Pull up a chair kind reader, because I want to tell you a little story. Actually, back up. I want to tell you a big story. A big story full of big sacrifices and big accomplishments. But you want to know the coolest thing about this big story? It’s that it really started out kind of small. In fact, it was the same small story that had been playing out little by little, day by day, year after year for this previously common mom.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it? A series of small changes that slowly but surely parts-out what used to be the entirety of you. And it’s okay because society has convinced you that it is. You live and you love and you weave and you bob and you thrust yourself into the endless vortex of life in Western society. It’s expected…no, demanded.
And when it first hits you it’s so overwhelming. In the beginning you balk at the craziness of it all. But it insidiously chips away at the very bedrock of your person until you finally give up. You throw the towel on the floor, and you collapse onto the couch utterly defeated, a be-frazzled alias of your former self. You all know I was there.
My client and now dear friend Wendi was there too. Two summers ago she was on a mountain top. I mean how poetic is THAT?!? To experience a life-changing epiphany and ignite a roaring fire in your belly, right where the land meets the sky. And with the spring of 2016 ushering in her 5th decade on the planet, we both feel like it was meant to be. THIS is the what 50 looks like! I am deeply proud and inspired by her story, and I know you will be too.
Now before I let you loose to read about her journey in her own words I want you to understand one thing. Wendi wanted it. She wanted it more than she wanted anything else in that moment and for a thousand moments thereafter. She wanted it when she found herself constantly inundated with doughnuts and bagels in the faculty break room. She wanted it when she was frustrated with her previous injuries and wanted faster progression. She wanted it when she contracted the most evil of school-borne viruses that knocked her on her tail for 2 solid weeks.
I could go on, but you get the picture. The point is that she came across obstacles, like we all do when we’re going for big change amidst life in general. But she stared each one down with fierce courage and determination. She fought through doubt, fear, frustration and anger. Every. Single. Time. Because she wanted it. And that’s what it takes, my friends. That is where the magic happens.
It hits each of us differently, but we all have those moments in life where we say, this is as far as I want to travel down this road. That road could be a job, a relationship or like in my case, putting physical fitness behind every other responsibility in life.The funny thing is that I thought I was being responsible by sacrificing all my time to the many roles of my life. I had been living with the belief that being physically fit was a luxury that my busy life could no longer afford. Then, because I think I was seeking and ready to hear it, truth was spoken into my life.
In the early summer of 2014, my family and I decided to take one of our favorite hikes up to the top of Horsetooth Rock. I have been climbing that rock since I was my daughter’s age.
Sometimes, it’s good to get a change in perspective, to see things from a different point of view. I get that when I sit on top of that rock. My fourteen year old daughter called out to me from the next switchback. She wanted me to catch up to her. I was faced with a troubling reality. For the first time in my life as her mom, not only was I not leading the way, but I couldn’t even keep up. I was huffing and puffing it up the trail. We were not even a third of the way, and I was out of gas. It was hard to admit how out of shape I had become, but there on the trail, my denial popped like a blown up wad of gum; my personal wellness was a sticky mess of trying to balance the roles of wife, mom and educator. In all the busyness of trying to get the meal plans accomplished, laundry done, parent phone calls made, replies to emails…I hadn’t wanted to deal with how my fitness had been declining over the years, and the poundage gaining. It had been well over two years since I had been on any real fitness program, and I was living off of fumes of a well-meaning intention but no realistic plan of getting back to the gym soon.
It hits each of us differently, but we all have those moments in life where we say, this is as far as I want to travel down this road. That road could be a job, a relationship or like in my case, putting physical fitness behind every other responsibility in life. The funny thing is that I thought I was being responsible by sacrificing all my time to the many roles of my life. I had been living with the belief that being physically fit was a luxury that my busy life could no longer afford. Then, because I think I was seeking and ready to hear it, truth was spoken into my life.
I had a cul-de-sac conversation with my neighbor who is a professional trainer, and I shared the dilemma of not wanting to slip further down into the world of flabbiness but not seeing any realistic way to schedule in one more commitment, even if it was for working out at the gym. She looked me in the eye and tenderly, but firmly, said, “How will you keep yourself from being eaten alive by all of your responsibilities if you don’t put yourself closer to the top of the food chain?” That’s Cassye. She has an amazing way with words, and with speaking truth. She was absolutely right. I thought about how I struggled to do the family hike, and all the weakness and flab I was feeling, (let’s not even talk about getting into a bathing suit), and I knew it was only going to get worse if I didn’t make a change.
Soon after, I walked back down to Cassye’s house because I was curious to learn more about “43fitness, a cure for the common mom.” Common mom…that sounded like where my life was, and honestly, that’s where I remember Cassye’s life was years ago, too. About five years ago, we looked like similar, busy moms and then, wow, she went through this transformation. I’ll never forget when I saw her in the cul-de-sac riding around on her bike one summer day. She was wearing this cute “tough chick” black tank, and yeah, she looked it! I could not believe how trim and fit she had become and the muscle definition amazed me. So, in October of 2014, I decided to train with Cassye because I thought, here is success right in front of me, someone who knows what it’s like to be an overly busy person and has found her way to real and lasting physical fitness.
Cassye has empowered me to do what she did for herself. I have worked with trainers in the past, but what is different in working with Cassye is that you have a personal trainer who is invested in your whole wellness and is highly qualified to show you how to meet your goals. She has the skill set to tailor a fitness program to individual health needs. Not only did she teach me how to lift without injuring myself, which had been a problem in the past, but she also showed me how to eat so I didn’t sabotage my efforts. It didn’t require me to make huge changes to start the program, just an honest desire to do the work. As a matter of a fact, Cassye encourages building upon smaller changes to create sustainability with fitness. It works, and I got results much faster than I thought I would. After one month of working out and eating better, I started feeling more energy and I noticed my pants were fitting slightly looser.
I did body measurements and took pictures to make sure of the progress. I measured half-inch after half-inch loss in my waist every month and by the end of six months, I lost a total of three inches from around my waist! My arms, shoulders and whole body gained muscle definition, and a big bonus, I said goodbye to the saggy mom rear! My energy level has soared, and I truly feel like a new person. As I’ve continued to grow stronger, I gained mature muscle, but I haven’t bulked out. Honestly, I’ve gone down two clothing sizes and kept the flab off for over a year now.
My daughter and husband have been amazing supporters of my efforts, and coworkers have commented on how much change they have seen in me in the last year. This past July 4th, I gained new independence and wore a bikini to the pool for the first time in almost twenty years. A mom of one of my former students came over and congratulated me on my new look. She said that she and her daughter did not even recognize me at first, and I understood that she meant this as a sincere compliment.
That leads me to the unexpected benefit. As I said at the beginning of this testimony, sometimes we need to get a change in perspective, a new point of view. I’m so blessed to have met and be training with Cassye Delphy. She has been a continuing source of motivation and encouragement balanced by challenge in work outs and expectation for me to give my personal best. My new belief is that physical fitness is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
By making myself a higher priority, my life has not only been transformed by physical wellness, but I have busted through myths of things I thought were out of reach. As I’ve become more physically fit, I’m leading hikes again and surprisingly, I’ve become comfortable leading in the workplace now, too. I have confidence that I can achieve my goals, and this confidence has created some humor along the way. Like deciding to push my daughter’s Honda across a parking lot when it broke down. Hey, I needed to get it out of the way, and I didn’t want to be late for the appointment. Sincerely though, the unexpected benefit is that I don’t see limitations so much anymore as I do opportunities, and it’s a great view to have as I continue on my wellness journey.
Wendi in Action
Looking to make a change yourself? Take a gander at a few of the big, compound moves we used to get Wendi strong and lean.