It’s hard to remember my life before I exercised regularly. It is now such a major part of my day. It’s a time I recharge, reclaim and slow things down. I feel so accomplished after a workout. I love that there is a beginning, middle and end. It makes me feel satisfied and ready for the challenges ahead.

It keeps me mentally balanced and generally just happier.

Yet it is not always easy to get that workout in, especially if you have young children or a challenging schedule.

I remember when my kids were very young and finding that hour in the day to escape and just get a workout in was almost impossible.

This is when I came up with the concept of “my sacred space.”

For me personally I need at least an hour a day to move my body and feel connected to my life.

During this time, I am able to process the day events and challenges ahead as I deadlift and push up my way through the hour.

When my kids were very young, I went to the gym from 5 am to about 6:30, 5 days a week. This allowed me to be back before they went to school and I could be there the whole day with them.

The balance and mental strength this gave me was incredible.

As the kids got older and we moved to San Diego we created a home gym. I was able to use it whenever I could find time, but it was crucial to have a routine and not leave that sacred space up to chance.

The kids got curious and would sometimes like to join me. My rules were they could join me as long as they were not messing around or fighting. They needed to be doing some type of exercise and have a positive and encouraging attitude.

There were many, many times throughout the years I have had to reestablish the understanding of how vital this space is for me. How important it is for me to have this time and recharge my battery.

I have had to stand my ground and not waver when it comes to friends and family not understanding why my consistent routine is so important to me. I have had people say things such as “You work out HOW many days a week?!” or “You work out too much.”

I never allowed these things to stop or hinder me and I would just ignore it and continue my routine.

I never questioned my commitment to health and exercise. I questioned why other people weren’t doing the same.

When we create this sacred space for ourselves, we need to expect some push back, some adversity and be ready to challenge it right back. Be ready to stand your ground and not let other people take that space from you.

They may never understand how crucial it is to spend time getting sweaty and out of breath but the only thing that matters is you do.

You understand that keeping a routine and keeping your body healthy and strong is what keeps your mind right (thank you Todd Durkin). There is something magical that happens when you’re lifting and moving. Your brain comes alive, and you feel capable and ready for the other things in your day that are so out of your control. When I work out, I can decide how hard I want to go, how much energy I want to give and how tough I want to be.

I can control the effort I put out and decide if I want to be all in. It’s a touchstone to keeping in contact with that warrior side of myself and making sure she’s staying awake and ready.

By creating this sacred space, I am creating a stronger mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, trainer and coach. I am reinforcing the strong, resilient and vibrant parts of me that make me better.

It is not selfish or wrong to demand this time for yourself. To have an unquestioned understanding that you will be spending that hour on yourself, and you will not compromise.

Over the years as my children have gotten older, they have joined me from time to time in my sacred space. They have learned the value of this time and also have created sacred spaces for themselves.

As you continue your fitness journey, think about how you can create this sacred space in your life and remember that it is ok to spend time staying strong and healthy.

The best gift you can give the people you love is a happy and healthy you!