I was always the kind of person who knew how to get things done. Ever since I was a kid, there didn't seem to be a problem I couldn't solve. There wasn't a goal I couldn't achieve. It was a trait I inherited from my father.
It wasn't that I had any special skill or was exceptional compared to other people. My ability to get things done stemmed from a substantial amount of willpower that I thankfully know how to direct. That innate drive led me to a successful career and a growing family with my wonderful partner.
Always one to keep an eye on my weight and physical fitness, I made sure to make time in my day to visit the gym or go for a run. It was an essential part of my days that not only kept me strong and fit but helped clear my mind. Banging the irons or running on the track cleared my mind and provided a brief respite from a busy career.
The more successful I got, the more responsibilities piled up on my desk. Before I knew it, I was overwhelmed. Visits to the gym became more and more scarce. Eventually, I looked at myself in the mirror and didn't see the strong, fit woman I’d known and loved my whole adult life. All I saw was a stranger.
When I got pregnant, I naturally worked less. But I didn't start getting in better shape. The truth is I got lazier and lazier, using the excuse of my pregnancy until I delivered my first beautiful- perfect- child. All of a sudden, all the stresses about work and my physical fitness evaporated away in my newborn's beautiful smile.
Everything was great for me, my partner, and our new family. Healthy and happy, our son kept growing. But I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to pick him up and hold him.
One day, with some of my family members over for a BBQ, I wanted to pick our son up out of his romper, lift him up and spin him around. My partner had done it before, plenty of times. I wanted to show off our child's infectious laughter that always came from this little kid version of a thrill ride.
When I bent over to pick him up, I felt a sharp pain in my shoulders and back. As bad as I wanted to, I couldn't even lift him up above waist level. Embarrassed, hoping that no one saw, I gently put him back down.
Later, after everyone left, I told my partner what happened. I told him that I really needed to find the time to get back in shape again. I told him: "I want to be strong enough to hold my baby as he gets heavier."
Moved by how upset I was about not being able to lift up their child, my wonderful partner searched for a solution. It wasn't an easy task. I had to split my time between taking care of the baby and doing as much work from home as possible since he couldn't take paternity leave. Finding an opening in my day for exercise was a problem.
My partner found a possible solution online. He found a company, "CoPilot," that sounded like it might work. Through their program, I met Nate, a personal trainer who listened to my concerns and my goals, and together we came up with a plan to help me return to the kind of shape I was in before work got out of hand.
Nate tailored his sessions with me around my schedule. He took my two jobs into account, at work, and at home as a mother. Before long, I found myself getting strong again. That stranger in the mirror started to look a lot more familiar.
Filled with a newfound confidence that came with my work with Nate and the program, I decided it was time to try again. I went to my son's crib and bent over, gently picking him up by the armpits.
It was like night and day compared to the BBQ just a couple of months earlier. There was no soreness, no restriction. I quickly lifted him and spun around in a circle. Seeing his smiling face looking down at me almost made me cry.
It wasn't just that Nate and CoPilot helped me achieve my goals. They showed me that no matter how much I had on my plate on any given day, there was always time to focus on my health. And I could do so while still being the partner and mother that my family needed.
The story of CoPilot member Jennifer