By Stephanie Counts

The fifth week in our Back On Track Fitness Challenge, we were supposed to try something new. That concept is interesting to me at this point in my life. I feel like everything that I’m doing right now is slightly out of my comfort zone!

I’m very accustomed to being very physically active, working out regularly, riding, running my barn, etc. I have a two-month-old baby girl now. This pregnancy was really hard on my body and I wasn’t able to exercise during my pregnancy like I wanted to. I knew I would eventually get back into everything, but if someone had told me that I would be starting a fitness challenge and bringing my competition horse home from the trainer to take the ride back for myself just five weeks post-partum I would have never believed it.

Last year I was one of the strongest and always the fastest athlete in my Crossfit class and now I’m just glad to finish every workout even if it is scaled. I really feel like I’m putting myself out there. What better excuse is there for being out of shape and sub-par physically than to have a baby at home?

By not using my God-given excuse, I’m letting everyone see me in my weakness and that is a bit disconcerting. I’m trying to embrace my current abilities, diminished as they may be, and in swallowing my pride I’ve really come to appreciate my body and my strengths. I am not yet as strong as I was this time last year and I have soft, loose squish where I used to have abs, but I have to say that I’m pretty proud of myself. I may not lift as much weight as the other women in my Crossfit class right now, but I tend to my kids through the night, work out like a crazy person at 5am, and go home in time to nurse that precious baby and get my adorable four-year-old ready for preschool before going to the barn to ride and teach.

So this is me getting WAY out of my comfort zone. It’s probably not the daring and adventurous answer that anyone had in mind, but for me it’s as daring as skydiving. I am certainly in a very vulnerable season of life physically and emotionally but I’m putting myself out there and allowing everyone to see me in my weakness and watch me work through a process that I typically would have done very much in private under different circumstances. his challenge has me taking selfies and using hashtags (there’s a first time for everything!) while allowing you guys a front row seat to me in a raw setting.

Written by #BOTSQUAD Recruit Stephanie Counts