I started rubbing my mother’s back as we sat together after our thanksgiving meal. She sighed and whispered “thank you” to me, and I pondered all the ways her body has served me and my three siblings + my dad over the years.
Her spine has begun to shrink in response to 80 years of toil. She gave me life when she was 37, and I was her third of 4 babies here, two more in heaven.
She continues to carry us all in so many ways, and I’m determined to be just as strong (even stronger) than her when I’m 80 years old.
I look at her, myself, my sisters, my nieces, my aunts, my daughter, and I can see the legacy. I can clearly see the blessing of her consistency.
She and my dad have been married for 60 years. She’s taught Sunday School classes at various churches for as long as I can remember. She was a hotline counselor for scared, pregnant women back when we had rotary phones. She made full dinners and packed our lunches every single day. I could always find her at her desk or in our garden, singing or praying or reading.
She is the one who taught me how to keep showing up and never give up. She is the one who answered my endless questions about female bodies as I got into anatomy books at age 6. She is the one who didn’t hide herself when I’d walk in on her as a teenager. She’s the one who would say sorry quickly if she lost her cool.
She is the one who used to walk our dangerous city neightborhood, picking up trash several times a week. She is the one who proudly yet nonchalantly pointed to her stretch marks and her belly and say that she’d do it all again. She is the one who pointed me toward Jesus and a God who doesn’t make mistakes, a God who fearfully and wonderfully makes each of us in that Divine image. She is the one who taught me to see beauty in all bodies.
I don’t think Fit2B would be the same without this mama of mine. I don’t think I would teach the same, mother the same, create the same sort of workouts, lead the type of classes I do or anything else really if not for her.
So the next time you do a Fit2B workout, and I say something encouraging, whisper a thank you for this mama and remember the power you have as a mother. Even if you don’t have children of your own, the little ones around you are thirsty for encouragement and positivity.
No matter how old you are, so long as you have your wits, you can choose your words and choose to be consistent and show up. There might be a young Beth Learn watching ❤️