By Member of the Month
We are proud to introduce Carol as the Member of the Month for November. Carol has been a member at LIVE WELL North Vancouver since May 2019. Carol takes us through her inspirational journey and shares with us how commitment and determination can lead us to beautiful heights. The LIVE WELL Community is so proud of you Carol.
I am deeply touched that I was asked to be a member of the month. My immediate feeling when asked was fear! To tell my story publicly is terrifying to me for a myriad of reasons. I immediately thought - wow, they must think I have something valuable to say! So in keeping with who I am, one that stares fear in the face and says “get out of my way you are not stopping me”, I share my words with you and hope that you find them meaningful and helpful.
My brother died on March 14, 2019 suddenly and the grief I felt was deafening and drowning me. I found myself coping in some unhealthy ways and also felt at risk of depression setting in. I felt responsible somehow for my brother’s death, even though I knew I wasn’t. His death shook me to my core. The auto-immune issues I live with and my osteoarthritis seemed like they were claiming my life and killing me bit by bit. I needed to use my walker more and more. Even climbing a flight of stairs became too painful to try any longer and I turned down all social invites due to the physical and emotional pain I was experiencing.
I became aware of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic as a patient of the wonderful Dr. Zentner. At that time there were no clinics on the North Shore and to drive any distance was just not going to work for me, given my physical limitations and the fatigue that rears up for me at times. One evening, I saw a LIVE WELL North Vancouver advertisement. I saw who the owners were, I knew that I would be able to trust them. I waited until morning and I called and spoke to Kent and booked a time to go in and learn more. I loved what I saw and heard, so I signed up!
It wasn’t until the first morning of the first day I was supposed to go to LIVE WELL that the fear welled up in me once again! I was formerly married to a very abusive man and a lot of our couple time was spent at the gym. Then, my ex-husband bought all the equipment for our home so we did not have to go to the gym any longer. He forced me to go past my comfort level with repetitions until I would collapse! I was afraid to see a man with a similar physique to my ex, as that is triggering! Even gym equipment is a trigger for me! I thought “oh no what I have I done! I can’t go!” Well, I reminded myself that I am safe now and I have good tools to use if I get triggered! And it is safe to use my voice now! I give him no power. Life is on my terms now! So, off I went to my first session at LIVE WELL.
Since joining LIVE WELL, I find the flare ups from the auto-immune disease are fewer and farther between. Depression is not something I worry about any longer. Everyday my stamina increases. Everyday my balance improves! When I have a flare, I rest, take care and I don’t judge myself. I also know we can adapt my exercise accordingly rather than skipping it altogether! I also live more in the present focused what I can do and give; instead of worrying about what my future might look like and what will the auto-immune issues take away next! I look forward to each and every session at LIVE WELL! My long- term goal is to navigate life without the use of my walker! I already don’t feel the need for it at every exercise station at LIVE WELL. I can park my walker and walk to the different exercise stations!
I am so proud for facing my fears and joining LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic. I have been so blessed by everyone there, and I encourage everyone to face your fears and do it!
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes that resides on my refrigerator: “I have always known that at last I would take this road, but I did not know yesterday that it would be today.” - Kenneth Rexroth