To be honest, I’ve had a difficult time with the title “Alpha Maiden”.
Am I one? If so, why? What makes me so?
Oh, there are the “obvious” things I suppose.
Those things on the surface that people like to look at.
Between 45 and 52, I’ve competed on the figure stage several times. I finished my master’s degree: was certified as a holistic health & fitness coach, in nutrition from two different agencies, and as a mindset specialist. I’m closing in on a 300-pound deadlift and I will have that by the end of this year.
I am managing two very successful consulting businesses and spending a couple hundred days each year on the road. I published two books and started practicing Krav Maga. I have been a military spouse for over 22 years; a military mom for 15. Neither is a job for the weak. I’ve kissed my husband and both of my children as they headed off to war. I cried, at some point, every day they were gone.
I have a lump in my throat just typing that.
I continue to ride my dirtbike and chopper. I’ve flown half-way around the world to scuba dive. I did a 26.2 mile ruck, wearing combat boots, and carrying a 52 pound pack. I am smarter, stronger, more physically fit, and more confident than I have ever been in my life. I am a grandmother to 5.
To be sure, it’s a decent list with some pretty bad ass accomplishments in a relatively short period of time.
None of these define “alpha ” for me, personally, though. It has to be more than that.
I am a survivor.
From the time I was 6 months old until I was 26, I was physically, sexually, and emotional abused. I was told routinely that I brought such things upon myself; that they were my fault. At times I believed it.
They really weren’t my fault, though.
I know that now.
I kept quiet for too long. I refuse to be quiet any longer and let other women feel like they are the “cause of their abuse”. I won’t let them think it’s “their fault,” they “deserve it,” that they are “alone” or “the only one”.
This has happened to many women. It’s happening now. Maybe to your sister, mother, or friends. Maybe to you.
It’s a discussion we need to be willing to have.
If someone else can use my voice as a beacon, I provide it. There is hope. I’m here.
I am a warrior.
I have been a warrior from the beginning (a name my sister gave me) and I carry this shield with pride. My battle has frequently been for others. I have, quite literally, taken the hit to save someone else. I was the person who broke the cycle of abuse at home, not because of what happened to me but because it had started to happen to my sister. I was a single mom for a few years after finally getting out of a physically abusive relationship. We lived on welfare and food-stamps. I remember one time when my son and I had nothing but a 50-pound bag of potatoes to eat. I fought, not for myself but to make a better life for my children.
I have struggled with self-confidence and shame my entire life. I struggle to feel good enough - in my skin, in my head, in this world - to feel like I'm "worth it"...even still, sometimes.
I refuse to accept limits, though, and it doesn’t matter if those are placed by someone else or self-imposed. I was afraid of public speaking; now that’s what I do for a living. I’m afraid of heights, so I climb.
If anyone else can use my strength as an example, I offer it. I’m here.
I am an Alpha Maiden
because at no time, have I ever considered myself a victim. I refuse that label and the limitations it would imply. I went through some stuff but even when life was horrible, I knew somewhere deep in my soul that I would get out. I didn’t know how but I knew I would. I vividly remember laying on a grassy hill when I was 12 or 13, dreaming with my eyes open, that everything would be okay…and it is.
Remembering where I came from, and that many are still in that place; I am obsessively passionate about living every single second of life and about coaching others on possibility. I’ll try just about anything but I don’t just want to learn.
I want to teach. It’s at my core. When I learned to scuba dive, I continued until I was a Dive Master, certified to teach others. I’ve taught basket-weaving, human resources, conflict management, leadership, scrapbooking, retirement & financial planning, and even taught a couple of people to drive motorcycles.
Family & FIT is an online community where I teach people how to embrace life by setting an example through mindset, sustainable nutrition, and movement. In that order.
Mostly mindset is a tagline I frequently use. #MostlyMindset
Mindset really does matter most. Mindset, more than physical strength and toughness is what makes me an Alpha Maiden. It was mindset that allowed me to survive the situations I’ve been in. Mindset that kept me going. Mindset that refused the title of “victim”. Mindset that drives me to share with others.
Let me be clear, mindset isn’t a bunch of meaningless affirmations. It isn’t perpetual optimism. It’s not “being happy all the time”. Mindset isn’t feeling one thing but telling ourselves we should feel something else. It is about doing the best we can, with what we have available (time, money, strength, fortitude, energy) at the time.
Mindset is realizing we are in control.
I couldn’t stop people from hurting me when I was a child. I could escape into the safe recesses of my mind, though.
I could make myself physically tough so the abuse wouldn’t hurt as much when it did come. I could hide. I could plan.
I could wait. I could, eventually, speak.
We are stronger, smarter and more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Mindset matters most.
If anyone can refer to my mindset as their inspiration, I give it freely. I’m here.
Make sure to follow Debbie and check out her books too.
Facebook: Family & Fit
Books: FERS Simplified: Finally Understand Federal Retirement. Volume 1