Category Archives: Health

Can I be a Christian and a Bada**?

Oh, I may have my church membership revoked for this.  Please let me stay, Pastor B!!  Members of foregone generations are rolling in their graves.  Former pastors and mentors are likely shaking their heads.  Friends who know me well are probably trying to pick their jaws off the ground at the audacity of the question I posed in the title of this post.  I’m sure my husband took one look at this title and thought, “What?!”  And I certainly would never ever want to hear such a word uttered from the mouths of my sweet children.

Words.  Vernacular.  Context.  Culture.

Yes, I’m in the older generation.  I guess I’m part of Gen-X…whatever that means; I’m not really sure.  I base my identity and my value system on my Christian faith which is rooted in the Bible and a personal relationship with Jesus.  Nonetheless, this term is difficult for me to say out-loud, though secretly, inwardly, I kind of like the word Bada**.

See, I can’t even type it out.  I have to disguise it with **’s.

So, why am I thinking about this term?  I joined a holiday running and fitness challenge through Train Like a Mother Club, and these #motherrunners refer to themselves as #BAMR’s (Bada** Mother Runners).  I am also planning on registering for their heart-rate training plan in preparation for my May half marathon, and I know I’ll be seeing even more of this #BAMR hashtag, and I need to decide how I really feel about joining this group and as a byproduct being considered a #BAMR myself.

I know there are those reading this who are shrugging your shoulders and wondering why I think this is a big deal.  Why would I struggle with such a cool phrase?  Allow me to explain.

As a Christian I understand that words are very powerful.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.  Proverbs 18:21

God created the world with His Words, “Let there be…”.  And the very first verse in the Book of John is referring to Jesus:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

God’s identity is rooted in His Word.  Because of this, I take words and their meaning very seriously.  Another term that is used a lot in today’s culture is sexy.  I don’t like it at all.  I think it’s cheap and degrading.  I do not feel good about myself if someone says, “You look sexy,” or “You look hot.”  In contrast, if someone says to me, “You’re beautiful,” or “You’re lovely,” my heart soars.

Let’s get back to the question at hand.  Can I be a Christian and a Bada**?  And why do I secretly like the term?  I did consider changing the meaning of #BAMR to something like Brave Audacious Mother Runner, but even though I like and am empowered by words like brave, and bold, and strong, and audacious, these words don’t carry the same weight as bada**.  In studying the Bible throughout the years, I see that there were many bada** women who broke the rules and changed history.  I wrote about this in a previous post Ferociously Feminine.  

Bada** refers to a troublemaker, a renegade, a rebel.  That’s what women needed to be throughout history in order for things to change…things we take for granted, like being able to vote, go to college, have a career, raise families, and believe it or not–being able to run.  There was a time in the not too distant past (within my lifetime) when it was frowned upon for women to run, and certainly mothers with small/young children have no business taking time away from their children to spend hours on the trail in training for a race.  I wrote a brief history of women’s running here, so I won’t belabor it.

For me, what does it mean to be Bada**?  It means that I am going against the tide of culture that says that women must lose their identities for the sake of their children.  Following after your own pursuits is selfish.  Women are supposed to forsake all for the sake of their children.  Baloney Sandwich (B.S. 🙂 ). For the sake of my children, I am doing something to take care of myself and stay healthy so I can be a better mother and a more supportive wife.  I am in awe of the women who make no excuses and make time and space in their busy days to exercise.  I love the stories about mothers who run short laps around their houses holding onto a baby monitor while their little ones nap.  I’ll never forget seeing a woman out running with no less than three children flocking around her on bikes.

I also think it’s important for Christians to come out of the four walls of the church and get involved in our communities and build genuine relationships with people who may not believe the way we do…without targeting them for evangelism…and not hiding our own faith.  We need to build honest relationships by getting to know people and allowing them to know us–warts and all.  It’s healthy to socialize with people who are different–Jesus did!

So, all that to say, I decided to embrace my identity as a #BAMR.  I am committed to taking care of myself, and that includes focusing on my nutrition and exercise, not so that I get skinny.  On the contrary…41gl0srkzl-_sx342_

BTW…I could never dream of being a #BAMR without the support of my dear hubby who takes charge of the kids and encourages me every step of the way.

Iron Fortified Me

Over the past few months I haven’t been quite myself.  Irritable.  Sad.  Disconnected.  Lonely.  I found it difficult to concentrate and work through the stress at work and home.  I thought I was fighting another bout of depression, and there was good reason.  I have two small children and a stressful job.  I try to please everyone and oftentimes please no one.  Feelings of inadequacy and failure can lead anyone to feel depressed.  To top that off I was excited to get back into my fitness routine, and I sprained my toe.  Really?!  Do you know that a seemingly insignificant toe can cause a great deal of pain and inhibit even the simplest of activities?

In the midst of all this some cool and exciting things were happening with my children.  My son (6) expressed an interest in karate.  I found a community education class that offered three sessions as an introduction to see if this was really something he was interested in doing.  He completed the first two and was looking forward to the third when he would be able to sign up for real classes and be fitted for his uniform.  This third class coincided with my daughter’s fourth birthday, and we planned on celebrating as a family after my son’s karate class.  However, something happened…about 1 o’clock in the afternoon before all this activity was to happen, while doing pretty much nothing, my heart started to pound and I felt very dizzy and lightheaded.

I laid down and tried to watch a movie on my iPad to relax, but after two hours my heart continued to pound and the room was still spinning.  I called my husband.  Funny that he was just downstairs in the house, but with our modern technology we use our cell phones to call and text even if the other is in the next room.  Anyway, I digress.  I told him what was happening to me, then I called the emergency room.  The triage nurse told me to call 911.  I honestly didn’t feel like my life was in danger, so my husband drove me into the emergency room where I was whisked into the critical care unit and hooked up to monitors, stuck with IV needles, and an oxygen tube was wrapped around my face.  Inundated with questions.  Wheeled off for a chest x-ray.  More questions.  All tests coming back negative (normal).  It was decided that I was not in a life threatening situation, but what was causing my heart to beat like this?  Why was I so dizzy?  The doctors decided to keep me overnight for observation and have me undergo a stress test in the morning.

All I could think about was how disappointed my children were.  No karate for my son.  No family birthday celebration for my daughter.  I failed again.  My dear hubby encouraged me to give myself a break.  And I found out later, that my son completely forgot about his karate class, and my daughter was oblivious to the missed celebration–both things I had magnified in my own mind.  They were fine.

The next morning I was hooked up to more monitors while walking briskly uphill on a treadmill.  After that was a lengthy consultation with a cardiologist who was completely baffled because my heart is perfectly healthy.  He determined that what happened was a result of increased stress and dehydration, which made perfect sense.  I was discharged.

I went home and for the next week I felt awful.  I couldn’t think straight.  The slightest thing caused my heart to beat fast and hard.  I saw my primary physician for follow up.  She reviewed the notes and test results from my ER visit and noticed that my hemoglobin was a bit low, so she ordered blood tests to check my ferritin levels (ferritin is a protein in the blood that indicates the amount of iron in the blood cells).  The bottom of the normal scale for a woman is 12; my result was 5.

Eureka!  The problems I was having weren’t about my mental/emotional state, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with my heart.  I have iron-deficiency anemia.  I am now on iron supplements and feeling much more like myself again.

For those of you old enough to remember Popeye, remember how he used to pop open a can of spinach and was infused with the strength to beat up Brutus and rescue Olive Oyl?  That’s what I feel like.  I have the strength to take on any challenge life throws at me.

The word fortified means that something is added to increase strength, support or reinforcement of another thing especially emotional. Fortified refers to something that is moral and intended to give encouragement.

I am an Iron-Fortified Me!