Thanksgiving day is a day we celebrate gratitude, family and football…although recently added would be shopping. This blog is now going to digress a little from Turkey legs, Football and Pilgrims. I know I have stated this before but Thanksgiving is not one of my favorite holidays, as a matter of fact it’s on the bottom of the list. As a kid and even as an adult, I always found it rather…boring. Maybe this was because my family has less people in it than a carton of eggs, but mostly I just don’t see the big brewhahaha over spending an entire day waiting for a bunch of food and in less than an hour it’s done. The truth is I don’t like big meals…it’s not that I don’t like good food but I don’t like it all at once and then I have to sit there, and sit there and sit there. My dislike of sit there and sit there probably began when I was 5. My parents were of the generation where you ate what was on your plate and you sat there until you did. I spent many a night sitting there staring at my plate…I am a notoriously picky eater and no offense mom but it wasn’t exactly like eating at Rachel Ray’s table. A good many peas were hidden in the bottom of my milk glass.
But anyway…with that said my focus for the holiday has turned to reflection and gratitude instead of turkey and stuffing. There is no real way to sugar coat the last 12 months between November 2013 and November 2014. The events that have occurred in between those months have been the most challenging times of my life both professionally and personally. It’s been a fair amount of loss and a fair amount of disenchantment and a fair amount of stress. A life changing event for my child, the death of my father, the loss of vision in my eye and the ongoing struggle as a trainer at Impact Fitness. One of the benefits of my career as a fitness professional is that I have the opportunity to be among some incredible people with incredible energy and great positive attitudes even when mine is suffering. It’s rather ironic because truth told…the gym has always been a sanctuary for me. It was the gym back in the 80’s that gave me back my self-esteem and a place where I could feel strong not just physically but emotionally. A gym isn’t a place …it’s a community.
It’s always been important to have a degree of transparency as fitness professional, we cry and struggle like mere mortals too. My focus on writing has always been to be a person you could relate to not some super human who never eats poorly, skips a workout or experiences a poor attitude. But that said, I could tell you that most of us in this business do attach a decent part of our identity to being the inspiring, confident fitness pro. There is nothing worse than feeling that identity slip away. Recently Richard Simmons was in the news, because he has removed himself from society due to physical problems. I’m guessing it’s because he now can no longer be that BIG personality when he has even bigger health issues, which must be soul crushing for him. I get it…the guy has spent a lifetime as a “brand”. Who is he beyond a pair of dancing running shorts and a bad tank top?
The changes I went through with Impact Fitness which were simultaneously occurring with the death of my father, changes in my child and eyesight digression were at times overwhelming. My focus remained on my clients and the members, and none of you may realize this but all of you were pivotal to helping me get through those difficult months. I am beyond grateful for all the positive interactions, the laughter, the teasing and the concern you gave to me. What I get from being in this profession has always exceeded what I give.
This Thanksgiving I want to express my gratitude to all of you for providing me with enough inspiration and energy to fuel my spirit. I have some of the most amazing fitness colleagues…everyone of you have impacted my life. Most of my private clients have been with me a very long time, we have weathered many a storm together…you are priceless. The members of Impact…my second home, my second family. My family and my friends some of whom have barely seen me in a year, I am grateful for your patience and understanding.
“ We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk” Thomas Moore
“ Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” Plato