FLY; a look into my longest and most intimate relationship

JesicaTMP-50

Valentine’s Day is about love, sharing that emotion with others and often solely focused on appeasing someone else. We can get so caught up in the hoopla of it all and forget that it’s ok to be alone, to work on the relationship with yourself, and give as much to yourself as you would someone else.

You’ve probably heard the expression “you can’t love someone into loving you.” There has probably been a relationship throughout your life where you wanted it to work so badly that you would have done anything for it, you would have given your all to see the (potential) positive outcomes, and you wouldn’t consider throwing in the towel until you put up a good fight until the very  end.

In my past relationships I don’t feel that anyone has every truly fought for me, yet as a result I learned a completely new theory. One that needs to come to the surface more, one that seemingly cannot let you down, and one that allows you to see that not all strength is love- just because you love something and you’re strong enough to hold on it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Typically, we’re taught to love others, treat them with respect, and take into account someone else’s needs- while that is all fine and dandy that will often leave you feeling cheated.

My story, like everyone else’s is long. There are high points, and low points. Successes and failures. Failed relationships and lasting ones…

The constant, longest, most dynamic and often times hardest to articulate relationship I’ve had, is the one with fitness. I’ve been in a relationship with fitness for as long as I can remember. It was something that started out with ease, it was fun, captivating, and always left me wanting more. It never turned its back on me and was always there for me when I needed it.

I watered it, I nurtured it, and it began to grow. Just as a relationship with an actual human there are periods of uncertainty, questionable moments, and times where you want to quit because it’s tough. I’ve been successful and I’ve also struggled to find my way. Fitness is something that a lot of people tend to see as one sided or one dimensional, yet it’s a very complex relationship.

People in general have a tendency to only show the good moments, the hi-light reel if you will, we don’t like others to see us in a place of need and confusion, yet that is what allows others to see that they’re not alone, that no relationship is perfect and that if you truly want something bad enough you’re going to have to work for it.

The outlets that I use to post my success and everyday struggles can often come off as me having it all together, but that’s when I work my hardest to be honest (despite how difficult it may be at times). I’ve lost my way countless times, I’ve wanted to give up, I’ve thrown in the towel (and quickly scrambled to get my towel back), and I’ve questioned (at least a dozen times) what road I’m on in this health and wellness quest.  I’ve binged eaten whatever I could get my hands on, I’ve had bottles of wine for dinner to ease the hurt and pain of, well, life (and other unsuccessful relationships), and I’ve regretted it all the next morning.

I’ve tried to physically run away from my problems, I’ve inspired hundreds of women to love and accept themselves for who they are no matter where they are, but I too have had my own struggles with that affirmation.

Yet, all of that being said, my relationship- the one with fitness has been my longest ongoing one to date. It’s lifted me through my highest of highs and my lowest of lows, and ironically some of those highs and those lows were because of it. I’ve wanted to break up with it many times, but then I’ve also had so many endorphins that I’ve wanted to make love to it.

This relationship is intimate…it’s one that I have with something, but one that continues to be built by someone…me, and no matter how I choose to view it, it’s a part of me that I will continue to fight for because it’s truly about loving myself, accepting myself as I am in the moment, and learning that despite what others may think or failed relationships have tried to tell me, I am worth fighting for. Yes, as in any relationship it is going to be a struggle, but it’s a struggle that’s worth fighting for time and time again. Yes, it’s hurt me, at times it felt as though it’s failed me, but as it stands it’s built me, and only continues to make me.

So, before you rush off and do what you were taught to do; love someone else, care for someone else, and treat them with respect, don’t forget to FLY (first love yourself), because the foundation that you lay and the bond you create within is one that can be truly unbreakable.

Jayel_Sig

You Can’t Always Play the Victim

1534358_10101961477076102_4510920190203754879_nI write when I have something on my heart, something I need to get off of my chest, and something that I need to become one with.

Blogging has become a form of therapy for me. It allows me to unleash my feelings, good, bad, ugly, unwarranted, misconstrued…all of it.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you can probably tell by now that I’m the type of person that cares what others think of me. It’s something I’m working on but also something that exists in the here and now. I’m sure I’ll get a few side eye’s from this post, or unwelcome feedback, and that’s alright, because writing MY feelings and MY stories allow me to be honest, and genuine, while allowing the overall experience to be humbling.

This particular post took some balls. I’ve edited, re-edited, selected all, deleted all, and eventually produced a finished product. I toyed around with “should I” for quite awhile…and I decided on YES.

This is my first post where I’ll be referring to my ex as my ex-boyfriend, not my ex husband–hooray! That means progress.

Let’s rewind for a moment…When I left Germany, I kind of slithered out of there, hopped on a plane with my best friend and headed back to America. Only a handful of people knew the real story as to why I was abandoning ship but it really wasn’t any ones business, nor was I ready to be brutally honest with myself, or others.

Fast forward. I came back to the States, got situated and fell for “a new guy.” It was quick, it was passionate, and it was intense. Nothing I planned for, but something I welcomed.

Insert vacations, living together, working together, planning the next move together…and it being too much too soon (for me).

I was somewhere in between working on being solo but in a relationship at the same time. I was finalizing my divorce but also attempting to bud, blossom and nourish a new relationship. Bad idea.

Our relationship was somewhat public. People liked us together, and when we broke up it was difficult. Not only because I had to explain the entire situation to all of my clients, and he to his, but also because I felt like I had just gone through a break up that I was able to conceal, yet this one everyone knew about. It also let everyone in on the fact that I was married…and divorced. It was a blow to the ego, I was slightly ashamed and felt that it was yet another relationship I couldn’t salvage.

For a period of time after the split things were awkward, really, really awkward. Yet we soon learned we needed to devise a plan of how to work with each other. Prior to the relationship we had a conversation about “what if”. We were both on the same page in that our work ethic, and career meant more to us than our relationship- that if it ever came down to it, we’d choose our careers.

I built my new life around Philly Phitness, I loved my clients, the atmosphere and the people I worked with. I could have left, (some days I wanted to)…but I didn’t. Despite not always acting like it, we are adults, and we had to figure our shit out.

Since getting divorced, and suffering through some pretty intense growing pains I’ve learned quite a few things not only about myself, but about life.

I’ve learned:

  • That no matter the situation you have to take the good with the bad, and play up the good when the bad is really, really bad.
  • That contrary to my own beliefs—I wasn’t always right. (Whoa!)
  • That sometimes you end up with fragments of the person you once despised and tried so hard not to become…

In Germany I would often attend dinners, galas, and community outreach events. I felt like a fish out of water. I followed along with my husband, had no idea what they (the Airmen, Troops, and all other Military personnel) were talking about, and I didn’t particularly find it interesting to talk about what rank someone was, or how they met a Three Star General…. I wanted to talk about my dreams, about fitness, and how I envisioned my life playing out.

That was something I craved, and lacked for a very long time. I didn’t have someone that fully understood and could comprehend my dreams, but I found that in my ex-boyfriend.

Perry and I grew up in two very different worlds. His mindset was something that I wanted to learn, to figure out, and begin implementing. He had been on his own for quite some time, and used that as an opportunity to figure out his life plan.

As for me—well, I was just getting to that point. Initially he had a way of coming off very cocky and I didn’t get it, yet I wanted to. I later came to realize that it wasn’t him being cocky as much as it was he being confident. He knew that everything he would do would be a success, even if that meant taking something away from his failures. He taught me that if people were jealous of my goals, of my dreams, or of my outlook then that was their problem, not mine.

I’ve always had a great work ethic but he helped me to see that whatever I really wanted, whatever I was truly passionate about, I’d find a way to make it happen despite all of the roadblocks that would come my way.

I’m sure people will be quick to judge me for blogging about my ex-boyfriend and how much he’s taught me, directly or indirectly but that’s life. You take the up’s with down’s and learn from both of them. We’re taught to move on, forget the past and get on with our future. I support it, but I also believe in allowing someone or something to teach you along the way, you just have to be willing to learn a lesson.

At first there were characteristic traits that really got under my skin, they didn’t make sense to me, and I wasn’t interested in understanding them. As time went on (especially after the break up) I came to realize why he did things the way he did, and I’ve slowly begun to admire him for them. One thing he showed me, and told me was that if someone doesn’t like me, or judges me based off of something someone else has told them—then F*ck them! You know who you are, and that’s all that matters, and that you only need the people in your life that need you in theirs.

I was with Perry throughout one of the most traumatic times in my life. I was morphing into a new being, and desperately needed to learn about myself. He allowed me to see things for what they were and understand the emotions that I didn’t think others noticed. He helped me navigate my insecurities, but also reminded me of my strengths. Reminded me that my vision, my brand, and my presence all had a need.

He taught me to take risks. One of the biggest ones I took was on him. I had trust issues, I was fragile, and needed someone to show me that I deserved to be loved. He did that.

Yet, when a traumatic life event happened for him I wasn’t there. Physically I was there, but emotionally no one was home. He depended on me in the same ways I depended on him, for love, support, encouragement, and for someone to pick up the pieces when they began to crumble.

At the time I honestly thought I was that person, I thought I was there; in his corner…but now I see it differently. If I were to write this post six months ago it would have been completely different. I would have seen it through my eyes, and my eyes only. They would have painted a picture of me being there for him, but not the amount that he required; yet as I sit here today I’m able to look back at the situation and say I fucked up, I dropped the ball, and for that I’m incredibly sorry.

I felt like the divorce and everything I was going through was so traumatic because I allowed myself to be vulnerable, because I let someone in that didn’t deserve to be, and as a result I was taken advantage of. Unfortunately the aftermath left me self absorbed, and selfish, but the problem is that I didn’t realize it until it was too late.

Michael (my ex-husband) was selfish, failed to acknowledge my feelings, and obviously put himself, (and other women) first. He had character flaws that I wanted to disassociate from, yet – to a degree I took some of them on, I took them with me, and into my new relationship. I was so focused on my healing and my recovery that I neglected to see that others (my ex-boyfriend) needed someone to allow them to heal, and mend open wounds as well.

Generally speaking, love is a noun, it’s a feeling, but realistically speaking love needs to be a verb, an action that holds a higher regard.

It’s easy to play the victim, to get caught up in our own personal drama, and allow it to so easily affect the relationship we have with others. Yet it’s that pivotal moment when you lose someone, where you begin to see who you really are. That doesn’t mean you can’t change, it simply means that you have a choice to grow into something better.

Personally I can’t always see things for what they truly are in the moment, often times I need to take a step back, or step out to realize things aren’t as they should be. If I could turn back the hands of time I would have done things differently, I would have taken more time to grown individually and not transfer such empty hearted feelings onto someone else.

I loved him (my ex-boyfriend), and still do, but my actions said something different.

Unfortunately things didn’t play out as I intended them to, they never really do- and that’s life. Yet, I’ve learned, I’ve grown, and I’ve loved, and that’s really all I can ask for.

Jayel_Sig

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Perry O’Hearn//Costa Rica

 

 

Love

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This story is one about love. This story is one about self worth.

When I was first asked to write a blog, I felt like I had nothing to say. I have not had a difficult or rough life. Nothing huge has impacted me so much that it lead me to fitness. At least, that’s how I see it. In fact, I have had an amazing life. I did not have an absent father. I did not have a mother trying to live vicariously through her daughter. I have had two amazing parents. My childhood? It was filled with love. Sure, I heard the word, “no”, but really, I was never left wanting.

My relationship with my brother was more complex. He is the one who struggled through his childhood and the first half of his adult life. Now, at thirty, he finally feels he is getting it right. But, his struggle is not my story, and well, it was not really my struggle. It was hard, being the younger sibling, watching what my brother went through and unfortunately, getting the backlash from it. Our relationship was… well… I guess I will say it because essentially, it was physically and emotionally abusive. But that is a story for another day and another time because I do not think it is fair to talk about things that he does not even remember. I guess I feel responsible for protecting him. I do not want people to judge him. It was fifteen years ago. It has molded me but it does not define me or our relationship.

This story is one about love.

I was raised by one of the most amazing women. “ I am proud of you, you are beautiful, and I love you just the way you are”, were words I heard and still hear every single day. She has said them to me from the time I was born, and I think it would be fair to say from the time she knew she was having a little girl. My mother is a strong, willful, loving, and determined woman. I grew up having an incredible role model. My father has given me unconditional love and support. He has always been proud of me and has told me, “ All I could ever want is for you to be happy”. It is because of him, I hold men to a higher standard. It is because of him I have not settled for anything that is less than I deserve. This is the love that has raised and created me. This is the love that lives in me.

This story is one about self worth.

It is because of this endless love from my mother, that I think I have gotten through life. She never forced me to do anything I did not want to do. At a young age, she noticed that I needed to move. I was climbing on everything I could, and running around enough to cause her to have a heart attack. With that, at age two, she put me in gymnastics. I loved it. I loved every minute of it. So much so that I wanted to sign up for dance classes next, and eight years down the line, soccer. When the soccer coach asked me to pick between practice or the gym, I basically said,“Screw you. Mommy, take me to the gym, I want to go home”. Her, “no bullshit” attitude has definitely rubbed off on me.

It was another five years before my body started to let me down. I started becoming over flexible and it was actually hindering my capability to improve. Once looked at as a rising star, it was a bruise to my ego as some of the younger girls started to surpass me. I would go back and forth to the physical therapist, until he finally told my mother it was time to pull the plug. I never cried so much in my life. I thought I was going to the olympics. I had not let go of that dream even though in reality, it probably was never going to happen. But I guess that’s my point, my parents never allowed me to let go of that dream.

I get my love of athletics from my father. I was not afraid to flip and jump and twist my body. I have never been afraid to take chances and get banged up. That is all from him. When they found out they were having a girl, he was putty in my hands, but I do not know if he expected me to be such a girly tom-boy. Sure, I loved getting dressed up in “party dresses” and “party shoes”, but you bet your ass I liked to play football while wearing them. I did not care if I ruined my tights, and today I do not care if I ruin my manicure. They’re just things, you can replace and fix them. What you can’t replace is experience, especially ones with your dad. I really think he is so cool.

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This story is one about love. Love that I share with all of my clients. Love that I share with all of my riders. Love that I share with all of my friends. Love that I share with all of you. Because of all of this love inside of me, and the love that I have been given, I want so desperately to give it all back. When I look at all of you, I want you to feel the genuine love that I have for each and every one of you. I have been so blessed in my life and because of my fortune, I am able to fully give. It was so hard for me to figure out what to write. I felt like I had nothing because I did not have a tragic story to tell. When I finally took a step back and realized what it is that drives me, only then was I able to see what I was supposed to share. I needed to put pen to paper ( or really, fingers to keys), and share my love. I give it all to you.

Submitted By: Shoshana Katz