I’M A MORNING PERSON—AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. (Quite frankly, I find night owls confusing!) The other day I was up early per usual, catching up on work stuff and reading “Instant Happiness Hacks” in Teaser Wellness (page 30). It got me thinking about the things that add joy to my day to day.
I’m 100 percent guilty of looking at my phone first thing (okay, I need to work on that one), but on the flip side, on that particular morning I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and happened upon a video from Laura Browning Grant (@laurabpilates), whom I consider a friend even though we only spent one day together IRL.
A little bit of backstory: In 2014, we ran a “Success Story” column on Laura’s battle with an eating disorder and ADHD that had really resonated with me, and so we invited her to shoot an exercise story for the magazine a year later [“A Practice in Focus,” July/August 2015]. Laura ended up spending the entire day with our crew, even ditching an evening obligation to join us for dinner (shhh, don’t tell!). Over the years she continued to contribute to the magazine (we couldn’t get enough of her), and then two years ago her husband, Jon, was in a horrible car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I keep up with their deeply emotional journey on social media as Laura shares the raw ups and downs of Jon’s return to health, the daily struggles, the unbelievable courage and the unending compassion.
After watching Laura’s video on Insta, I once again witnessed her love and commitment to Jon and realized that my own trials, while valid, are so small in comparison. Laura, thank you for inspiring me—for inspiring us all—every day.
On a much lighter note, another morning ritual that I’ve come to love during the week: the time my husband and I spend together making j
uice with fresh produce (admittedly, we’re not so great at it on weekends). Not only is juicing good for our health—particularly for my husband, Matthew, who had a heart attack two years ago and has type 2 diabetes—but I love the concoctions he comes up with. My favorite recipe is a blend of ginger, turmeric, green apple, cucumber, kale, carrots and beets. Call me crazy, but I also love straight-up celery juice!
Now that spring has finally sprung and the fog has cleared (it was a long foggy winter for us on the Gulf Coast of Texas), Matthew and I are back to walking the beach. We both work from home, so when time allows, we love taking a midday walk and following it up with a mat session to clear our minds and energize our bodies. I’m definitely planning on incorporating some of the amazing exercises from Tracey Mallett (check out her barre-free fusion workout on page 42) and Karen Sanzo (her exercises on page 56 will help you make deeper flexion connections). I think I’ll save Fernando Sadir’s super-advanced Wunda Chair moves on page 48 for the studio, where I’ll have some Pilates teacher supervision! (And for all of you pre/postnatal moms, don’t miss Georgia Burns’ series for the postpartum body on page 88.)
Before I say bye, I’d love to wish all you moms and dads (of children and/or fur babies) a happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day! Don’t know what to do to celebrate? Take a cue from “Like Father…” (page 84), where three Pilates teachers who also happen to be fathers share how they get their children involved at the studio.
Although I never did Pilates with my own dad, we were two peas in a pod; calling me a “daddy’s girl” as a child would have been an understatement. My dad traveled a great deal for work, but he knew how to make the time he spent at home memorable and special. He never missed any of my games, and took the time to teach me how to perfect my free-throw and play catch. Another favorite pastime was watching the Houston Astros, something we still do together in spirit.
Here’s to making each and every day count, to living in the present and to celebrating our journey known as life.
Photo caption: Me (at left), in my usual spot: on My Dad’s lap. Also pictured: My brother, Sir, and my beautiful mom Marna.
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