It isn’t everyday that you’re met with an idea or project for your community that immediately provokes that where-do-I-sign reaction. Or at the very least one that motivates you that day, that month, or that year. This is a short story about an inspiring person with an inspiring mission.
In the year that my studio, The Art of Balance, has been open, I have had the privilege of meeting so many motivational people. But one particular person has stood out. We had some mutual friends and our daughters shared a ballet class. It was long before casual small talk turned into me sharing my vision for my soon-to-open studio and what I hoped it would accomplish in our community.
My friend’s enthusiasm propelled me through this challenging time and she was always keen to hear how things were progressing every week. What a blessing to have this kind of energy around when you’re about to take such a leap.
And then surprisingly, I stopped seeing her at our daughters’ ballet classes.
It wasn’t until a month and a half later that our paths intersected again in our local park. She told me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I looked at this young woman—a wife, a mother of two young children, a person with her whole life ahead of her—now faced with this mountain. I was deeply saddened. And yet there she was with a smile on her face; lifting ME up.
When my studio opened, I was thrilled to become her personal trainer. The Art of Balance became a healthy space for her. Twice a week we worked to build the strength she would need to hold on. Building her physical strength became a key pillar in saving her life. I watched chemo treatments undermine her progress, but she continued building. She lost hair but never her spirit. In fact she never broke or got frustrated—she just smiled.
Thankfully, my friend will soon be coming out the other end of this dark tunnel. This experience has helped bring my vision into focus. The opportunity to be a part of her and so many others’ personal transformation is priceless. We trainers often think of ourselves as the ones imparting something profound to our clients; but what they can give to us can be truly astounding. I learned that in the face of adversity I need to always honour where I am at that moment and to work though things bit by bit and to find a ray of hope in the dimmest of moments.
Your real self is the most important gift you can bring. You never know in that one moment how your light may serve to inspire another person.
And now here is the best part! Right now, my friend is organizing a retreat called Stretch-Heal-Grow for other survivors of breast cancer in hopes of sending a dose of good vibes to women transitioning from treatments back into “normal life”. Still recovering herself, she chooses to continue inspiring and recharging other women. That’s what I call an optimist! That’s what I call Living Out Loud Everyday!