Capability In Movement Is A Choice

As mothers, parents, we are always moving. We sit, stand, walk, run (sprint?), lift, carry, etc., ALL DAY LONG. To say we are not physically active would be absurd, we are constantly active. This ebbs and flows with the season of life and age of our children, but in the baby/toddler years… it is definitely true. We are movers. As such, we often don’t 1) give ourselves credit for any activity or capability we have and focus instead on how we look or feel about ourselves, and 2) we often don’t pay attention to the incorrect or inefficient ways in which we move that may be leading to back pain/neck pain/shoulder tightness/hip discomfort/etc. For now I am going to skip over that first one, we will dig deeper into that in another post. Back to number 2, so you have mommy pains? Well, you did grow a baby with your body. Then you brought that baby into the world, in whatever fashion got you both safely to the other side. CONGRATS!!! If you don’t already view that as training for and competing in an IronMan Triathlon, consider this your permission to do so. Let NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE, attempt to tell you otherwise. Now, unless you did continue being very active and engaged with physical activity that promoted strength, stability, and (safe) mobility… you are probably experiencing some physical changes in capability and function. This is completely normal, it is your body’s new normal. It should not be viewed as a problem, but a lesson. Get to know this new magnificent body, embrace the strengths and weaknesses. See the capability that remains, and the possibility for what more can be achieved.

Ok, we have addressed the fact that things may be different for you physically, now how do we get you back to a place of physical capability that you WANT to be at? In the beginning days it’s not about that, sleep, eating, and bonding with baby are all you should be focused on. That beautiful, strong, soft and comfortable mommy body is exactly what that amazing baby of yours needs. Love it. Take care of it. Don’t diet, eat real foods. Don’t fret about numbers on a scale, go for relaxing walks with that new bundle and your spouse/family member/best friend. Pay attention to any little kinks that may arise. Get a massage, stretch, move. Explore any new movements you find yourself doing. Do you gaze lovingly down at that new little nursling while you feed him/her? Every parent does. Is your neck stiff? Try a few neck rotations, don’t stay in one position for too long, lean back in that recliner to allow you to look more to the side and less down. How is that back holding up from all that carrying? Do you have a carrier? If not, consider getting one that evenly distributes your child’s weight across your shoulders and back… we lived in an Ergo Sport (I am very short, it’s the only one that fit), and a ring sling. How about lifting? This one is tricky. When they are little we often scoop them up to bring them close. But as babies get bigger we tend to use our hands more. Do you lower your center of gravity and lift closer to you? Do you find yourself using your arms more than your legs? Do you already have “mommy thumb”? Do your hands and wrists ache/throb? The video (Mom Lifts) is an example of this movement, the right and wrong version. Watch how my wrist moves more when I stay upright, versus lowering my body and using my legs… those big, strong muscles we all have… to lift those heavier growing loads. Is lowering difficult because your hips are tight? Do you find yourself limited by lacking ankle mobility? These are all areas you can easily work on at home with just a few minutes a day of movement.

That’s it. Capability is a choice. Your choice. We all start with it, and we can choose to grow or remain stagnant. You already chose to grow in a big way, you chose to become a parent. Even if you did not physically grow your child, you grew your ability to love and care for another human. You sacrifice sleep and time to care for this little human. We make these choices every day. It is time we choose to grow our physical capability. It is time we choose to be healthy, to be active, to be ready for whatever those fast-moving children throw our ways. Because, I don’t know about you, but I hope to be chasing after my grandkids one day. I am willing to bet that you are too.

**Over the next few weeks I will begin posting clips of tips and movements to address other areas of movement often needing work. If you’re not sure you are getting them, or would like more direction, send me a message. **

Jessica Groves-Chapman

~ Superwoman-in-training



I AM Enough

I am enough as I prepare breakfast. I am enough when I walk down the street as my toddler pedals her tricycle. I am enough when I cannot finish my exercise video because my child woke up early from her nap, crying…21740253_10154882175241592_1576482248775389202_n

I am enough as I prepare lunch. I am enough as I do the cleaning.

I am enough when I read to my child a book or two or more or less… or play with her on the playground.

I am enough as I prepare dinner, put my child to bed and struggle to fit in a day of friendship with my husband in a few hours before we fall asleep, ready to repeat another day.

I am enough. In between the routine and priceless moments of my day, I carve out time for my dreams, minutes at a time, sometimes, if I’m lucky, an hour.

I AM Enough. I will not settle for less, if possible, will settle only for more. I am priceless just because I AM an expression of God, worthy of love and admiration.

Everything I do, I do with a spirit of excellence, and then I release the outcome.

I don’t need to struggle to prove to anyone how fabulous I am, that I am a great mother.

I am perfect in my child’s eyes, because I love her with all of my heart. I promise to try each day, for her, to be the mother she believes I am.

I am beautiful. I don’t need to prove that to my husband. 21730826_10154882175301592_3331134872047301379_nI am lovable, for my hands have touched every corner of my house and his life with affection, respect and admiration. I don’t need to be someone else as I open up, vulnerable, ready to give and receive and learn together.

WE are enough.

I don’t need to prove to my father or mother or sister or brother, neither friend nor foe or anyone in between, that I am worthy. I have no shame in sharing my essence for I am human, but I move closer and closer each day to Godliness because I accept myself and others for who they truly are: worthy and lovable, naturally and powerfully.

I don’t need to perform each day to fit in. I’d rather belong.

I’d rather belong to someone or a group that will accept me for who I am. I don’t need to hide.21764934_10154882175276592_2041052553088426751_n.jpg

I am healed in the truth of love and acceptance, as I give love and acceptance to others.

Every mama out there, you are already a queen, a warrior…

I look at all the women and think, “ Where did we miss the mark? Where and why did we forget about who we truly are? Why are we withholding love from ourselves?”

By withholding love from ourselves, we cannot help but withhold love from others.

Love will set us free. Love will redeem us, heal us and set us apart and up above.

So I chose to LOVE myself and YOU, because I AM Enough.

I do this easily because I don’t have to compete, hide or hurt because I am different.

I celebrate myself and in this way, I can celebrate YOU!

Everything we do, let’s do it well. Don’t compare yourself to others. Leave the outcome to God.

Surrender yourself to peace.



~Olga Pyshnyak-Lawrence

An Everyday Mama Who Found a Passionate Life

What does fitness really look like?

A colleague of mine recently shared an article she wrote entitled, Fitness isn’t Image. It really got me thinking about the daily struggle of convincing women that strength is not about “bulky muscles” and “slim waistlines.” Inevitably when speaking with women I have heard phrases such as: “I don’t like to lift heavy weights because I don’t want big muscles.” Or: “Lifting weights isn’t my goal, I need to lose weight, so I need to do more cardio.”

Y’all, seriously…

Let’s back up a minute and redefine some of this nonsense. First, diet plays an IMPORTANT role in your body composition, which typically is what yields an effect on appearance. Second, building muscle facilitates weight loss more efficiently. Because no one wants to rapidly lose weight and end up with the jiggles, right? Although, a little wiggle in your juggle is COMPLETELY NORMAL.

Yup, I went there. Fat is normal. You need it for that beautiful brain of yours to function. You need it to maintain a normal hormonal cycle. Fat is good. However, ‘everything in moderation’ is a great motto to hold to for literally everything in life.


Fitness is NOT about image. It is about capability. To be fit, you must embrace being strong and stable and mobile. That will come in many different sizes and shapes. There is no one size fits all. We are humans and we are meant to move. If you cannot move effectively and efficiently in your day to day life…that is the problem. Love your body, ladies, help it become as capable as it can be.


Jessica Groves-Chapman

~ Superwoman-in-training

Test YOUR Strength

I am not one, usually, for acknowledging my own accomplishments, but that is one beautiful back bend. From this shot you would think it was easy, effortless even.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

This pose is just a snapshot of a journey in mobility, flexibility, stability, and strength. More importantly, it is about learning to believe in myself again.


When I was young I was in gymnastics. I progressed quickly because I was strong and young and excited to learn. Back walkovers, a back bend that you kick over into standing position, became one of my favorite movements. It made me feel strong, and who doesn’t enjoy flipping over? I loved the butterflies I would get as I arched backwards from a standing position, as your brain tries to prevent you from falling by telling you it’s a bad idea to do this. You shush your silly head and do it anyway, and voila, there you stand. Next to cartwheels and monkey bars, it was a favorite childhood past time.

As I aged it became a little more about seeing if I still had it.

Then I became pregnant. After my first munchkin, I was terrified to try again. Would my body even allow it? It took months and months to get past my fear and discomfort, but I made it. Then kiddo number 2 came along. I gained much more weight with my second child. I also endured some rough pubic symphysis and hip discomfort that had me in PT weekly towards the end of that pregnancy, and even some postpartum. I didn’t even think about a back bend, or anything really. I was frustrated with my body and these new aches and pains. These weaknesses.

Yet while they were indications of weakness, they were not issues that could not be addressed. I needed to build strength in my inner thighs, glutes, and hamstrings again… basically my entire leg complex. I needed to regain flexibility in my spine and hips. I needed to believe in my body. I had just grown a human being and brought her into the world in all her perfection, and all I saw was my body’s weakness. What it lacked. How it was failing me. I see this quite often in mothers. How quickly we forget all that our body can and DID do when growing a human! Of course, healing and regaining strength takes time. It should. It should take a lot of time. I do not know where it is that we lose the ability to appreciate the strengths we already have, or why we quickly forget the amazing feats we have already accomplished. All I know is that it is time to change that. It is time to stop believing that we are not as capable as that little girl and her back walkovers. You are only as strong as you allow yourself to believe.

Strength is not solely based upon force production by muscles. To be truly strong you must be mobile, flexible, and stable both physically and mentally.

Are you ready to test YOUR strength?

Jessica Groves-Chapman

~ Superwoman-in-training


Almost a quarter of a millennium ago people of this country gave a big middle finger to an oppressing power and broke free (well in a nutshell haha) – the change was huge and irrevocable, the sacrifices enormous, but the result was worth EVERY bit of pain!!

I came to this country almost 20 years ago because I felt that here I could truly be free, as a human being, regardless of my gender, age, ethnicity, beliefs. And I was right. Yes, there are social rules, and opinions, and judgement, but they push back in a face of true strength of character and determination. The walls of the spiritual prison are rather fluid. They seem to be there, but they really aren’t. Too much is going on. Too many constant infusions. USA is still a kid, is still growing, and therefore has hope. Happy birthday to the country I now call home! Sometimes you frustrate the crap out of me, but I always feel GRATEFUL!

But back to you my gorgeous warriors, if you haven’t done it already – do it today – give a big middle finger to what society expects of you, to the opinions, expectations, and judgements of others, to your past failures, setbacks, and pain. Break free from depending on others for happiness and validation. Get to know yourself every day, love yourself, validate yourself. Be an independent thinker, speaker, feeler, and doer. Learn from EVERY ONE you meet, and EVERY THING that happens around you. Clean up the crowd of people around you, get rid of toxicity and negativity, build your support net. Simplify your life. Build an unshakeable core that allows you to be vulnerable yet strong and resilient. And this is pretty much how you achieve true FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE, get to plug into the UNIVERSAL energy, and have a truly fulfilling life.

This won’t happen overnight – this is a choice and commitment you must make every single day over a period of time, until it just becomes part of who you are. Somewhere along the way you will fall, you will need help, but you will eventually prevail, and be on a completely different level of experiencing life. Guaranteed. Remember, no matter what happens, you have YOURSELF to count on! And me!!! So, make this day count – let today be the anniversary day for your own FREEDOM!



~By Amalia Logunova,  life coach and super mom