Today is a very special episode because I have Cambria Hazard on the podcast, my friend from way back in nursing school. Cambria pitches the idea that if you want something, or have a desire for something, it’s possible. She shares some really amazing stories of her experience with this philosophy, and how it’s manifested for her in life. You’ll also hear about her adventures with her kids and the goals she sets for herself. There’s so much goodness in this podcast episode, so let’s jump in.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/244
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- If you desire, it is possible for you if you can find a way to make it work (18:04, 20:34, 29:57, 48:04)
- See something that matters to you and sacrifice in order to achieve it (24:55, 33:08, 36:07)
- Sometimes the key to success is doing less in all the other areas(26:39)
- Set those short-term goals to get somewhere (31:23)
- What you do most of the time matters (35:15)
- We're so capable of so much more than we think (37:14, 38:16)
- If you're feeling overwhelmed, you have to figure out what are you willing to give up to make that weight lighter (39:37, 40:39)
- Your journey does not need to look like anybody else's (41:59)
- Start out strong and finish stronger (53:22, 53:39)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 244.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps after Babies Radio. I'm your, host Amber Brueseke, and today, a very special episode because I have my friend Cambria Hazard on the podcast, and Cambria will tell the story when we get into the episode of how she reached out but this podcast episode is a little different than some of the others but at the same time, very applicable to fitness and really to goal setting in general. And one of the things that when Cambria pitched this idea to me was the idea of if you want something, like if you have a desire for something, it's possible, and you can make it happen, and Cambria's share some really amazing stories of her experience with that philosophy, and how it's manifested for her in her life.
Amber B 1:41
A little bit of background before we dive into the episode: You'll hear the story but Cambria and I go way back. We met each other back in nursing school all the way back 15 years ago, and so it's kind of fun to hear from for those of you who want to know a little bit more about what I was like maybe 15 years ago, and a lot of it hasn't changed. That's really fun to hear and on that same wavelength, if you haven't listened to Episode 228, It's called The Insider Scoop what Amber's really like. That's a really fun episode as well to learn a little bit of the behind-the-scenes of what I'm really like but Cambria gives a little bit of a snapshot into what I was like 15 years ago, and what she remembers from me from nursing school, and then we dive into her fascinating story of having 8 children, going back to school, you'll hear her adventures with her kids, and her goals that she set for herself and there's so much goodness in this podcast episode so let's jump into it.
Amber B 2:45
You guys are in for a treat today because I have my friend Cambria on the podcast. How the heck are you doing?
Cambria H 2:51
So good, Amber. I'm so excited to reconnect in person.
Amber B 2:54
Yeah, it's a little bit like a blast from the past. I have to admit, seeing you here, It's a little bit like, “Oh my gosh.” Some of it feels like a lifetime ago the things that we did, so we're gonna get into that. So let's start a little bit with you just introducing yourself to my audience, and how we know each other.
Cambria H 3:12
Yeah, so when Amber met me, I was Cambria Jones. I grew up in a really small town in Utah, next to my grandparents' dairy farm, and I grew up with my parents, and I have three younger brothers. So I'm the oldest and I feel like, maybe you feel like this, Amber, being the oldest does kind of push you to be a more goal-oriented person. I feel like that's always been a big part of my life. I always love to play the piano, I love to read, and I love to travel, and went to BYU and met Amber, my second semester in nursing school. And I'm sure we'll go into more of that, but during nursing school, I did do some traveling, I went to Argentina on a study abroad with a nursing program. And then right before graduating, I did another study abroad to Israel to the holy lands, and that's where I met my husband and then came back and we got married the last semester of nursing school and now, I'm Cambria Hazard.
Amber B 4:09
That's so fun. Yeah, I remember, so was it the third semester of nursing school that you have the option to go abroad and do– it was that what am I remembering, right?
Cambria H 4:19
It was after the third semester during the spring term.
Amber B 4:23
Okay, yeah. So I remember, I was married at the time, and so a lot of the unmarried people went to fun places like Argentina. I did something fun. I worked with the veterans in the Utah area. It was not nearly as exciting as people going to Argentina and abroad but my husband, and we were just like newly married and heaven forbid, we were apart for any period of time so I stayed put in Utah. Yeah, so I think it's fun, I mean, when did we graduate? I graduated in 2007, right? You guys–
Cambria H 4:57
Yep. 2007. Yeah.
Amber B 4:57
So I mean, we're talking. It's been a hot minute so we were in nursing school
Cambria H 5:04
I was like, “It's in 15 years.” That was 15 years ago.
Amber B 5:07
That's insane. Yeah.
Cambria H 5:09
Amber B 5:10
So it's fun for people to hear a little bit about the inside scoop of what I'm really like. What do you remember from 15 years ago when we were in nursing school?
Cambria H 5:21
So I met you the second semester because I took another break, I had done a mission, and I came back, so I met you the second semester, and I remember you are so dynamic. You stood out in nursing but you are so full of positive energy and just very dynamic. I remember we were in a carpool group. I don't know if it was two semesters or just one semester, but I know for a while we were in the same carpool group and it was always fun. We had such fun conversations driving to and from Provo to Salt Lake. An hour away, I do remember picking you up one day, and you ran out the door, and you made some comment like, “I woke up at 4:52, which was literally five minutes before we got there,” and I was like, “How?” And it was just such a random time. It was to the minute 4:52 and I knew you were just like, “I hate waking up early. I do everything I can to do everything the night before, so I can wake up as late as possible,” and then you dropped the bombshell, and you said, “I've never hit my snooze button.”
Amber B 6:27
Oh my God, I can't believe it. See, I was proud of it back then too.
Cambria H 6:30
I was floored because I always have these grand intentions, and I'm for, “I'm gonna get up early. I'm gonna get all this stuff done” and did it and I'm a total snooze-button-hitter and I was like, “How?”
Amber B 6:45
That's so funny. Whenever I share that piece of information, it's still true, I don't hit the snooze button, and people lose their crap. They are just so wowed by that but to me, and you kind of spoke to it, the reason I don't is that I want to maximize my sleep, so I'm like, “Why would I wake up, hit the snooze button when I could just sleep an extra 5-10 minutes.” So that's always been my modus operandi sleep as long as possible then get up. I remember a couple of times, so nursing usually it's a 7 pm-7 am shift and so we would go up and work that shift and so if you have to be there by 6:45 to start the 7 am shift and you're an hour away. Yeah, we left really early, and then you have to factor in the snow. I remember times when it was like, “Okay, we knew it was going to snow the night before,” and so we'd have to get up extra early because we knew it was going to take you extra time to be able to get up to Salt Lake, and I remember one time where we were going 25-miles-per-hour, clutching the steering wheel, trying to get up to Salt Lake to do our nursing class and yeah, it was touching to go there for a minute, but yeah, early mornings, I definitely remember that. And I remember you as someone who has funny memories like being super dynamic because I remember you as someone who was so sweet and just so kind and just if you want to know a big-hearted, kind person, it was Cambria. She was the kind one. So it's fun to see 15 years later where life has taken us, and how did you find my Instagram? How did you get connected to what I do in terms of business?
Cambria H 8:34
Amber, I've got to be one of your oldest followers.
Amber B 8:37
Are you an OG?
Cambria H 8:37
Well, I followed your blog forever. First of all, back in 07-08 when blogs were a thing, I followed your blog, and I just have to tell you that even your blog influenced my life. I would follow you, I love seeing your journey in Pennsylvania and going across the country back to California and matched in everything. I got tips from you. This is probably stuff I don't even know if you remember, but I remember getting a tip from you. I think you got it from Pinterest. You took the top of a salt container and cut it off, put it on a char for your yeast, and I was like, “That is brilliant.” I still do that to this day.
Amber B 9:20
Same here. That's the best Pinterest tip I ever got.
Cambria H 9:24
And I followed your 52 goals, and I was like, “That is so awesome.”
Amber B 9:28
I was wondering if you were there for my 52 goals. I wish I could find that blog because I can't find it anymore. Do you have the URL?
Cambria H 9:36
Yeah, I think I do.
Amber B 9:37
Oh my gosh, you have to share with me because I thought about that a couple of times. I did this thing where you set 52 goals for the year, and I want to go back and review it, and I haven't been able to find it so.
Cambria H 9:49
Oh my gosh, I think I can find it. Yeah, I think I can find it.
Amber B 9:52
If we find it, we'll share it in the show note, and you guys can go browse my blog.
Cambria H 9:57
Yes, that is brilliant but yeah, anyway, I totally did the same thing, Amber. I set 52 goals after I saw yours, and I posted it, and because I posted it,–
Amber B 10:08
I think I remember this now actually. Now that you're saying this because I followed your blog as well.
Cambria H 10:12
Oh, you did?
Amber B 10:13
Yeah, I did, and I think I remember seeing it. That's so funny. Okay, keep going.
Cambria H 10:18
But anyway, because I did that, friends and family members reached out and helped me accomplish some of the goals that I probably wouldn't have done otherwise, and it has made a difference in my life. You've just always made a positive difference in my life because I finished things that I wouldn't have other finished otherwise if I had not been following your example, and so I just want to share a couple more memories from nursing school though too. You’re not, at least you didn't seem to me back then as into fitness as you were then.
Amber B 10:46
No, I wasn't. Yeah, that's true. I wasn't.
Cambria H 10:48
But still, you went all out and everything you did, and I have this memory of you. I don't know why it's so clear, but one day, you brought a brand-new laptop to class. Do you remember this?
Amber B 11:01
No, it probably wasn't brand new but keep going.
Cambria H 11:05
I mean, I–
Amber B 11:06
Oh, maybe it was. Actually, maybe it was. I'm trying to think.
Cambria H 11:09
It was brand new.
Amber B 11:09
During nursing school, I probably was.
Cambria H 11:11
Yeah, this is what I remember, the rest of us, I'll have six packets of the PowerPoint slides and take those, and one day, you set up early, and I was early. I was already there, and you're like, “Guys, I got a laptop,” and you had it still in the box, and you kind of made this little show of unpacking it, and I remember you putting in the battery and plugging it in and charging it and you're just clicking away.
Amber B 11:37
That's hilarious. That's probably only because I was married to TJ and he's the technological guru and so I'm sure that was his doing. He's like, “You need a laptop.”
Cambria H 11:48
Well, maybe it was looking back from now. Even back then, Amber invested in herself because the rest of us did not have laptops pretty much. Now, everybody does but back then, it was not a thing and they were super clunky and old but yeah, I remember that. And the other memory even though I don't think you were as into fitness, I think I remember you telling me once that you were reading your pathophysiology book as you were on the treadmill in the gym.
Amber B 12:13
Yeah, that checks out.
Cambria H 12:16
Does that sound familiar?
Amber B 12:17
Totally checks out.
Cambria H 12:19
I was like, “Whoa, never thought of that. Like multitasking?”
Amber B 12:22
And I think speaking, the multitasking really checks out. Like, “How many things can I do at once? And be as efficient as possible?” Oh, man, I loved Patho. Patho was my very, very favorite class. Did you take it with Dr. Judd?
Cambria H 12:38
I did not.
Amber B 12:39
Okay, I had it with Dr. Judd. Loved the man. It was my very favorite class ended up paying for it. That's hilarious. That's really funny so I ended up doing– I practiced as a nurse for a couple of years while TJ was in medical school, and then when he– I've talked. I told the story before, but when he went to residency, it just didn't make any sense. We had two kids at home and his hours were “cray cray”, so that was the time that I decided to stay home and kind of got into fitness. That's really where fitness came from after I did nursing. I needed something to fill my cup. Fill who was Amber outside of just being a mom and that was when I got into fitness, and I started teaching fitness classes, and that kind of changed the trajectory of where I was going. So what did you think when I made that switch over to fitness and business away from nursing?
Cambria H 13:34
Yeah, I was just excited for you, So I think I already followed you on Instagram before you started your business account because I remember your very first post came out, and if you already followed someone, and they made another account, it just showed up on your feed. And so I saw post number one and I thought, “Oh, that's so cool. She's sharing her journey,” and I remember one of your early posts. You posted, and it was like, “I just Googled how to do a selfie,” and it was kind of I would never think of doing that. I would never think of googling how to do a selfie. I would probably just do it but this is so Amber. So Amber-like. Just going all-out and doing anything really well and it's so exciting for me to see you just succeed and take off, and I just love it and I've just been so excited. I love it.
Amber B 14:22
I remember when I first started my account. Okay, so when you first start your account, you have literally zero followers, right? You invite anybody that you know. It's like, “Please, follow me.” Like, “I don't care if you care about this app.” It's like you just want to get followers because you want that number from zero to go up, and so I remember inviting anybody who was ever Facebook friends with me be like, “Please, follow this page.” Like, “Please, just get me some followers.” You were probably on that list of people that I was begging for followers so you really are an OG. You're there from the very, very beginning. That's super fun. So obviously, you're a little different than some of the podcast interviewees that I have on, so you reached out to me, and you kind of pitched me. So can you kind of share with the audience why you reached out, and what you're hoping to talk about today?
Cambria H 15:12
Yeah, well, this is kind of fun and this is kind of funny because I do not listen to podcasts, I love audiobooks, and I love other things, but yours is the only podcast I have been able to stick to.
Amber B 15:23
Oh, that's amazing.
Cambria H 15:24
More than a few episodes and I listened to a lot this is kind of funny because you mentioned recently that you ran the Utah Valley half marathon. I did the marathon in 2021.
Amber B 15:35
Oh, so we just missed each other by a year.
Cambria H 15:39
Like the same thing. I did it because of family. My husband's family. They were all going to do it. I did one in 2006 and was kind of the same like not doing that again. My husband’s family was doing it. I was like, “Okay, I'll do it.”
Amber B 15:51
Do you get talked into the full marathon?
Cambria H 15:54
I did. I got talked into the whole thing, and I did it, and my son ended up doing it, my brother ended up doing it with us, and then the morning of my husband's went and surprised us at the starting line and did it with us, too.
Amber B 16:07
Oh, that's fun. Well, that's a fun surprise.
Cambria H 16:10
Yeah, it was awesome but anyway, I was listening to your podcast as I was doing all these really long runs because they would keep me going, and I listened to the one with Jamia Ponder and it wasn't about fitness and I thought, “Gosh, I'm not a fitness expert at all but I do know something about goal setting and just doing things your own way and maybe there's a space for me on Amber's podcast if there's a space for Jamia and maybe there's a space that I could come on and just kind of share some of my experiences and maybe something would help somebody else.” And that's kind of what I was hoping, so I told Amber about some of my experiences with traveling and getting a master's degree during a difficult time in my life so I don't know, maybe this reached your audience, and I didn't think the message went through to you online that didn't look and so I've– I'm sorry, I probably sent it five times or something like that because my end and I didn't know if it ever went through. I never heard back, and I thought about messaging or and saying, “Hey, just get it.” I don't care either way, but I just didn't know if I ever went through, and then over a year later, all of a sudden, I get this message back.
Amber B 17:11
Was it a year later? It's so funny. Okay, so the way that this works on the back end, just so you know, I don't ever get any of those messages. My team gets them, and then when we get people who pitch the podcast, they dump those into an Excel spreadsheet, and then when I'm going to schedule podcasts, I go to that ideas list, and I kind of pull people from here. So if you have ever pitched me a podcast, and I haven't gotten back to you, it doesn't mean that I hate you, it just means that you're probably on this list and we haven't gotten to you. So that's so funny, I had no idea when I was scrolling through and looking for guests. I had no idea that had been brought in a year ago, so here we are. We're getting around to it, but it wasn't because I didn't like your idea. It was literally because I didn't see it until I went through that Google Doc.
Cambria H 17:56
It's okay. No worries. Yeah. I'm just excited to, yeah, talk to you and share– I just hope it's beneficial to your guests.
Amber B 18:04
Yeah, and one of the things that you said that struck me that I think will be so applicable to everybody who's listening is, and we're going to talk about some of the things that you've done throughout your life, and how you've balanced a lot of different aspects of Cambria. Mom and nursing and traveling and all the things, right? Education, but what you said was that what you really learned, spoiler alert: I'm sure we'll talk more about this, was that if there's something that you want, you're going to find a way, and you can find a way to make it happen, and a lot of the stories that you're going to share, that's the through line is this idea that if there's something out there that you want, and I talked about this a lot on my podcast. I believe that God gives us desires to guide us. We don't get desires for things that we can't do, or we shouldn't do, or we should never do. We get desires because it's a little hint from God. Like, “You could do this. This is possible for you. It's the next step for you.” And so if you have some of those desires, that means it's possible and whatever life circumstances are happening, you can work around them and figure out a way to move through them so and I thought that was such a fabulous theme because for a lot of people listening, it can feel hard trying to balance everything and set and reach any goals that you're setting. So I thought it was such a great topic to be able to bring on to the podcast, so let's first talk about what you did post-nursing school in terms of your career. Because we're going to talk a little bit about you ended up going back and getting a master's degree in nursing but that wasn't right away, so let's kind of fill in the gaps for people. You graduated from nursing school. What happened next?
Cambria H 19:46
So I got married the month before we graduated from nursing school.
Amber B 19:50
I came back for that, too. Do you remember me as super, super pregnant?
Cambria H 19:55
I totally remember. I went to your baby shower.
Amber B 19:58
Okay, yeah, so I left BYU a year early because TJ was starting medical school, and so I finished my nursing degree out in Pennsylvania, but I transferred credits back to BYU, and I came back to walk, and I had Cade in June and it was the end of April, so I was very pregnant when I came back and got to see all my nursing buds and walk through graduation. That's one.
Cambria H 20:20
Yeah, and I feel that's a great example of you finding a way. Do you know what I mean? You are like, “I'm going to finish nursing school, and I'm not going to make my husband wait for a year for me to graduate.” You found a way to transfer over– nobody else in our– after that
Amber B 20:34
It was real hard, let me tell you, and I do feel God guided me on that. As I look back, I think, “How did I make– how did we figure that out?” Transferring nursing school PS is really, really, really hard and most nursing schools are impacted, meaning they have only a certain number of slots, and those slots are already filled so finding the place that was able to take me, that was able to work with me to transfer my credits back– I still am amazed that we were able to figure it out, but I do feel that was that whole thing of, if you desire, it is possible for you if you can find a way to make it work.
Cambria H 21:07
Yeah, anyway, that you totally did a great job, and I don't know if you realize this, I mean, I walked with you guys, but I did not graduate because I had just come back from Jerusalem, and so –
Amber B 21:18
Do you have another semester?
Cambria H 21:19
Yeah, but I had another semester, so I had to wait all the way till fall to finish and then actually graduated in December. So yeah, my husband and I met that semester in Jerusalem, and then over the summer, we'd became closer, and then we got married in November, graduated in December, and then my husband– he just has lots of interests. And that first year of marriage, we moved four times and went to four different schools. And so anyway, I married this very adventurous guy, and I loved it, and we just moved a ton and started having babies quickly. That's what we wanted and so just because of the moves and the babies, I was not able to work, so fast forward five years later, and I had it worked six years later. Started finally working as a nurse when we kind of slowed down a little bit. Went to Idaho, and needed some income, I went back as a nurse, and that's a whole story as was how difficult it was to get back into the force.
Amber B 22:13
Yeah, that was wondering about– I mean, it's hard to get back into nursing and licensing and yeah, it's just a whole thing and going from never having worked as a nurse to being a brand-new nurse six years of nursing school challenge.
Cambria H 22:27
Yeah, it really was and I had worked as an LPN. Before I graduated with this, people didn't seem to count that I had some nursing experience and but that's a whole straight in and of itself. I finally was having such a hard time, and I was going for jobs that I didn't really want, like hospice and stuff that thinking might be easier to get into. Doesn't work out. What I really wanted to do is mother, baby, and stuff like that motherhood is close to my heart, so I went to the hospital, and I said, “Can I shadow? Can I shut up for a month? I haven't worked for five years, and I'd like to shadow.” And I had done a lot of work on my resume. Actually, my cousin who's a graphic designer, I had her help me do it so it looks really awesome and they said, “Yes, we've never had somebody ever asked to shadow before, we'll figure this out.”
Amber B 23:16
What a great idea. That's amazing.
Cambria H 23:18
It was good and it was so good because I didn't need to brush up on those skills, so I could just kind of shadow, and I got to know people, and I brushed up on my skills, and at the end of my shadow period, they had an opening, and I got it. And it was just such a blessing. So I started working at another baby and work for about a year and a half and just kind of felt a little stagnant in my career and which is funny when I look back now because, at the time, I had five kids ages six and under, I was working part-time, we had bought a home six months earlier, and it was in this massive state of renovation. And so looking back, my life was crazy. I don't know why I felt I really needed to make some progress in my career. I felt stagnant. I've just been doing this for a year and a half, I need something new in my life. But I had some friends that had done Western Governors University. It's an online program for their master's degree and then they taught nursing school after that, and I thought that's something I feel I would like to do because I feel kind of stuck at the hospital. I've done this for a year and a half and I don't feel I'm really progressing, and I looked into it and decided I was gonna do it. I was pregnant with my sixth baby at the time and I was going to deliver in October, and I started in March. Western Governors University, if you don't know, it's very interesting, you do not pay by the credits you take. You pay by the time you take, and so you–
Amber B 24:40
Like how long does it take you to graduate?
Cambria H 24:42
You pay for six months at a time. Say $3,000 for the next six months and you can do as many or as few credits in that time.
Amber B 24:51
You've really incentivized to go fast. Things like getting as many as done as possible.
Cambria H 24:55
You are and so my two friends had done it. Had done it in a year and I thought, “That sounds about right,” so I'll do that, so I started, and I thought I'll take a year, and you do one class at a time, and I did the first class in a couple of weeks, and then I did the next class and like, “Oh, it can happen.” I thought, at this pace, when am I going to finish, and I sat down, and I figured out how many classes were left, how long it would take if they each took about two weeks or whatever. If I just go a tiny bit faster, then I could finish in six months, and I wouldn't have to pay that second semester, and I could be done by the time I have the baby. Not have to be doing it while I'm on maternity leave and stuff and I was like, “I am going to do this.” And just relate this to traveling a little bit, when we go on a trip or a backpacking trip, what we don't take is as important as what we do take with us. On a backpacking trip, you don't want to take a lot of weight. You want to leave as much stuff behind and take the absolute minimum and I kind of took that mindset to do this program, and that what can I leave behind, and so when people asked me later, “How did you do it in six months?” I just said, “I never read any books, I never watched any movies, I made the same seven meals every week for the next–
Amber B 26:05
You streamlined everything.
Cambria H 26:07
–I streamlined everything. It was everything and there's power in that and I knew if I had five minutes, I knew what I was going to be doing. You know what I mean?
Amber B 26:16
That's so good.
Cambria H 26:17
And then there's power in that because it's like how many times in a day? We don't know what we're doing. We just pull out our phones. We scroll through whatever.
Amber B 26:24
Wasted time. So much wasted time throughout the day.
Cambria H 26:26
Yes, and so if you have a focus if you get up in the morning, and you're like, “If I have any extra time, this is what I'm going to be doing. This is what I'm going to be working on,” you can accomplish so much. It's just fire.
Amber B 26:39
Yeah, I think a lot of times, we think that the key to success is doing more, and what I'm hearing you say is that sometimes, the key to success is doing less in all the other areas. It's the bare minimum. The minimum viable product for everything else. My children are getting fed. Yes, it's the same seven meals so it's super streamlined but they're getting fed enough. That's the basics. I'm just covering the basics and then dedicating the rest of my time to somewhere else, and I think that every year in the business, we set kind of a broad, general theme for the year and our theme for this year is do less do better. So we're kind of on the same wavelength where it's not always about doing more, it's sometimes about doing less. And doing the things that you're doing a lot better and putting in your time and energy the times that the things that really matter to you. I can't believe that you were pregnant with your sixth kid and finished your master's degree in six months. Can we stop and just appreciate for a moment?
Cambria H 27:36
It was crazy but I mean, it was so worth it and it got even crazier because two months into my program, the administration at the hospital approached me and they said, “We actually want to transfer you to labor and delivery, and we want you to train for labor and delivery,” and so I had another shift a week where I was training on labor and delivery as well, so instead of working two nights a week, I was doing three nights a week.
Amber B 27:58
And you were working nights?
Cambria H 27:59
I was doing nights.
Amber B 28:01
7 pm to 7 am?
Cambria H 28:02
It's from 6 to 6 or 6:30 to 6:30. Yeah, 6-6:30 basically, yeah.
Amber B 28:02
Cambria H 28:11
It was brutal. It was brutal.
Amber B 28:13
Okay, that just adds to the story.
Cambria H 28:16
Yeah, so I am working nights. I'm doing three nights a week, but I mean, it was a blessing to do nights because sometimes, it does get released though and so again, if I have time, what'd I do? I immediately–
Amber B 28:26
Pull out your school’s work.
Cambria H 28:28
–pull out my school. Yeah, and I just start working on it, and I took a trip with my parents and my brothers to Europe during that time for two weeks and I bought my laptop. It was my first laptop. I finally bought my first laptop as you see. I finally got my own.
Amber B 28:43
Here I am in 2005. Cambria catches up in 2015.
Cambria H 28:48
Yes, a decade later. I'm like, “I'm gonna go with Laptop, so I can work off in 11 in Europe.” Whenever we were on the plane or the train or anything, I did that, and yeah, oh, man, I felt so good, and I learned so much during that time. And another thing I really love that Western Governors did is that they really want to set you up for success, and they want to make sure that you're going to be a successful student. And they send you out a blank, weekly schedule before you start, and they say, “What is your schedule? And where are you going to find 20 hours to work on this program?” And that was a really good exercise for me because I was like, “Okay when I'm in– okay, I'll have to wake up early, do an hour 5:30 to 6:30, and then I'll do an hour mid-morning after my kids are kind of settled and playing, an hour during nap time, and an hour at night.” And that was helpful for me because up to that point, once I got married and started having babies, I had not found the power to wake up early to do things for me. If I had to go to work or something or if I had to meet someone to run or whatever, I could do it, but if it was just me getting up again, it was the snooze button game. And that was when I really started to realize if I really want something, I can do it. I can actually get up.
Cambria H 29:57
It is so hard when you're like “When I'm pregnant. I am so tired.” When you're nursing babies, waking up multiple times tonight, you're so tired, and I was pregnant. I thought, “I can actually do this.” I had never found that power before, but I found the power to actually wake up and get at least an hour in every single morning. I had never found that power in myself in all the years before, and I can still understand why it was exhausting to be pregnant, and sometimes, I was pregnant and still nursing a baby because we had these kids back to back, but that's when I really started to realize if I really want to do something, I can find a way to do it.
Amber B 30:33
So how did you find balance? And so first of all, how did you define balance during that period of time? And did that inform the decisions that you're making? Or did you feel that was a period of time where you're like, “Balance looks a little different right now, like everything else on this balance looks different, but I know at the end of the six months, that balance will look,” I always say balance, it's never static. It's always changing, so maybe you felt balanced for this period of time. It's going to look different than balanced over the next six months.
Cambria H 31:08
Yeah, and I did feel that quite a bit because I was like, “This is awesome,” and I could feel the power and the awesomeness of it. Of being able to get so much done in so little time and I'm like, “At the same time, this is not totally sustainable.”
Amber B 31:20
Sure, you can do it for six months, but you couldn't do it for like six years.
Cambria H 31:23
Yes, exactly and that's a little bit of a backpacking trip. When you go on a backpacking trip, and you leave all this stuff behind, you know it's gonna be for a set amount of time. You know what I mean? You take all your stuff, and you're like, “Okay, well, for next week, I'm not gonna have a pillow or my bed or whatever,” but what I'm focusing on is the journey, so it was a little different. My balance was different at that time and I remember kind of making lists. “Oh, man, when I finish, I'm going to read these books to my kids because I'm gonna have more time and stuff.” But it was such a short amount of time and I think sometimes, it's good to set those short-term goals to get somewhere, and it's a little bit kind of running up an escalator that's going down, and it takes a lot of push and a lot of momentum, but once you get to the top, then you can kind of stay there for a minute and enjoy it. And that's how it was a little bit with my masters, it was a lot of running uphill a little bit and focusing and streamlining. And my kids, I still give them hugs and kisses and time and they had what they needed, they had food and stuff like that, but we don't usually do screens. They watched a lot of He-man on YouTube that summer.
Amber B 32:40
Well, I think what comes up a lot for a lot of women: it's some of that mom guilt of, “I know that your kids are important to you. My kids are important to you.” And I know most moms listening would say that their kids are the most important thing in their life, and so you feel hard to prioritize for a period of time. “Hey, I'm prioritizing this thing that mom really wants. That mom really desires. This is one of my goals,” and feel a little bit of guilt about letting your kids watch more screens during that time or not being as attentive with them.
Amber B 33:08
But I think that's missing a lot of times is one: what you said about the period of time and recognizing that this is for six months, it's not for their whole entire childhood, and we can do things for six months. And the second thing, I think, is that people miss when they start having that mom guilt is the power in modeling for your kids, reaching for a goal. Like seeing something that matters to you and sacrificing in order to achieve it and I think about that a lot, and I'm always trying to find that balance of what works with my family and my business and the things that light me up and taking care of the kids and things like that but I remind myself that I want my kids to go after their desires. I want my kids to go after the things that light them up and so by modeling that for them in my life, how can I expect them to if they haven't seen it modeled? And so I think for those six months, especially the more that you can talk to your kids and enroll them in the journey with you, what an amazing thing that they got to see their mom do, and they're going to remember that of like, “For those six months, mom got her master's degree in six months, and I remember how hard that was, but she did it because it was important to her.” I think we sometimes minimize the impact that those types of lessons can have on our kids in the long run, and that can help ease some of that mom guilt a little bit.
Cambria H 34:32
For sure. For sure. I think it does and my kids were really little. I don't really think any of them honestly remember very much of it. It was the oldest was six.
Amber B 34:42
Yeah, six. Yeah, they're so little.
Cambria H 34:44
They were all pretty and so but yeah, I did not have any mom guilt about it because I knew, yeah, it was really a three-month summer period that I'm like, “This is when they're gonna be popped in front of He-man on my computer all day.”
Amber B 35:03
They're gonna be okay.
Cambria H 35:04
They're gonna be okay in one summer. This is not how I run my life, but I've kind of gotta reach the next level like running up the escalator. I've got to get to the next level, and then we can kind of plateau and hang out there for a little bit.
Amber B 35:15
That is a good metaphor as well because it's what you do most of the time matters way more than what you do a couple a little bit of the time, and that applies to every aspect of your life. But what I'm hearing you say is: How I am mothering most of the time was not the same as what was that six-month period of time, but what matters most is what you do most of the time, and so if you have a short period where it's a little bit different, the kids are going to be okay. They're gonna survive.
Cambria H 35:42
Yeah, and I think my kids have learned this too, and I just kind of relate it to traveling again. We love to travel, we love to backpack, and we have a lot of kids, and we take them with us. And I think they've kind of learned this, too. This is kind of diverting a little bit from the master story, I don't know if there's more that you want to touch on with the masters or?
Amber B 36:04
No, it's good. You can keep going. Yeah.
Cambria H 36:07
Anyway, we love to travel and my kids, I think, have kind of seen that it's okay to sacrifice something for a short amount of time to do something you really want, and a couple of years later, my husband decided to take our four kids, our four oldest kids, on a 220 plus mile backpack trip. And they were on the John Muir Trail, and they were ages nine, eight, seven, and six at the time, and they were gonna backpack 220 miles for three-plus weeks. Do the Sierra Nevada Mountains and my husband took them, and they all had backpacks that held way, and they had some long days, and they had to go over huge passes. Sometimes, they went 12 to 17 miles a day, and they finished the hike on top of Mount Whitney, which is the highest mountain in the 48 states. And when I went back, and I asked my husband, “What was the hardest part? You did all these really hard days, and you got up to the tallest mountain, and what was the hardest part for the kids?” And he said, “The hardest part was getting from the parking lot to the trailhead.” That was it.
Amber B 37:12
It's like starting,
Cambria H 37:14
Yes, it was just starting, and there were so many tears and like, “Oh, this is so heavy and I can't do this.” And crying and they were trying to put on their backpacks, and they were saying it was too heavy and whatever. But once I got on that show and started walking, it was just taking another step at a time, and my kids recognize it, too. Like “We want to do this. This is not going to be forever. We're not gonna be walking the rest of our lives on a trail,” but this is something that they wanted to do with that, and they did that for a short amount of time, and we're so capable of so much more than we think. I don't think very many people think these kids are capable of doing that and just doing these trips and doing things that we think– I'm not totally sure. We even kind of have a slight backup plan if one of the kids wanted to back out a weekend or something. They could, but they're capable of so much more, and we are, too. We can do this, and it's just taking that one step at a time, and realizing we're enjoying the journey, and we're gonna get to the end if we just keep taking another step at a time.
Amber B 38:16
What a great analogy that we can apply because I think everybody has felt that at some point– some of the hardest things is just starting something new. It's just taking that first step of the journey. Doing that first thing. There's a whole lot of resistance that comes up for people when they're doing something new, but once you overcome that, it is really just about putting one step in front of the other one foot in front of the other. Just take the next step. Just take the next step and if you commit to doing that, and you just continue taking the next step, you will eventually get to where it is that you want to go. One thing that I hear a lot from women that I would love to hear your insight into is overwhelmed, and I'm wondering if when you're overwhelmed, I don't think it's an if, I think we all feel overwhelmed and especially with kids, and career, and husband, and house, and there are so many things. How do you manage being overwhelmed? Do you feel overwhelmed at times? And if so, what do you do? How do you manage that?
Cambria H 39:21
I totally have felt overwhelmed at times. I'm stretched very, very thin. Right now, we have eight children, and so just I'm being pulled by eight different directions often.
Amber B 39:36
It's a full-time job plus.
Cambria H 39:37
Yes, and I again, just try and you have to decide in your journey what is the weight you want to lose? And I'm not talking about physical weight. I'm talking about the way of expectations, that way of comfort, the way of relationships, or debt. You have to decide. If you're feeling overwhelmed, you have got to drop some of the weight. It's a backpacking trip. If you have too much weight in your backpack, you're gonna find every step of the way hard, and you have to figure out what are you willing to give up to make that weight lighter. And sometimes, you just have to decide what is so important to you, and then the rest kind of falls away, and for me, it's like, “Okay, I want to take this journey and this is more important to me. Even when I backpack, it's more important to me than sleeping in a bed. It's more important to me than eating this really comfortable food or whatever you like.” We get caught up in the urgent, and we kind of forget what's important sometimes.
Amber B 40:39
“The weight I want to lose.” I like that. I like that a lot, and I like that it's not– like you said, expectations or even sometimes, our own expectations. One of the things that I kind of heard you say before you did the bare minimum on everything, so I have to imagine that your house probably wasn't sparkling-clean all the time, right? I didn't have a lot of variety, right? When you're talking about letting go of some of the weight, it's sometimes those expectations that we even set up on ourselves of like, “I have to maintain a certain level of cleanliness, or my kids' hair has to look a certain way, or I have to be dressed a certain way.” There are just a lot of expectations from us and from other people that you can let go of that can release a lot of that weight.
Cambria H 41:25
Yes, and touching on that, I can remember those six months. Pretty much, there was a clean pile of laundry on the couch at all times. I wash the laundry–
Amber B 41:33
Wash the laundry, but then it’s just there.
Cambria H 41:37
It's just there and I know my husband went and put it away sometimes but basically, and you know what? It worked out fine. My kids were little, and they needed clothes, and they just knew to go to the laundry pile and pick through until you find– I'll put you on
Amber B 41:47
I mean, my 13-year-old still does not understand why you would ever fold laundry. He does his laundry, and then he's like, “Mom, but I fold it. I'm just gonna find it,” and I'm gonna wear it. It's fine. I don't care. That's fine.
Cambria H 41:59
Yes, I think this is such a big thing that I have learned that your journey does not need to look like anybody else's. Your house doesn't need to look like anyone else's, and I feel I do things really differently than a lot of people and that's okay because I'm enjoying my journey. I love my life.
Amber B 42:18
Will you share something that you feel you do differently than others?
Cambria H 42:20
Okay, here's kind of an example and I'll kind of tie it into his story because I feel stories are more interesting, but let me go back to feeling stressed. A couple of years after my master's, I felt stretched even thinner than when I did my master's, which is hard to imagine. But I had seven kids, I was working two jobs at the time, so I was teaching nursing at the local university, and I was working nights still, and my husband was getting ready to go to dental school, and we had to finish renovating our house. We had to finish it before we left because we wanted to rent it out to be less and I was doing church stuff and trying to stay involved in my kid's school. And I don't know, it was a physical sensation of just being stretched until I felt I couldn't stretch anymore. And things kind of came to a breaking point, my husband was supposed to start school in 2018, dental school, and we thought we had it all figured out. We had actually won the housing lottery for the school, and we were going to stay in these awesome apartments, and my husband had been accepted, and he had a scholarship for the Navy, and we had arranged to rent out our house to some people that we knew, and so we were finishing up the renovations, and then all of a sudden, everything fell apart.
Cambria H 43:36
We got this phone call, and we did not get to do the housing that we thought we had. The lottery, they said, “You have so many kids,” and I said, “Well, I looked at the housing laws and then this is on federal land. It doesn't apply to the housing laws. You can't say in this housing”, so we lost our housing three weeks before. And then the Navy called and they said, “You're one of the last people that applied for a scholarship, and we're not sure we're gonna have enough funds, so we might not be able to– you probably will get your scholarship, but we can't promise it.” What the heck? Like, “We can't do this,” and then the things on the house, were just not coming together and it just wasn't and I was like, “How is this gonna work out?” And I have this faith. I knew God had a plan. I knew He had a plan, and I just had to wait and see what it was, and most of my life, I've been excited about that. I'm just like, “Yeah, I don't know how it's gonna work out. Looks like everything's terrible.” But I know he's got a plan, and I am so excited to see how it all works out. And so even though I was feeling super stressed, and things were so hard. That thought kind of got me through like, “God has a plan, and it is gonna work out,” and I thought things were gonna come back together. I really did. I thought, “We'll find housing. Especially, it's gonna work out.” That's not how it worked out. We called, and we talked to the school, and we ended up saying, “Can we defer for a year?” And they were like, “Yeah, that's fine. Defer for a year.” And so all of a sudden, things I thought were going to come together, and I thought had a plan, and it was gonna work out a certain way, did not work out. Yeah, it was different. I had already quit my job. We had already agreed to rent out our house and everything, and so all of a sudden, we had this year in front of us that we didn't know what we were going to do. And we talked about it and made a plan and a month later, we each pack a backpack, and we got in a suburban that we bought for $2,000, and we drove to Argentina.
Amber B 45:32
You drove to Argentina? How long is that?
Cambria H 45:36
It took us about five weeks of driving to get down there. We just spent the next few months traveling around and that turning looks like nobody else's. It looks like no one else's. Nobody else does that. We could fly down. We can fly down to Argentina. My husband decided to do this coding boot camp in Buenos Aires, and we were like, “We can fly down, and we could live there, or we could take that money from flights, and we could drive, and we could see all these things on the way. We could go to Machu Picchu, we could see volcanoes, we could go through the jungles, we could see the deserts. Maybe we could do all these other things,” and we gave up things, again, to do that. We didn't stay at Airbnbs every night. We count. Every night, my husband, Bill, likes a little bed in the suburbs. A lot of times, my husband and I would throw an air mattress on top of a suburban at night, we'd climb on top, and we'd sleep on the roof of the suburban, and that journey looked like nobody else's. It just looked like no one else's, and even on the way, I was like, “I want to be able to exercise. I'm not huge into fitness, but I do like to move my body all the time.” Like, “How am I going to move my body when we're driving 12 to 16 hours a day?” And I brought a little, two-pound weight, and I made a little playlist of 30 minutes, and every day where I would drive a tournament playlist, and I would use the weight, and I would be punching as I drove. My exercise right now looks like nobody else's and that is okay.
Amber B 47:01
That's so good. What a great example. Do you find any part of you because I think, as humans, we naturally compare, and so we naturally have this thinking that we see what other people are doing and some way or how, we should be doing the exact same thing and it should look the same, so I mean, there's some innate humaneness to that comparison? So do you feel that when you're doing something crazy, like, I don't know, drive all the way to Argentina, do ever feel that like, “I'm weird” Or like, “Why am I different than other people?” Or do you ever– or have been learned to step into that and own it. Like, “I don't have to be everybody else. I can find freedom in that.”
Cambria H 47:42
Yeah, and sometimes, it sounds good to me because I feel when I tell people our stories, and we have a lot of family stories, people are like, “You're crazy.” Crazy but it's just like, “Yes, I am but guess what? I gotta go to Europe and do it this way and I gotta go to South America and do it this way”, and that was so worth it to me. You know what I mean? So it's hard to not– sometimes, I'm just gonna use a different word.
Amber B 48:04
You know why you think that people say that? Is because, I think, on some level, it is crazy for people to go after the things that they want. I think that's not something that a lot of people do. A lot of people settle in life, and a lot of people desire something and don't actually go after it. And so I think when they hear of other people, you had a goal, you had a desire, and you went out and executed it, I almost think that's the crazy part for a lot of people because they're like, “I have desires, I have goals, and things that I've thought about, but I'd never had acted on them. I've never done that,” and I think if we can get to that place where using those desires as a cue of like, “I don't want to go to Argentina. I have no desire, so I'm not going to go,” but Cambria did, and so she went, and I think that to me is the takeaway. It's what do you desire? Have you checked in with yourself lately? And said, “What do I want?” Then go do it.
Cambria H 49:01
Yes. Right? We've got to get over the urgent to the important. You need to take 20 minutes a day, every day, and think, “What do I want?” like the big picture, “What do I want long-term.” You've got to take that time just even five minutes every day thinking, “What is it big-term, long-term I want? And how can I spend even just a little bit of time getting there each day?“ Because you can find those little moments. Every night, I try and think, “Okay, what am I gonna do when I have that free times around? What is it?” Sometimes, it's reading a novel that I really want to read. Every time I have a spare minute, I'm going to read a novel. Other times, it's working on a bigger project, but they're making that before.
Amber B 49:42
I love that question. Like, “What am I going to do when I have free time tomorrow?” And being intentional with how you're spending that free time and that question: “What do I want?” I think is a really hard question for a lot of people to ask to answer, and so I like your tip of just– for most people, I find that if I post that question to them, they don't have an answer right away. And so what I heard from you was– you're not gonna have an answer the very first time you think of that question, but it's like, “Are you every day checking in with yourself? What do I want? What do I want? What I'm going to spend my free time with? What do I want?” I think over time, the more you get accustomed to acknowledging what you want, and actually going for and reaching for it, the more confidence you develop in yourself that you can get your desires. I think a lot of people have told themselves a lie that they can't get what they want, they can't get what, they desire, but I think the more time you spend with it, and the more you start to see, “Okay, I desire this. I'm going after it. I'm gonna achieve it. Oh, I did that. Oh, well, maybe, this other thing that I desire, I could go after, and I could achieve it. Oh, well, maybe this other thing.” And I think you start to build that confidence that you can get to the things that you want.
Cambria H 50:49
Exactly, and I feel you can even start small. If you didn't figure out, “What am I going to do that I enjoy for five minutes tomorrow?” You know what I mean?
Amber B 50:58
Well, that was that episode I did with Jamia. Is that was one of the things she said is, “What are the things that I like?” I think sometimes, as a mom, we lose that part of ourselves of, “What do I like? What do I enjoy? What makes me feel good? What makes you happy?” A lot of women don't want to answer that question.
Cambria H 51:12
Yeah, and you've got to find it and it can be something small. If you love to cook, but you don't have time to cook something, you can look through a cookbook and be like, “Wow, this recipe looks really awesome.” And just dream about it. Takes five minutes of dreaming every day or like, “Oh, man, I like to have time to do this huge hago. I'm gonna take a walk today, or I'm going to read five minutes of something I really enjoy.” But just being intentional about it. Like, “I'm gonna take this time to do this thing that I really enjoy.” Maybe even start with looking at your friend, I'm gonna take five minutes, but you just are intentional about it. You know what I mean? Calling a friend. Whatever. Yeah.
Amber B 51:45
That's so good so what are you working on now? What are you doing? What do you want now?
Cambria H 51:51
Right now I just feel I am still trying to be a better mom. That is a huge focus for me in my life and having eight kids, I tried to be really intentional about being a mom and taking a parenting class and trying to spend 10 minutes every day with every child. Which is kind of hard and sometimes, have to scale it back to five minutes. I really like one of your clients who inspired me when she wrote that but the five-minute time in. How she would spend five minutes, and I'm trying to just do that. That's a huge goal for me. It's hard because if you add 10 minutes x 8, that's still–
Amber B 52:24
Still a lot of time.
Cambria H 52:28
And so I am really one of those people that is okay with progress over perfection. Even though, I know, I'm not hitting every day. I'm like, “Man, as better as I did. Better than nothing.” And I think that mindset has really saved me in a lot of places that progress even if it's a little bit, it's good, and I see it as positive over perfection. I'm working on a pull-up, so you inspire me. I've been hanging from the monkey bars behind our house and getting on that and then I'd love to do another backpacking trip as a family. We just love it doing things.
Amber B 53:06
Okay, you mentioned to me that you have a family motto. Share it.
Cambria H 53:11
Okay, so my husband came up with this, and I just love it. He said, “We start out strong and finish stronger.”
Amber B 53:19
Oh, I like that. I like that a lot.
Cambria H 53:22
And that's just how we are. We always try and start out strong on the journey, but we don't want to be– and I think there are two ways to look at this: You can be if you don't want to live to the finish. You actually want to finish as strong or stronger, but I think the other way to look at it is when you finish something, you are stronger because of that. You know what I mean?
Amber B 53:39
It's good. Yeah, for sure. For sure. Yeah, I like that. It's funny that the immediate thought that came to my mind was CrossFit because there are a lot of times with workouts, it's how you pace the workout really matters, and sometimes, it's really easy to go out too hot in a workout and be dying by the end of the workout and so what I'm always trying to do is have the back end of my workout be stronger so it's “start strong, finish stronger”. But I like the flip side of that of whether or not you feel you finished strong, whatever that means, you are stronger because you've finished, and I love that sentiment. I think that's an amazing thing to be able to have as a family motto so thanks for sharing that. You’re awesome.
Amber B 54:23
Well, this has been super fun and I think there is definitely something to pull out here for everyone. We don't only have to talk about fitness on the podcast. I think one of the things that I love about fitness is I always say it's the– for me it's the playground for life. The things that I'm hoping that people learn in the realm of fitness, then we can apply in a broader aspect, and I love the examples that you've shared, the stories that you shared, and the lessons that you've shared along the way so thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This was really a blast.
Cambria H 54:51
Thank you so much, Amber.
Amber B 54:52
That was a fun podcast episode. I hope you enjoyed it. After the fact, Cambria did send me an email, and she found my blog, so as promised, we're going to put up those links in the show notes. You can go back to the blog. There are blog posts from 2011, and 2013 of me setting goals back then. So a little bit of a blast from the past but if you're curious, you're interested, and you want to go back and read some of those blog posts, we'll link that up for you in the show notes.
Amber B 55:28
That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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