It All Began In ChicagoPosted: March 15, 2013
Dear Chace & Harper,
Growing up the daughter of a professional cricket player meant that athletics was always present and it’s no wonder that among all the things that my parents put me in, the one that stuck was a sport, soccer, in fact. Growing up I took piano lessons, was in ballet for a number of years, played the flute, was a girl scout, tried competitive tennis, and participated in very sport imaginable. I loved playing sports and followed in my big sister’s footsteps and played soccer starting with AYSO, club soccer, high school and eventually playing at the collegiate level. I loved every minute of it. I made great friends, traveled all over the country and kept so busy that I only had time for school and sports. I can’t imagine growing up any other way.
My love of fitness led me to start other forms of exercise when I stopped playing competitively. I went to the gym and started taking step classes and doing all sorts of cardio on machines. While it was part of a well-established routine, I wasn’t eating right so I had put on weight after I stopped playing college soccer. Moving to Chicago with Daddy for graduate school changed my life in more ways than one.
Living downtown without a car, we relied completely on walking or public transportation with the former more often because of money constraints. We took advantage of the beautiful city and walked along the lake which eventually led to running along the lake. With all the walking, I began to eat better and saw the weight start to slowly come off. One day, Daddy and his friend ran a 10 miler and I tagged along for support. It was my first experience at a running event and I loved it. It completely changed my life. Daddy had to go back to California for the summer so I was left in a new city to study and manage on my own. That is when my love for running started. Conveniently located in our high rise apartment building, was a very large and well-equipped gym. In my free time, I started to take full advantage of it. Previously, I had used it primarily to run a few miles or do a short workout. After the 10 miler, I jumped on the treadmill and worked my way up to my own 10 miler. That was one of my greatest moments. The feeling of accomplishment I felt that day was something I would never forget. Sweaty and tired, I went back upstairs to our apartment and knew I had found something new that I loved. I know a lot of people don’t like running on the treadmill, but for me, I love it and it all started in the apartment gym in Chicago. I would run 6 miles 4 days a week and then do a 10 mile run on the weekends. I combined that with weight training and healthy eating and slowly the extra pounds I had gained after stopping soccer started to wither away. My lifestyle changed and I loved how it made me feel. I looked better and more importantly, I felt better. Daddy and I would go to the gym together, run at by the lake or river, eat healthy (most of the time) and continue to enjoy the city.
I have a great appreciation for Chicago and how runner-friendly it is. While it was hard to leave, family and friends made coming home easier. I kept up my routine and was in the best shape of my life gearing up for our wedding and thereafter. After having Chace, the pounds just came off easily. While pregnant with Harper, I had complications that made exercising impossible so I was not as active and now I am feeling it. I am slowly but surely getting back in shape. It took 9 months to get my body to where it was and it will take awhile to get back to my pre-pregnancy shape. While I wish it would just fall off easily like the first time, I know with hard work and patience, I will get back there.
We took a trip back to Chicago (you can read about it here) in July while I was pregnant with Harper and it was Chace’s first trip. I can’t wait to go back and share the beautiful city with Harper too.