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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The triumph of the human spirit

Better grab a tissue. Because I'm going to get sappy on you.

Normally, my blogs have been a mixture of comical running escapades and a desperate plea for money (okay, maybe I'm overstating it just a little bit). Today, I'd rather talk about something else.

For those of you that don't know, I am a full-time fitness professional. My official job title is "Health Fitness Service Representative". Doesn't that sound wicked IMPORTANT???? Basically, I train clients, teach classes and provide customer service to the fitness center community. There are days where the job can be somewhat mundane. We have a towel service for our members, so a big part of my 8 hours is spent washing, drying, folding and putting away towels. Washing, drying, folding, putting away. Lather, rinse, repeat. Ho hum.

But, then, there are moments where I feel positively GIDDY about where I am and what I'm fortunate enough to be a part of. Today is one of those days.

We started a promotion here called "The Lab's Biggest Loser". There are 4 trainers (I am one of them) that are responsible for a "platoon" of 8 people. All in all, 32 people were accepted into this program because their BMI (Body Mass Index) was considered unhealthy. The LBL is a 12 week program. It started on Monday, January 26th and concludes on April 19th. Prizes are awarded incrementally on percentage of weight loss. For example, you receive a $10 gift card when you have lost 5% of your body weight. You get another one at 8%, 11%, 14%, etc. Each participant is required to weigh-in once a week with their trainer.

I'd like to tell you a little bit about my platoon.

They call themselves "Cyndi Lou's Losers" (I swear, it was THEIR idea, not mine). I met with them initially the week before to pass out the materials and talk to them a bit so we could get acquainted. The first meeting went well and I was hopeful.

It is now week 9 and they are doing so well. As of the end of week 7, my "losers" have shed 87.4 lbs. and, as a team, have lost 4.52% of their initial body weight. Pretty cool, huh? They're very focused.

I can't take all the credit. I try to send them motivational emails a few times a week, pass along proper nutritional guidelines and conduct one weekly group workout. The rest of it is all them. They are truly an amazing bunch of people. One person in particular has prompted me to share this story with you. To protect her identity, I will simply refer to her as "Rock Star".

One of our teammates has been struggling with adherence to the program. She is having difficulties putting herself ahead of anything and anyone else in her life. She'll lose a couple lbs., then gain it back. Unfortunately, she is battling excuses...and the excuses are currently winning.

During one of our group email correspondences, she issued a cry for help. She sounded very defeated and sad...saying she lost her will...that she is going through a lot emotionally and she thinks that is bringing her down. She feels as though she doesn't have enough hours in the day. We can all relate to that, but sometimes, you just gotta put the big girl pants on and do it, right?

Well, then Rock Star emailed her privately (just copied me on the message). In five good sized paragraphs, she shared her own struggles with riding the weight loss rollercoaster. She took her defenses down and let our friend see who she is and how she got to this point in her life. She also shared with her how she finally decided it was time to do something about it. One line of her email really stood out for me: sometimes the heart is ready before the body and will-power are.

But, she knows she can't give up the struggle.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Rock Star wants to be a better wife, aunt, daughter and friend. She knows she needs to take better care of herself in order to achieve all of these things.

Finally, let me say this: Rock Star has lost 8% of her body weight since January 26th and is only 1.2 lbs. away from achieving her 11% weight loss milestone. AWESOME.

I am reminded by the triumph of the human spirit and how powerful it can be in times of adversity. She has been a huge inspiration to me and the rest of her team.

Maybe some of you reading this blog right now are experiencing some kind of struggle. It doesn't have to be a weight issue. Perhaps you have reached some sort of crossroads in life and feel powerless to change your circumstances. Sometimes, it's easier to give up. Some days, the problems of the world just seem way too big.

My fundraising endeavor for the Lazarus House in the grand scheme of things may seem a bit small. I only have to raise $3,000. Surely that isn't enough to cure hunger for everyone.

But, it's a start. Thank you all for helping me "make a dent".

I only need $139 more to make my goal. SO exciting! Here is my personal fundraising page:

http://www.lazarushouse.org/BostonMarathon/ViewWalkerProfile.asp?Id=56

In closing, I'd like to share this quote with you:

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.”

-- Edward Everett Hale

1 comment:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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