Wow do I have a fiery woman coming your way today! If you haven’t noticed, I kicked off my new interview series of fit & healthy military wives who don’t sit around just waiting and wishing the days away, these women rock our socks off with goals, determination and pride all while having fun.
Today Samantha Carroll has taken some of her busy time to share with us some of her great successes! She is an army wife whose husband is deployed right now, she just did a mud run with a bunch of girls, going to school for nursing, is a runner and a mom to a little girl! Wow, busy lady! If she can find time for herself, we can all strive for that as well! Let’s get to it, because I know you are eager to get to know her as well!!
Please, tell us a little about yourself and your family.
My husband is an Army Apache pilot. We’ve been married for almost 6 years and have a 4-year-old daughter Elizabeth. We both came from corporate backgrounds so when my husband, who is prior National Guard, decided to go active duty, it was a very different life for us, but one that has blessed us with many opportunities for growth. In spite of all the crazy stories you hear, the Army made deciding to and having our daughter a very easy, and pleasant experience. I have a journalism degree and a sales/marketing background. After getting burnout from that for 12 years, our move to Hunter AAF gave me the chance to stop working and go back to school to start working toward my second career…becoming a nurse. I will start my final year of nursing school in the fall and finish with a BSN. I still do freelance writing for web and print publications.
Have you always been into fitness and living a healthy life-style?
Yes, growing up I was a competitive baton twirler, practices and competitions six days a week and my mom was great about providing healthy meals for our family. In college, I mostly ran and did aerobic classes. As a wife and mother, I’ve wanted to stay healthy for the obvious vanity reasons, but I think it’s very important to show and teach my daughter how important it is to live this way. Also, becoming a nurse will require a lot of patient teaching, and I feel it’s important to live by what I will be teaching my patients about healthy lifestyles. I’ve done tons of 5Ks and I’m also currently training for my first half marathon.
How has living healthy helped you throughout deployments, trainings and/or other events as a military wife?
This is currently our family’s second deployment. I’ve discovered that deployments, for me, are times when I can really focus on pushing myself. I’m already being presented with separation from my husband, so why not show myself what I can really do? I spent the last one, and this one running miles and miles, mainly for sanity. I like to do at least one ‘crazy’ fitness thing per deployment and usually wrangle my friends into it too. We formed teams with shirts and everything. It was fantastic bonding. Last deployment was the Iron Viper, an homage to our soldiers, competing with push ups, situps, a 2 mile run and a 6 mile weighted ruck march. This time, I’ve already completed my first mud run, and I’m doing another one in June. As far as eating well, this last semester I had clinical training and my daughter is finishing up Pre-K. We’re alone for now, and I was so scared of one of us getting sick…which neither of us had time for. I credit our healthy eating habits and exercise (and lots of sanitizer) for keeping us well and neither of us missing school due to illness. Our lifestyle gets us through the separation. We miss him terribly, but we’re accomplishing things that make us proud of ourselves and coincidentally impress the hubby as well as give my daughter a road-map for a lifetime of healthy choices.
What is your favorite choice of work out?
Running. Yes, it burns the calories, but it’s so much more than that to me. I often joke that I solve most of my problems while running. It’s amazing therapy for me.
What would you tell other military wife’s (or anyone else) who can’t seem to find time to work out?
It can just be 30 minutes a day. The amount of ‘you’ time is worth getting up earlier for, if you have to ‘escape’ the distraction of your kids or your job. You don’t have to get dressed and cart all your kids somewhere. There are so many great videos and at home workouts out there now. The sense of accomplishment you will feel is huge, because you are investing in yourself and your health to be a better wife and mother for your family. Healthy eating can be time-consuming. I enjoy cooking so the preparation of healthy meals is an enjoyment for me. But there are many convenient choices for healthy eating available these days…. It’s a commitment you make to yourself and your family, even at the grocery store.
What is one thing that you would love to do but you are afraid of doing?
Afraid of, but would still secretly like to do…..a triathlon. I can run for miles, and even though I’m a good swimmer, it just scares me to death to think about transitioning from bike to water to run, if I could do it without falling on my face…etc.
How do you deal with self-doubt or when you are having a bad day and don’t want to work out?
I think about how good I feel when I’m done working out. And, usually, when something is bothering me, pounding out the pavement or the treadmill while zoned out on my iPod really puts the bad things into prospective for me.
Name a few things you always have in your fridge and your pantry.
Boiled eggs, ready to eat spinach, low sugar yogurt, ground turkey, whole wheat pasta
Tell us about one “holy cow! I did that!?” type of a moment?
The Mud Run this spring. I’ve run 4 miles plenty of times, but trekking through 4 miles of sometimes waist deep mud, not knowing what I was about to sink into next, climbing up and down obstacles covered with mud and even having to swim across some areas was really an accomplishment.
What is a favorite “treat” meal and favorite healthy meal?
Treat: something rich and Italian, with good red wine and finished off with tiramisu. Healthy: one of our favorite go-tos when we are tired and it’s late is sautéed tofu, mixed with steamed frozen veggies. Add a little sesame oil and low sodium soy sauce and either serve over brown rice or just eat alone or with a salad. My daughter could eat her weight in tofu and it’s fast and a super cheap meal too!
What/who inspire you and do you have a “life-mantra” or favorite quote you live by?
I can’t think of just one person who inspires me. Every wife, military or not, who makes the time to take care of herself and pushes her physical limits inspires me. The marathon runners, especially. It’s work to make time to do that and fuel yourself appropriately. I’m inspired by my need to be as healthy and energetic as I can for my daughter and husband, so that when he is home, we can enjoy our family time to the max! There are so many quotes that I love but this is one of my favorites. We military wives have it thrown at us from all sides and it’s amazing what we can accomplish in the face of challenge.
“There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.” ~Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, 1820
Where can we find you? (blog, twitter, fb, etc.)
Thank You SO very much Samantha for INSPIRING us today!! Keep it up!
What are y’all doing this weekend..? Anything fun? We have soccer games, birthday parties, bbq’s, my mother in law is coming in to town because my husband graduates NEXT week!! Woohooo!! SO close to have him home with us again. He did AMAZING in this class and will be graduating with honors, I am SOOOO proud of him I can not even start to explain it!
Whatever it is you guys are doing, make it a great one!! Make sure to FOLLOW for updates and give Samantha some LOVE in the comments. xo, Lina