Enjoy your body, use it every way you can, Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it; It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
This post has taken me a little longer to write as I feel it is a very overwhelming topic, but I have wanted to do something with it ever since I was at the Zumba Convention in L.A.. You might want to grab a cup of tea, bowl of popcorn…a blanket…get comfy I can get carried away on this topic…
As many of you know health and well-being are very important to me. My journey to well-being, like everyone’s, has been a long one with its up and downs and I never could have done it without my support group. Growing up I was always in to athletics; swimming, basketball, diving, karate, track, and dance. I like to think I was pretty fit. It all changed one day…my 16th birthday to be exact. I ruptured a tendon in my ankle (yes, ouch) doctors told me just to stop all sports…not a good thing to tell an active 16 year old. I didn’t listen. I kept going, 2 years later I ruptured it dancing (To this day, I still have trouble watching the home video of it). Needless to say I needed surgery.
When I came out of surgery I had a long 2 months in a cast followed by physio, which I never completed (take my advice when you are told to do physio or massage – DO IT – don’t make the mistake I did). I cut my own cast off as I was too impatient to wait for my doctor. What I found under the cast, nothing could prepare me for it. My calf had atrophied beyond recognition. I could never dance the same again, my swim times suffered…I don’t know if it was my lack of after care or just loss of muscle memory due to inactivity. I basically quit…I gained some weight.
It is now summer of 2009; it’s funny how everything works out for a reason. I met a friend who introduced me to his personal trainer who owned his own personal training business. Though him I met this amazing trainer who transformed my life. I started working out with her and I was athletic once again. I lost weight, gained muscle and confidence. I am forever grateful for these two individuals.
In 2010 I was in 2 MVAs. First one we were sitting at a red light and a person texting and driving rammed in to the back of us. I wasn’t too hurt, but enough to stop me from doing my half marathon. My mum was pretty hurt and had to spend her summer holiday being pushed in a wheelchair due to sciatica. 3 months later, on the same road, someone ran a red light and t-boned me. This time I wasn’t so lucky. My car was totaled and I have minor tearing in my left shoulder. Don’t let the word minor fool you, this injury changed my life again. While my car was spinning all that went through my head is I hope I can still massage (I got accepted in to MH Vicars School of Massage Therapy just a week prior). About a month later, my trainer who came into my life fast…left just as fast. I worked out with the owner of the gym for a bit…but the pain of the car accidents took over. Again, I quit. And again, I gained weight.
This time around it was not just a little weight. It was a lot…I did not realize how much I gained until I saw a picture of myself from our 2012 camping trip…this was enough to get my butt in motion. 2 months later I became a licensed Zumba Instructor. I started going to the gym every day and eating right again. Slowly the pounds came off and I gained my confidence back. I am still on my journey, it will never end. I will keep pushing myself.
Why am I telling you this?
I hope everyone can pull something out of this. Something to help motivate themselves, to stop from giving up like I had.
Also, that being said, everyone is beautiful. I shouldn’t have let my weight take away my confidence. Whether you are 100 lbs or 300 lbs, everyone is beautiful. I just ask you be healthy, and if that means gaining or losing weight please go do it! Don’t let your weight hold you back. Do not use it as an excuse!
All of this hit me like a ton of bricks when I was in LA. There were 3000 Zumba Instructors representing 70 countries all piled in the convention center. I noticed there were people of every shape, size, ethnicity and ability present. There was one thing in common; no one used anything as an excuse. They all pushed themselves. It was overwhelming. During the African Session the ZES brought up an instructor…she has no legs and was bound to a wheelchair. She taught an entire song and we were all able to follow. It was amazing, inspiring, and brought me to tears. If she can do it, anyone can. If she can dance without legs, we can dance with some extra pounds.
Another moving moment at Conference – A man named Auggie. Auggie has ALS. Zumba does so much to support research to cure this horrid illness. Beto (creator of Zumba) brought Auggie out for our kick off session and guess what, Auggie can now move his feet! This is amazing. We turned on the music and all did “Auggies Step”…basically just lifting our legs up and down while sitting…small but magical. Anything is possible.
What do I ask of you? I ask that you never give up. That you use your body every way possible. That you strive to be the best and healthiest person you can be. Please take my story and the stories of others and let it motivate you. Push yourself. You are beautiful and do not let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Before I wrap up I need to thank some people…
First off, my Husband for always believing in me and for keeping my head on straight as most of us know this is not an easy journey.
My Mum for pushing me to be the best I can be and for joining me on all Zumba Adventures
All of my family and friends for being the strong support group I have.
My female trainer I mentioned. I am forever grateful for the motivation and push I needed to get me on track, introducing me to hot yoga, kicking me in the butt when I needed it the most and for being my friend when I needed one. If you end up reading this you will know who you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am forever grateful.
The male trainer I mentioned and also his wife. You will also know who you are if you are reading this.Thank you. You are both an inspiration to me. You both have never given up on me and I know I can come to you guys anytime. I know I am on the career path I am on because of you. You inspired me to help people since the moment I walked into your studio. Thank You.