Utah Mom Gives Herself the Okay to Achieve Better Health; Competes in the My Heart Challenge


Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep the FAITH. It will all be worth it in the end.  This is a quote I discovered while on this 100 day My Heart Challenge: Moms Edition, sponsored by the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. It is so fitting to my life this year. 

On February 4, 2015, I delivered my angel baby, Heavenleigh.  (The hard time!)  During the pregnancy we found out that she had a nasopharyngeal terra toma, a tumor, and because of this tumor she was in heart failure. I was showing signs of mirror syndrome, where my body starts to mimic hers (i.e., heart failure). 

After delivery I had some complications where my staples had to be removed from the C-section and ended up being on a wound vac for about 7 weeks. At this point I was very depressed and my body was revolting against itself. My husband had to help me in ways that I never thought he would have to help me at 41. Maybe at 100; but not 41! 

I would get winded just walking from our front room to the kitchen. The home nurse that came to take care of me had me walking that short distance more and more as the weeks went on. I was finally able to go up and down stairs, she then had me doing 3 sets of stairs a day, gradually adding more sets. 

By this point I was feeling a bit adventurous and had my husband take me to Costco. You know the real test was to see if I could get around Costco without getting winded. Total FAIL!! My sweet husband had to leave the cart and walk me around to the other side where the “café” is to sit and wait. Every time my husband went to Costco I would go with him to test myself (We go to Costco a lot; we have 8 kids). I was able to get around Costco without getting winded as time went on. 

On Saturday May 16, 2015, I ran the Running with Angels run at Thanksgiving Point with my sweet friend, Michelle. She is actually the one that got me motivated to run it. I didn’t want to do any runs because I could only run/walk them, mostly walk. I was so unimpressed with myself and had a lot of negative self talk about myself. It was a lovely morning, and before the race started they released doves that circled around us several times. When the race started, my friend Michelle stayed with me the whole time! I actually ran the whole thing, no walking. It was Michelle’s positive attitude and encouragement. We finished the race! Not with spectacular times, but I just ran a 5k... the whole shebang! It was a lovely way to celebrate my sweet angel, Heavenleigh. 

After that race I stopped the negative self talk!  I gave myself the okay to walk or go slow (Keeping the Faith). Just being kinder and more loving toward myself! I just needed to complete what I started, training for the Triathamom! The My Heart Challenge is one of the greatest moments in my life, a tribute to my angel Heavenleigh and a gift of healthy living to my family. So as we come up on the last week of the My Heart Challenge, headed to the Triathamom, I am filled with excitement, nervousness and feeling accomplished.