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By Member of the Month
We are pleased to announce Beth as the member of the month for March! Beth takes us through her inspirational journey and shares with us how determination can lead us to beautiful heights.
It had been in the back of my mind for a while to put some serious effort into improving my overall health and fitness level but it was during a cruise from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia that I really made up my mind to do it. Here’s what happened:
At the very beginning of the cruise, I signed up to work with a personal trainer for an hour with the idea that he would be able to take me through some of the pieces of equipment and teach me how to use them (I hadn’t been inside a gym in too many decades to count!); what actually happened during that hour was that he tried to sell me some kind of pills to take (apparently I would need a lot of them for a very long time) and some inserts for my shoes; he spent 10 minutes with me showing me how to do the ‘plank’ and some variations of it. At the end of that hour I was completely demoralized! I felt fat, old and obviously not someone who belonged in a gym. One week into the cruise, I caught a nasty cold and colds are my nemesis. I opted out of sitting with fellow passengers in the dining room as I coughed and hacked my way through the worst of the cold – instead I headed to the cafeteria. It was very interesting to see what people chose for their meals as well as the quantities they chose for themselves. Those who could afford it least, had the largest plates heaped with high calorie, high fat foods. And my final observation was that there were a number of my fellow passengers that I felt were not all that much older than I was but they were quite infirm, requiring walkers, oxygen, etc. I knew that I was looking at my future (near future) self if I didn’t do something about it.
I returned to Vancouver with a strong desire to make some significant changes for myself and I already knew something about the LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic. Once I was well enough (the cold was actually pneumonia and I was very sick indeed) to walk to the Windsor Square location in South Surrey, I signed up! At that time I was taking blood pressure medication, two different kinds of inhalers for COPD/asthma, and Tectra for indigestion problems. I felt tired and at an all-time low physically.
One of the very first things that I heard, on my first day, was ‘we are in training for our nineties’ from a fellow participant (friend); she may have been referring to herself and her husband but I took the ‘we’ to mean all of us at LIVE WELL. That phrase really aligned with my desire to make significant improvements in my overall health and fitness levels and avoid or stave off infirmity as long as possible! I also loved that accountability piece built into the program. From the start, I have always seen my workout sessions as ‘medical appointments’ and I never miss those (without good reason that is)! Goal setting and thinking about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to achieve also appealed to me. From the start I have participated with, not the end goal in mind or even the journey, but the idea that this quest for health and fitness does not have an end or an expiry date – it is a way of being. The way I want to be when I am 90!
One year later, I am 35 pounds lighter, I have thrown away the blood pressure and indigestion medications and reduced my inhalers down to just one puff of one a day (and that is on the hit list to go next); I can walk 5 to 10 kilometres with no problem and enjoy it. But one of my favourite things has been the discovery of muscles that I didn’t even know were in my body. I don’t think I have ever seen some of them before – trapezius, for example. And flexibility! Any of you noticed that it has been getting harder to do things like bend down or get up from being on the floor? Well, one the best things is just being able to move more easily and comfortably without even thinking about it.
This year I am even more motivated than last year and loving the journey. It may not always be easy but it is always worthwhile. We are all different; we are at LIVE WELL for different reasons and we are all at different places in our health and fitness quests so it is important to not compare yourself with those you see around you, but be clear about your own objectives and celebrate the wins you achieve along the way.
Some of the quotes that inspire me:
‘A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work’ - Colin Powell
‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out’ - R. Collier
‘If hunger isn’t the problem – food isn’t the answer!’ - Unknown
My favourite ‘WIN’ so far – I bought my first pair of skinny jeans (and now they are too big)!! Wishing you much success in your journey!
Thanks so much to Beth for sharing her experiences with the LIVE WELL community. Beth has reminded us all that each and every one of us are all different, but we do have common goals with our journey at LIVE WELL– that is finding the JOY and to celebrate our successes.