Hey fam! Welcome back to the AB blog!! I’m Atoya Burleson and I have missed you all. I had to take a summer hiatus (more on that below). Since it’s been awhile, it’s important to welcome my new subscribers and tell them a little bit about me.
Who is Atoya Burleson: Most of you readers know who I am! I am a wife and mother of 3 active student athletes (plus all of their friends that are always over), so really a mother of 10! Haha! I also host insideLINES Podcast which celebrates women in and around sports. We love to highlight amazing NFL wives and girlfriends who support their husbands while still doing their own thing. You know what they say, behind every good man is an AMAZING woman. I can confirm that this is definitely true!
Background: I have a Psychology degree (which was the perfect focus while competing in sports) and a Master’s degree in Education with a business minor. I am also a collegiate track champion in the 100 meter hurdles and collegiate team champion as well. I love flexing my championship ring on my hubby because it’s probably the only leg up that I have on him in the sports world ;).
Love: My husband Nate Burleson and I met in college. He played football and I ran track. Nate’s career took off in 2003 and we spent 11 years total in the NFL playing for 4 teams; The Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and briefly the Cleveland Browns. We love traveling, exploring, and trying new food. Yes, we are foodies, and I make it a point to share my favorite places to eat and visit while traveling the world!
Atoya, where have you been?
Okay, let’s talk about it. I’ve had a super emotional year. Burn out is real!! My favorite saying is, “Well, who else is going to do it?” Do not be this person, I repeat, do NOT be this person!! Lol. If you’re wondering what I am talking about, here we go:
- My oldest son, Nate, graduated from high school and received a scholarship to play football at Nevada (where Nate and I met!) Because of his football commitment this meant I had to host his graduation party on graduation day- while hosting family and friends- so I could then fly him across the country two days later to start school/football at Nevada. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I miss him more than I could have ever imagined. It didn’t really sink in until after I dropped him at college that I didn’t even get to enjoy the summer with him before he left. Talk about pulling the bandaid off. It was rough!
- With my eldest at college- my younger two still kept me busy. My daughter had a birthday a few days later that I had to prepare for only to turn around and travel daily to non-stop volleyball camps while my other son had football training all summer. It was a whirlwind!
- During that time, my mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and almost a few weeks later my father fractured his back. Let’s just say we went from being the children of our parents to becoming the parents to our parents. That alone happened overnight and I pray for all those who understand how difficult those conversations and decisions can be. Prayer was in non-stop full effect!
- I had to move on from some friendships in my life. It happened suddenly and unexpectedly. It was a very hurtful and difficult decision, however, I did what was best for myself and I wish them well.
- I realized I had to find a way to slow down and focus on my family because if I didn’t, we would have probably fell apart. That’s how fast life came at me this summer!
With life moving so fast, I had to be intentional about decelerating and focusing on what matters most. So here I am, in a new season, of not always depending on myself but instead, trusting God’s miracles to answer, heal and restore. I’m sharing this journey here to be transparent and intentional about what I’ve been going through with the hope that my experience can help others who may be facing similar challenges.
A few realizations that helped me get through the rough months:
- There will be some days where you only have 25% to give and if you give that 25% you have given 100%. Be kind to yourself and proud that you gave your all.
- My burnout came from pushing myself to perform at a high level regardless of the situations I was dealing with. When your mind and body ask for a break, listen and comply. There has to be a healthy balance of busy days and down days. When you honor both and trust the higher power, you develop the best version of yourself.
- At times, emotions can feel overwhelming. They definitely were for me. Find someone you trust to talk to and find a licensed therapist. We are human. It’s pertinent to process our feelings with a professional so that we can heal properly and see clearly moving forward.
My top five faves that helped me through a tough time:
- What I am reading: The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson Get ready to learn and grow!
- What I am drinking: I love a good Chai Tea Latte with almond milk and pumpkin froth! So calming and yummy!
- Favorite sneakers: Nike Air Vapor Max Plus Running Shoes I have to be fresh when working out! Flex on em!
- Favorite Light Foundation: Trish McEvoy’s Gorgeous Foundation (applies light with even coverage, minus the heaviness on the skin). That foundation w/ a pop of lipstick always makes me smile! I use shade 9.My favorite Fall Sweats: Essentials I just started wearing these this past week as the temperature has cooled off. I forgot how thick and soft they are. They will also last me all fall and winter!
In closing, what I’ve learned about burn out is once you hit rock bottom you can only go up, therapy is key to renewing the mind, and God is the ultimate restorer. I see proof of the latter because my mother’s numbers are decreasing and she is doing much better, and my father is on the mend with the help of a walker and lots of physical therapy. And my family and life is slowly getting back on track. It has taken months of prayer, commitment and intentionality but anything and anyone you love is worth fighting for.
P.S. Please leave me a note if you enjoyed reading this. <3 Also, feel free to tell a friend about my blog and insideLINES Podcast!! Follow us on instagram as well @insidelinespodcast. I promise you will love it! Women supporting women is truly my life’s passion!