Family, Fun and Fitness in 2017
I’m a person who believes in living out loud. This ties into my annual “birthday scare”, which is kind of like a bucket list, only instead of doing lots of things and then dying I do one or two things per year and then eat cake.
A confirmed scaredy-cat, I like to push myself outside my comfort zones because that’s where you grow as a person and because it makes me feel alive.
I’ve jumped out of plane, entered a pole dance competition on my 40th birthday, did five minutes of stand up comedy and published a book. And competed on a reality-TV show.
This year I still did some crazy sh** but with more mindfulness and intention. As I mentioned in previous posts, one of our friends had a son become paralyzed in a car accident and another had a daughter pass away from a rare form of lung cancer. They were both in their 20s.
As a mother, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what those fathers were going through, and I pray I never have to. But it really brought home the reality that life is short and can end at any moment, so I wanted to prioritize what was important to me. This is what I came up with:
This year I homeschooled both kids, which was in the works anyway, but terrifying just the same. If you are wondering why it was scary to me, just picture doing homework with two kids of different ages at the same time…for 8 hours…5 days per week. That’s #HomeschoolLife. But, actually, I discovered that it’s quite rewarding. Some days are better than others, but a definite perk is being able to travel.
This fall I drove by myself with my two kids across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington D.C. to study early American history.
We stopped in New Orleans (my husband joined us for that part) and ate beignets at Café Du Mond,
toured the Oak Alley Plantation, and went on a ghost tour.
We also stayed in Charleston, SC and went to Fort Sumter where the first shots were fired in the American Civil War. Then it was on to Colonial Williamsburg, VA,
where my kids got to live life as a revolutionary soldier, serve as an apprentice in a printing shop,
dig at an archeological site,
learn about horse and buggies and take another ghost tour, because ghosts are awesome.
In D.C. we met up with my brother, Dennis, toured all the monuments and museums we could in two days,
and visited Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.
Driving home we were going to stop more, but in the name of sanity and missing my husband and dog, we just drove back directly and only stopped to eat and sleep. That’s when we had some of the best conversations and when I discovered the merits of pizza delivery to our hotel lobby.
Honestly, the trip was amazing. I’m sending it out to the universe that I will somehow get miraculously get paid to travel the world and homeschool.
My husband and I found time to reconnect this year too. You know how every relationship has some regrets? I had wanted to take a trip to the Caribbean ever since I lost the 50 lbs. (five years ago), but it just never worked out. We either didn’t have the money or the time or the babysitters. So we would just watch Caribbean Life on HGTV and fantasize about drinking rum-infused cocktails on a sunny beach someday.
Then Henri, out of the blue, handed me an envelop. Inside was a note that said Happy 13th Anniversary and two tickets to St. Croix. I was shocked and more than a little confused. “We’ll never have the money. It will never be the right time. Let’s just go.”
Our friends watched the kids and we were gone for 10 glorious days. I’ve never seen water so crystal blue in my life. We ate, drank and toured the island. We stumbled upon sugar refinery ruins and saw where the Dutch had their fort. We hiked up to a lighthouse, snorkeled at Buck Island and run on the beach. More than anything, we remembered why we got married in the first place.
And finally, there was fitness. I tend to do several local bodybuilding competitions, but this was my year to travel. So I did one show in Galveston, Texas (I won 3rd place) and then for the big internationals show our whole family travelled to Costa Rica!
We started in San Jose and saw the Museum del Oro and the Jade Museum and shopped in a local market. Then was the competition and….
Talk about a great way to start a vacation! I had prepared for months getting ready for that show and it was rewarding to walk away with a trophy.
The rest of our stay was spent zip-lining,
tubing down rapids,
boating through the rainforest, repelling down cliffs and splashing on the beach.
When we were in Costa Rica one of the athletes explained to me the meaning behind the phrase on every local’s lips, “Pura Vida”. It translates to “pure life” or “simple life” and it is the philosophy that you should follow your heart, live life fully and focus on what’s important. Family. Friends. Fitness.
May this New Year bring each and all of you a Pura Vida.
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Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, published author, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!
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