Yesterday we had a substitute in BodyPump. She was vibrant, cheerful and she motivated us the entire time.
She also shared bits of her story between instruction, which included that she has come through a bout of brain cancer. Dealing with brain cancer and living to share about it while you do an intense workout is inspiring enough, but she made a comment that reached out and snatched my attention.
She said something to the effect of, "I have gained 60 pounds recently due to medications, but I didn't let that stop me from teaching BodyPump again as soon as I was able."
Hmm... She doesn't know me or my story or how people keep asking me if I'm still running and all I can think is, "No.. I feel too fat to run. Running half marathons requires carb loading and I get hungry when I run a lot and then I eat and I don't lose weight...and I need to stop gaining and am scared if I start running again I'll not get this weight off that I've gained in the last two years.." etc. etc.
But that one sentence, one side comment about working out despite a weight gain reminded me that my weight isn't stopping me from trying to continue my journey either and that's awesome. (because I've not felt too awesome in the health world lately.) And it reminded me to keep going.
I overheard her mention her father passing away last fall and eating in mourning and then the holidays all topped off with crazy strong medications has been hard, and boy could I relate.
And even though our struggles have been very different, my weight gain started after my mom died two years ago and my son's accident one-and-a-half months later and then life, but when I heard her say she didn't let her weight gain stop her from teaching BodyPump as soon as she could after her 18 months of chemo I knew...
I had met someone who I could relate to. Someone else who is determined to keep up the fight, even if she's gained weight, because she also mentioned this 60 pounds she's gained is part of 100 pounds she had lost before she found out she had cancer.
Yep, with a few words spoken between instructions in a fitness class I was encouraged by someone I don't even know, because she can relate. It was wonderful.
Afterwards, I took a few minutes to share my gratitude for her sharing her story and she told me she has a blog: Normal2Natalie. I then told her I had one too. :)
And while I'm not real active on FaceBook she asked to friend me and I agreed. Maybe we'll never be more than FaceBook friends, but that's fine because the few words she shared in class came at a perfect time in my life. And I won't soon forget meeting Natalie.
Note: Oh, and I do love my normal Monday instructor, but if Natalie could ever get one of our classes at the Y I'd try to take it. :) She has a way of pushing you hard and making you laugh all at once. It was a great way to start a Monday!