This past weekend I did a cannonball. Off a diving board. In a bathing suit. IN PUBLIC. Actually, it was a terrible imitation of a cannonball, but I did it. It was only terrible because I was laughing so hard because I was trying to keep one hand on my bathing suit top so it did not fall down, while at the same time sensing the bottom of my bathing suit riding up… and just could not stop laughing, thinking about what a crazy loon I looked like. Tears were streaming down my face as I hit the water I was laughing so hard.

I went down, down, down towards the bottom of the pool, and when I finally reached the top and came up for air, my 11 yr old daughter was laughing beside me. She didn’t know why I was laughing but laughed along with me. And then guess what? I did it again, and again, and again. We then jumped together off the side of the deep end holding hands, my girl and I still could not stop laughing. I was having so much fun and couldn’t believe I was in the pool.  For a brief minute, I DID think about what I must look like to the other kids in the pool and the fit moms lounging in chairs around the pool… like a CRAZY person. But then I didn’t care after that one minute. I didn’t even think about what the other moms with those amazing fit bodies thought… (okay I did for another minute) then I thought… WHO CARES?! Who really cares? You know who cares, I thought? MY DAUGHTER. She is the one who I jumped in for. When I told her I was jumping in she gave me the biggest smile and was shocked because I cannot remember the last time I jumped in with her. I am usually the mom who sits on the side watching. Watching and watching because I am embarrassed about my extra weight. But this weekend I decided you know what…? It’s hot, I have a bathing suit on and who cares if I am 30 pounds overweight. I am jumping in. And it felt SO GOOD. So AMAZINGLY GOOD.

I feel like a finally had my ah-ha moment. The one which began earlier this summer with an unplanned and very scary appendectomy. One minute I was walking (limping) into the emergency room in the middle of the night and five hours later I was being prepped for surgery. The first thing I thought was I needed to see my girls. I needed to tell them I loved them and hug them and kiss them before they put me under. There was not enough time, it was happening so fast. My hubby promised to get them while I was in surgery, but I needed to at the very least talk to them. Hearing their groggy voices on the phone I tried not to cry as I told them I loved them and everything was going to be okay and I would see them soon! Talk about my emotions running all over the place. Then I called my mom to tell her I loved her and the next thing I knew I was waking up in a room with one less organ and my family surrounding me. If this doesn’t make you realize how unexpected life can be and how truly fast your life can change, I don’t know what does.

My family has always been my number one priority, but it took an emergency surgery for me to refocus on my actions. It’s one thing for me to tell my girls I love them all day long, but it’s another to actually jump into a crowded pool 30 pounds overweight in a bathing suit. To just show up is one thing, but to do the thing which puts the biggest smile on your 11 year old daughter ’s face is another. I did it.

It may seem like a small thing. Jumping into a crowded pool. But to me is was huge. All of me exposed. Cellulite and all. For everyone to see. Including the one person there who mattered: my daughter. She was the one that mattered. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize this. I don’t know why I stayed on the sidelines (lounge chair) for so long. She loves me. ALL OF ME. She needs to see me and have me jump in the pool with her. To her I am just mom. Doesn’t matter if my tummy is jiggling coming out of the pool. Doesn’t matter if I can’t quite loose the baby fat. (I still call it that.) She was over the moon I was in the pool with her.

It really hit me this morning.  I keep telling my girls they can do anything they set their  mind to… just believe in yourself and do not worry about what anyone may or may not think. You do it for you. I am finally taking my own advice. Yes, I am working on getting fit and becoming more healthy. (I like to call myself a “work in progress”.)  But I decided that while I’m working on being less jiggly, I am going to enjoy myself. Now. I cannot believe how much time I wasted on the sidelines.

Jumping into the pool was my first step. I exposed a part of me I always try and hide. I need to accept myself and love myself just like my girls do. And you know what? It feels great. Giggly, great. AMAZINGLY great. I think I unknowingly decided that day in the hospital that I was never going to take my health for granted again. Or live my life from the sidelines. Or do the things I usually don’t do. Like cannonballs in a crowded pool…

[AG1]

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