As I sat on a beach in Cabo in August of 2009 I came to the conclusion that I had hit my ultimate rock bottom. I had a beautiful family, beautiful job, beautiful life, but I was one miserable person. I had every reason in the world to be thankful and blessed, but I couldn’t see past my own misery to cherish it all. I’m not proud of that fact, but it’s the honest truth. My self-hatred had turned my beautiful life into a sad story and a lot of self-pity.
What made me even sadder was that my self-hatred was 100% in my control and I knew that. Deep down inside I was the only person who was going to turn my health around. I knew all it took was making time for better choices and making myself a priority. Yet I continued to make excuses, and tell myself that I was just too busy being a wife, mother, and employee to put myself on the list. What I wish I had understood is that taking that time would result in me becoming a happier, healthier, more efficient, wife, mom, and employee.
I came back from that trip and I began my journey to change my own life. 8 weeks later my husband, father of my children, best friend, and love of my life would be gone. For the first time in my entire life I didn’t give up on my health and fitness and it literally saved my life. What I’ve learned in the process is that fitness is a game changer. Fitness gives strength when there are very few other places to draw it from. Fitness empowers and it cleanses your soul from a very deep place if you allow it to.
As I trained for my marathon after Mitch’s death, I knew I wanted to help others find the same healing power of fitness post loss but I didn’t know how it would happen. I trusted my gut and kept moving forward in the direction of my dreams. It took 2 ½ years before the idea of One Fit Widow came to me in the middle of the night, and another 6 months before I was able to start my virtual training company – 1fw Training and the One Fit Widow nonprofit.
In the 10 months since forming both my company and nonprofit, I have been blessed beyond words to speak at numerous events and write for multiple publications. I’ve also been featured in several magazines, including Shape. Despite the amazing year I’ve had I never in a million years would have dreamed what is happening tomorrow. I get the incredible honor of meeting a photographer whose work is often seen in National Geographic, for a feature article in Fitness Magazine (yes, THE FITNESS MAGAZINE). I had an in-depth interview with Fitness several weeks ago and we talked fitness after loss, 1fw Training, and most importantly the One Fit Widow nonprofit and our upcoming ‘Live the List’ campagain that we are kicking off in January 2014.
The moral to my story is this; live the life you want to live. Don’t give up on your dreams. If your path is honest and true, and you work hard at what you want to achieve, the road will open up in front of you. Pieces will fall into place as they should, and because you have prepared, because you have been diligent, because you have never given up….you will be ready.
We all have a story to tell. We all hold the power to write the best novel money could never buy.
Just pick up the pen and start writing.