Finding purpose and passion, led to strengthening the warrior spirit.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Proverbs 4:23
Warrior UP – Sasha’s Story
Growing up a “rez girl” has is very rare and beautiful eccentric meaning behind it. My parents raised me on the Navajo Reservation and for most of my upbringing, I had no running water, no electricity, no cable and no air conditioning. It was “the norm” for me until I became more and more aware of my surroundings, I realized not everyone lived in the conditions I was raised in.
Some may label my lack of understanding as naive but looking back it, I would not change anything. Yes, I did not have a lot, whether it be “SEEN AS ON TV” or the latest fashion clothes, then yes, I did not have those “shiny” new things. What I had was not tangible but strong values that provided me a strong foundation to build my life on.
Every morning, my dad encouraged me to wake before the sunrise, he would tell me to go run. Not fully understanding the significance behind this tradition “…I would whine under my breath… whyyyyy sooooooo early??” I reached for my shoes and head out the door. Our home faced the east and the early morning glow immediately touched my body walking out the front door. I would see my father standing, waiting at the edge of the hilltop and when I stood next to him, he began praying in our beautiful Dineh (Navajo) language.
As we greeted the morning, praying for blessings, protection and strength, I realized the notion of this tradition is sacred beyond my understanding. Not long after I set foot onto my run, no music but the sound of my breathing, pounding of my heart and footsteps across the earth. Doing this awakened my spirit within and as I grew up with this tradition. I knew of no better way to start my mornings. Today, my morning prayer keeps me strong and grateful for my humble beginnings of which I am deeply rooted to.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.Arthur Ashe
Leaving the rez was not easy. A few months after I joined the military, I had a cultural shock, I felt that I lost all understanding of who I needed to be. My mental state seemed as if it was a moving target. I was constantly being tempted to try “new” things which was not an idea I was use to having to think about. Why did new have a misleading tone?
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.2 Corinthians 4:8-9
So many questions raided my thoughts to the point where, I started to feel a lack of confidence being so far from home. “WHO could I speak with?… HOW could he/she understand my thoughts without understanding what it was I was missing? WHERE could I wander to for answers? WHEN was the right time to let someone know the shock I felt.” My compass was broken.
For years, I felt this sort of emotion led my life which ultimately ended my marriage. So as my marriage slowly dissolved over many years of experiencing piercing moments of loss, my love shattered, my heart hardened to bitter and resenting moments of tears. Desperately, I would seek answers in hopes of finding a checklist on how to fix my marriage, my sadness and my life.
My spirit was broken and I was lost. “How did I allow myself to sink so deep into the shadows? …what light was left in a place that felt so dark?” This was an ugly storm. Might as well label it a hurricane, since it easily uprooted what I thought I knew about my life.
Now looking back, it was “my storm”- it was set in my path to pressure me to make a decision on failure or victory. And the day I choose to be victorious was when I accepted God back into my heart and to step in faith daily. Which by no means is easy and through many subtle reminders whether from family or friends. I patiently experience my healing through prayer and discipline doing what strengths my mindset.
BE STRONG and courageous.Deuteronomy 31:6
Making strides in my fitness goals has helped nurture my ability and confidence to achieve my goals. From finishing a marathon to now training for American Ninja Warrior, my determination and courage is stronger. Going for this ambitious goal has been a blessing in healing the scars on my heart.
The gym and running is my medicine. As I continue to make gains with Jennifer and finding strength in building our confidence achieving our fit goals. I am happy to share this journey while being an inspiration for my kids, family and those who follow my journey. So with that shared, I am a WARRIOR and I am here to protect what I am passionate about.
WARRIOR UP – Jennifer’s Story
I remember small movies in my head of my Grandmothers standing outside facing East. Standing tall in their prayers, I would quietly listen to their tears of joy, of sadness, of loneliness, of love, of thankfulness and above all, being given a new day. I used to think to myself, “I wonder if they can hear the person they are talking to right now.” I was given these moments to carry into my own life, to carry me through the storms, through the sunshine and everything in-between. As I sit here, writing down these important pieces of my life, I know I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the constant prayer I carried throughout all those years. From the age of 5, I was tested in a manner that completely hardened my heart and at times I wanted to completely give in due to the circumstances that found me. But with each dark experience, a voice deep down in my heart encouraged to me to keep moving forward. For me, life was living from prayer to prayer, in a manner that kept my faith from never being blown out.
Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1
My prayers have brought me here, to this blog, to share these words of faith, encouragement, love and strength. WE all have our own way of praying, they all go to the same destination, and return straight to our hearts. My road trip in life has lead me to beautiful places, precious moments, priceless conversations and irreplaceable memories. It took me 37 years to reach a balance in my life where my spirit, my emotions, my mentality and my physical well being reside in one place. And for that my Warrior Spirit continues to pray those big audacious prayers as our Pastor Todd has said time and time again in services at Sagebrush Community Church.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.John 3:8
The days in my marriage turned into never-ending arguments, discouraging words, belittling one another and eventually broke me emotionally. The empathy I was barely getting to learn was put back into a box and eventually forgotten. I wasn’t able to fix my marriage; I wasn’t able to piece myself back together and I fell into a very deep lonely depression. I covered up my emotional wounds with food, video games and closing off connections to those who loved me. Looking in the mirror to get ready was not a priority anymore, nor did it matter what I wore out in public. Days on end, I battled the voices in my head, “you can stop now, its okay to give up, no one would really miss you anyway.” My emotions repeated every hurtful event that had taken place days and even years before. I try not to pass the sole blame, but emotionally it has been a marathon effort to get back to loving ME.
Through the very emotional chapters in my life; I take away the lessons that were presented to me and use it as my guide. I have forgiven myself, forgiven the awful thoughts of wanting to end my life, the hurtful words used to describe myself as a woman and the hurtful actions that played out. Emotionally my very dark days are behind me, because I chose to believe in ME, I chose to to believe in HIM. To take care of my heart, and being told, “Guard your heart!”
As the water reflects the face so the heart reflects the person.Proverbs 27:19
The journey of piecing my heart back together lead me back to God, to church, to my roots and my culture. I am simply safe, in a world where my actions speak louder than my words. I became an emotional warrior, fighting to carry on the good and continue seeking the help needed to carry fourth this emotional gratitude.
Working out everyday in the morning for the last 2 years has been a complete lifesaver. Seeing the transformation unfold with each passing week, gives me the confidence in knowing that patience is important. As a mother, the rush of every daily task can be overwhelming, time consuming and at times very stressful. But hearing my 4am alarm clock, I get excited to see my progression as Sasha and I journey our fit goals.
As I work my way to becoming a massage therapist, I can visualize the body’s movement and muscle mechanics with a new view. Becoming stronger will help me become the BEST Massage Therapist I know, I can be! Especially the physical demands of healing those in need of comfort. More to share on my continued journey to becoming a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist.
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strongProverbs 31:17
Our warrior spirit is renewed as we continue along our journey. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! Until our next post, pray strong and train strong. – Sasha and Jennifer