When I first stumbled across our Mom-spiration’s blog I thought–beautiful words! More people need to read what she has to say! Kristy from Breath of Sunshine writes from the heart and her posts always make me see things from a persepctive I may not have had on my own–like, the world is actually a small place and everyone is our neighbor. I know you will be inspired by Kristy and her beautiful approach to life.
My Fit Family: Tell us a little about yourself.
Kristy: I’m a dreamer. I think that’s why My Fit Family has become one of my favorite blogs. While I’m constantly making sure I’m rooted to the life that I live, my heart and my dreams are always floating.
My roots: My husband, my two boys (10 and 2), and my great little neighborhood in Virginia Beach, Virginia, my running community, my dearest friends, and the amazing place I work every day, Operation Smile.
My dreams: to get better with age beside my husband, to raise boys who know that the world is small and everyone is our neighbor, to love as big as possible, to run Boston, to practice yoga with the Blissology team, and to do my part to spread love to the world.
Six months ago I decided it was time to chase my dream job, and I landed in a place that has been a whisper in my heart since high school. Every single day I go to work, and I get to make a difference. As a member of the global philanthropy team at Operation Smile, I get to work with companies who donate medical supplies to our headquarters and our foundations around the global. It’s amazing how small our world is. It’s amazing how much love exists.
MFF: Have you always embraced a fit and healthy lifestyle? If not, when did you start and why?
Kristy: As a teenager, I was always active. I played volleyball for my high school and on a junior Olympic team. In the summer, I played in beach volleyball tournaments at our oceanfront. I also ran on my high school distance track team. All of that disappeared as soon as I entered college. With no more formal practices to attend, I chose happy hour over the gym.
I’ve always loved running so every now and then I’d put my running shoes back on. I’d run through my neighborhood or around the block, but the habit never stuck. When my oldest son was a year old, his dad and I started conversations about divorce. When he was almost four, I found myself living back in my hometown, a little lonely, a little depressed, and a little lost. This is when I found my real love of running. As my life has settled and as more love has entered into my world, my love of running has only magnified. It has rooted me to my world.
MFF: What does typical workout look like for you?
Kristy: Most days you can find me running. Some days you can find me on my yoga mat. Just recently I started doing a few Jillian Michael’s workout videos at home. I also sometimes pretend like I know how to mountain bike so I can enjoy the trails with my husband.
MFF: How do you make the time to workout being a mom?
Kristy: I thought I had this all figured out. I thought I had found the magical balance for my life, but then life changed. When I decided it was time to pursue a dream job, life lost its balance. It’s been almost six months since I’ve made my leap of faith. Redefining the balancing act of marriage, motherhood, a job I love, and exercise has been hard. It’s been ugly, it’s lacked grace, and I’ve shed a few tears – this is what happens when I don’t run! My sanity disappears. And then my perspective shifted. I quit stressing about making sure it happened. I threw away my training plan. I took the pressure off of myself.
My reason for running has changed so much over the past six months. I used to run to feel success. I used to run to feel like I was accomplishing something. My job now fills the void for me, so running has become more about doing what I love. It has become more of a daily celebration. Longer days at work mean I have less time with my kiddos in the evening, so I’ve ditched my garmin. Instead I push my two year old in the stroller and my ten year old joins me on his bike. Running during the week has become our time together. I run easy. We talk about school and tractors and video games. We stop and watch birds by the river. We make pitstops at the park. I won’t be setting any PRs with this new method (maybe!), but it allows me to do something I love while spending quality time with my boys. And weekend runs have become sacred. Most weeks it is the only run I have to myself, so I indulge. I drive to nearby trails. I run along the ocean. I grab a coffee on my way home. I rarely listen to music, so my long runs become my form of meditation. It soothes my soul.
I’m learning that there is a season for everything. Right now working out is about keeping my body and my mind fresh. As my boys transition to another phase of their lives, maybe I’ll have more time for dedicated speed work. As I get more accustomed to my daily work schedule, maybe I’ll have more time for lunch break runs. Right now I am just happy to put on my running shoes.
MFF: What is your favorite physical activity?
Kristy: Running. I haven’t found another activity that allows me to connect with my body, my heart, my mind, and my soul. I feel alive when I put on my running shoes. Running is my reset button. Without it, life always feels out of balance.
MFF: What is your favorite healthy meal or snack and of course we love hearing about favorite food indulgences–what’s your #1?
Kristy: Avocado. Goat cheese. These two ingredients on anything make me happy. A favorite in our household is a salad made up of whatever veggies we have in our fridge topped with grilled chicken, blackberries, goat cheese, and avocado plus lemon juice for dressing. My favorite indulgences: pizza, chickfila, and sour patch kids.
MFF: Who inspires you?
Kristy: I look for inspiration in everyone. I think we all have a gift to offer the world. I’m inspired by my mom and my sister who make loving look effortless. I’m inspired by my dad who is filled with drive. My boys (both my husband and my kids) have taught me more about loving than I thought possible. I’m inspired by my friends, my coworkers, and my neighbors. We can all learn from each other.
My biggest inspiration comes from the work that I do. Every day we have parents who have walked miles in the hot son with no food or water for the chance of hope. They are hoping that their child will have a chance at surgery so they can grow up to live a normal life. The gratitude, the love, and the determination that exists within these families and these communities amazes me. I’m very lucky to live that life that I have.
MFF: What one piece of advice would you give out to someone just starting out on their health/fitness journey?
Kristy: Smile. Celebrate. Enjoy every single step that takes you further or faster or closer to your dreams. Be nice to yourself. Embrace where you’re at right now. And just enjoy the process. If you think you can’t do it, remind yourself that you are already doing it. Every time you put on workout clothes or your running shoes, you are doing it.
Thank you, Kristy, for sharing your inspiring life with us!
Never Give Up,