I lost my dad to cancer in 1981 – I was 19. My mom was 52. She found love again when she was 61. His name was Ed Fraga. He was a WWII veteran with unbelievable stories from the War. He loved my mom and he never tried to replace my dad with us girls. Unfortunately, the damn cancer bug bit him too and in 1997 he was losing his battle.
It was then that my younger sister and I made a trip to California to help my mom with his care and essentially to say our goodbyes. I could write an entire blog post about that visit and what he taught me about life, love, and death, but that is not the purpose of this post. My mom sent us girls to the video store (a thing of the past) to rent a movie. I was NOT a social person AT ALL. I barely said hello to the clerk behind the desk. I was looking for the movie and when I found it, I brought it up to the counter. I found my sister at the counter talking to the clerk. They both had pulled out the pictures of their kids from their wallets and were chattering away about life and being a mom and their kids. I was afraid to say hello and my sister was sharing her life with this clerk.
From that day on I worked on being more social. It was a slow process, but that goal and the fact that I had now lost two men that I really loved and looked up to, shaped me into the type of person that will tell you all the good I can about you – before it’s too late.
It’s this social piece that I feared losing when two weeks ago I changed up my entire workout routine and started at a new place. I believe my life has been saved twice – once when I was 9 months old and Dr. Dugan and Dr. Dvorskey saved my life
and second when Mana and Ryan reached out to help me lose the weight. It’s Ryan who I e-mail weekly with my food diary and workout plan – going on about 125 weeks now. What I really appreciate about him is he has never seen me as his “money maker.” He genuinely cared about my health and life. When we were working together face to face, he had no problem referring me to a colleague with a “Corrective Exercise” certificate; if he doesn’t know how to help me on something, he researches it, he checks with co-workers, he’s even called his college professor/mentor to check his thinking.
I’ve been telling him about FIT GJ and how it is owned by a Physical Therapist and her husband. I’ve had two children that have needed extensive physical therapy – one after shoulder surgery on both shoulders as a 16-year-old (rotator cuff and more); and another child who needed scoliosis surgery at age 14 and now has a rod in his back from T4-L4. I BELIEVE in physical therapy.
Two weeks ago, I started at FIT GJ and I just realized I have had the most amazing non-scale victory. 95% of the time, I wear work-out clothes. But that 5% of the time that I “dress up,” I put my wedding ring on. From Jan-Nov 2017 I was taking 4-6 Motrin a day for inflammation. In Nov 2017, my Rheumatologist took me off Motrin and put me on Meloxicam. In January of 2018, I asked her if I could try to stop taking it and go back to Motrin. She said no, but I could take it every other day or so. So, I would need to take it after a few days of strenuous workouts and I got down to every other day or every third day.
Well when I got dressed up to go paint with my friend and I put my ring on, it just fit! And it was loose (a little). The ring was always my secondary indicator (the first being pain) to knowing if I needed to take a Meloxicam. And then I asked myself, “When was the last time I took Meloxicam?” It had been about 2 ½ weeks ago – so not since changing up my routine.
What have I changed to? I swim on Mondays and Fridays. I do Stability and Mobility on Tuesday and Thursday at 6 am and then I follow those classes with a class called FIT. I round out the week on Wednesday with a class called Balance. My workout intensity is still very good, I’m just no longer beating one muscle group to death (my words.)
I used to be (and sometimes still fight it) a people-pleaser person. Patty Poppins the people pleaser. My children have taught me to “find my voice.” I remember all the way back to being 7 years old and not wanting to hurt other kid’s feelings. Sister Mary Beatrice was having a raffle for all kinds of “prizes.” The one that ALL the kids were oohing and awing over was a beautiful Rosary. Guess whose name got picked first? Mine. I didn’t want to upset the other kids, so I chose a pin cushion. That’s right. I brought that pin cushion home to my mom and I was as proud as could be (because of what it had cost me.) Learning at 54, 55, 56 that it’s okay to do what I want to do has been huge!
I wanted to do this. I wanted to try the new gym. I believe in its concept. I know that if I were to ever open my own gym, it would follow this model pretty dang closely. I am thankful for every one that has helped me along my journey to fitness and I look forward to how this change I’ve made will propel me forward. It’s not just the ring fitting and the no Meloxicam for two weeks, it’s also not being so sore that I can’t move for the next few days, it’s being done with my workouts by 8:00 a.m. in the morning so I can help our business more, it’s being trained by a licensed physical therapist and being taught and re-taught how to do the moves correctly so as to prevent injury, it’s being thrown a modification immediately if I can’t do the exercise yet, it’s working on balance which will continue to help me as I age, AND benefits I haven’t even experienced yet. After I have been a member for one month, I will receive a full Physical Therapy Evaluation for free (because I’m a member.) Since my right hip, right shoulder, right wrist and right hand bother me right now, I look forward to strengthening my right side! Right on!
I really try to write succinctly but I still end up with long posts. If you have made it this far, thank you. Make sure you stay in tune with your body and make the hard choices if you have to. I miss everyone at Gold’s Gym. I mean come on, I even left Tori. But I’m finding my voice and I’m loving myself and I believe I’m doing what is right for me. I encourage you to live your life this way too!
P.S. I’m not afraid to talk to people anymore.