hard. But we do it. And that newborn smell is wonderful.
Then, when my firstborn was 7 months old, I experienced my first military move from CO to NC. So just as I was getting close to figuring out how to be a mom, I got flipped around and had to figure out how to be a person in a new state…ya know…by making friends and such. I was terrified! But I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t keep my daughter from experiencing our new home in North Carolina because of my own insecurities.
That was hard. But I did it. And the experiences we had were wonderful.
I found anything and everything to get us out and about to meet people, to stay social, and to give each other a break from each other. Things were going quite well. But just when I thought I had the whole parenting thing down, I threw another kid into the mix to spice things up. After a year and a half, I had my son. Let’s just say the transition from one to two kids was not all cupcakes and rainbows.
It was hard. But again, I did it. And loving a baby boy is wonderful.
Though I had made it through the newborn trenches again, and finally summer had come along, I was still struggling as a mom. There was something missing, and I didn’t know what it was. I had some incredibly amazing friends. We did so many fun things as a family. But I just felt that I was failing and falling short for my kids and my husband. I could never pinpoint what the root of my feelings were until I pushed myself to go to the grand opening of SLAM Cam-San one August morning. I say push, because going to something like that was extremely far out of my comfort zone.
It was hard. All of it. But MAN am I glad I did it. Because SLAM is wonderful.
Getting myself there was the first hard part. But you bet your BOB I rolled up with my two kiddos and one rusty old kettlebell I dug out of the garage and put on the best “good morning” face that I could muster.
The workout was the next hard thing. I’m pretty positive I hadn’t worked out in 2.5 years and I’ve never been a fan of running – both of which happened that morning, obviously. I vividly remember during one part of the workout asking the girl next to me what mama-makers were again, and immediately regretting that I asked, because MAMA-MAKERS ARE HARD! Every inch of my body was on fire. From my eyes drowning in my own sweat to my exercise-deprived lungs, the burn was real. But it was wonderful. I signed up right away. Bought the tank. Slapped a magnet on my car. And started pushing SLAM on every mommy friend I knew.
This was it. SLAM had shown me what it was that was missing in my life after becoming a mom – me. I was missing. I had become so focused on my babies that I had forgotten to take care of myself and what sets my soul on fire. For as long as I can remember, it’s been sweating alongside my friends. From basketball and volleyball growing up and running with my dog in college to working out with my coworkers and hiking with my husband, it’s where I’m sweating and laughing and challenging myself that I am most me.
It only took a couple days of SLAM to recognize the change it was having in my life (aside from the muscle soreness). I was undeniably happier. I was a better mom to my babies – I was more patient and more connected with them. They were able to see a mama who is passionate about having a healthy life. I started to enjoy running for the first time in my life (I say that loosely). And my body had the felt the best it had in years after the wear and tear of pregnancies. The icing on top, though? My babies made some of the best friends right alongside me.
The last hardest part of discovering that SLAM Cam-San was my jam was knowing I’d only get to slam for two months before we had to move again to a location with no SLAM. It crushed my soul. But thanks to Virtual SLAM, I made it through the year until I scrolled across the wonderful news of a new location coming to Tacoma. Cue my happy dance!
Anyway…if you’re still with me, you must be able to relate to the struggle bus I was riding as a new mom. The great news is you’re certainly not alone. And you don’t have to be alone, because there’s SLAM. Every mama there has been in your shoes at one time or another. We’ve all walked through those tough transitions. We all know it’s hard. Yet, we all know it’s wonderful on the other side. The even better news is that when you go to SLAM, you have a whole tribe of women in the same season of life as you. Who knows? Maybe it’s the break you’ve been missing in your day. Maybe it’s the place you’ll rediscover the woman you were before. Maybe it’s the friend you’ve been yearning to meet. Or maybe it’s the piece of your soul you need to be whole again.
Either way, I know one thing is for sure. For me, SLAM represents so many of the best things in my life. It represents all things HARD and WONDERFUL.