May 19, 2020. By Ashley Agnew:
My new trainer is fierce. She’s tough, needy, and when I tell you she has no filter, she has nooooo filter. Standing at just 3 feet tall, her expectations are a thousand times her size. There is no slouching or slacking allowed, not even for a second, and I can’t tell if it is more of a curse than a compliment that she literally thinks I’m super woman.
Since working from home my workout routine has changed to say the least. I have to add attention to family into that typically sacred blessing of being alone and working out the day’s tension. One of the ways I have done this is by purchasing a tow-behind trailer for my bike so that my three-year-old daughter can come along for my rides. As I browsed these online, I thought this would be a great way to get outside, burn some calories, and enjoy the spring sites of blooming flowers and budding trees with my precious little girl. In reality, however, the experience was more of a Ben Hur, horse-drawn carriage situation making me SO happy she didn’t have a whip.
Forgetting that my high school mountain bike would not be as smooth of a ride as my spin bike, even the slightest hill felt like Everest while I had my toddler in tow. In the Pleasantville-esque neighborhood in which we have the joy of riding, it is lovely that all of the neighbors tend to play in front yards rather than backyards, and are all quick with a cheerful “hello”. How this impaired my maiden voyage, however, was that in addition to trying not to faint (of course I had to take up this new hobby on the warmest day of the spring to date), I also had to feign a smile and wave without falling. Amidst this Emmy-worthy performance, my daughter was yelling the entire, yes, the entire time. Parents, you know how loud toddlers can get when they want to… and this was at a top decibel:
“FASTER MOMMY FASTER!!! DON’T STOP!!!”
“I’m trying sweetie! I promise Mommy is trying!”
“DON’T TRY- DO IT! GO GO GO!”
My new trainer making demands of her struggling rickshaw driver, neighbors on all sides with heads starting to tilt ever so slightly, my husband in my ear about the cost of the trailer (who doesn’t pay up for a cup holder, am I right?), and the visuals of the happy mommies on the advertisements flashing before me- the pressure was coming from all angles. Doubtful thoughts aside, the little drill sergeant really kept me going from the tow behind as I labored through the remainder of the journey.
Finally I took the last turn of the ride to head back up our street and into driveway, the front steps looking as beautiful as a mirage filled with promise and wine. Much to my dismay, and despite being very much out of breath, my FitBit did not report that I had burned the 1,000 calories I was hoping for, but I did feel a great sense of accomplishment as I took my daughter out of the trailer and she said “Wow! That was really really fun!”. It was at that point that I had the same ‘but did you die?’ moment that I usually get from the workouts with my favorite trainers. In fact, I couldn’t help but visualize Mike’s smirk and thinking yes this was hard, yes I can do hard things, yes this is good for me.
Weather permitting I have gone on our bike ride everyday since then, and even got a great new city cruiser for Mother’s Day. Hills are getting easier, smiles are now authentic, and my little trainer is becoming increasingly happy with our speed of travel.
Routines are comforting and things are certainly different these days, but the opportunity to try new things is always available. Don’t be afraid to fail- you never know who you’ll inspire in your effort. We have had several referrals in the past several months brave enough to make tackling their finances and seeking help with investing their ‘something new’. We want to recognize that this takes courage, and we think it is amazing that you are putting in the work to better yourself. We are here to help and whether that is by way of a helpful smile, a reality check, or a reminder that wealth planning is not a death defying process, just let us know what you need.