Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Back in early 2012 I had an itch to do and be something different. I had spent nearly 11 years as a stay at home mom, and while I wouldn't change that for the world, I felt it was time for a change. So I became a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and certified running coach over the next year.

While all of this has been very fulfilling and sometimes a lot of fun, I was feeling discontentment again this year. My son had a rough first year in middle school (he was diagnosed with ADHD) and my daughter has been, for lack of better words, an emotional wreck occasionally. I was gone every morning for work, and while this wasn't a huge deal during the school year, once summer arrived and my kids were home everyday with my work-at-home husband, things began to crack. It became very stressful for me to be gone every morning, and when I did get back home I was tired from teaching and training and having to be so personable for hours at a time. Finding the energy and desire to train for my own fitness goals was getting harder and harder to do when I spent so much time in a gym already. It wasn't how I envisioned my second career at all.

On July 6 I decided that it just wasn't worth it. I quit my job. Talk about a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. My kids needed me to be home with them, to eat breakfast with them, to take them to the park, to guide them with chores, to make sure they were getting what they needed emotionally on a daily basis. My husband is an incredible father, but he also has a demanding job that requires hours at a time to be spent on conference calls. Kids at home plus working husband was getting to be very stressful for everyone.

Part of the reason that I decided to pursue a second career was that I felt I wasn't contributing enough to our household. I wanted to be able to say I was a financial help in addition to my mother and wife duties, and for awhile I enjoyed providing that for the first time in over a decade. We took a few vacations and I used my income to pay for all of my fitness hobbies. It felt good to "earn" something and give back to the family.

But at the end of the day, the best thing I could do for the family was just to be here everyday, to make sure the house is running smoothly, to be a support for my children and help them in their struggles, to just play with them more. I'm only on Day 2 of my "stay-at-home mom" role, but I can already feel more contentment in the house, more peace.

I've also decided that after many years of shunning the kitchen, I'm going to spend more time in it, learning to cook healthy dishes for the family, learning to make my own endurance training fuel so my marathon and triathlon seasons are the best they can be. I'm excited about this venture and I'm enjoying my time spent in the kitchen so far. I never thought I'd be one to get excited about buying a food processor!

So what does this mean for "Coach Steph"? She's still alive and well and isn't going anywhere. I have a private training, coaching, and weight loss consultation business that will remain in effect. I love coaching runners, and I'm happy to train people out of my home or theirs as time permits, plus I will still be volunteer coaching for Round Rock Fit. But my priority has shifted back to being with my family, and this makes me the happiest.

I'm hoping to blog more (that has definitely slipped in the last year), I need to research more about ADHD for my son, I'm going to learn as much as I can about healthy endurance fueling, I'm going to kick the crap out of this upcoming marathon training season, and I'm about to finally officially become a triathlete. My family is going on a vacation before the school year starts up again, and my husband is going to see his wife in the kitchen a lot more than he's used to....I think it all sounds pretty darn great.