I feel very lucky. I have always known what I want to do (career-wise) and have been fortunate enough to have success doing what I love for over 20 years. The fitness industry is such an exciting thing to be involved with and I am surrounded by some pretty smart, fantastic people who have supported me and who I continually consult with.
Dillon at The Fitness Lab in Seattle, Sarah at Fit Healthy Moms, Dean at Anytime Fitness in Gig Harbor, Sang, Dave, Trisha and the rest of the crew at Denali Fitness in Seattle, and so many more people have all helped shape me and my career.
And then there are my clients. There are so many names that I can mention here. Names of people who inspire me every day with their dedication to health and fitness. These are people that have blessed my life with their willingness to trust me. I want to share an email I got from a client today. This is one that brought me to tears because it was so honest and beautifully written. I want to share it because Suzy gave me permission. I am hoping that her story touches you somehow. She GETS IT now. She has been an amazing person since day 1, and now she finally sees what we have seen in her all along. I hope we can all learn the same lessons she has learned, which is getting rid of the negative self-talk and loving who we are. Thank you Suzy! We love you!
Here is Suzy's story:
I wanted to elaborate more about our brief telephone conversation the other day. Here goes.....
I could tell you endless woes that landed me in my 5' 3" 185 pound jail cell of self-loathing and depression, but not today. Today I want to share with you what/who broke me out.
I can hear Laurel's voice right now, "Hey, you should come try my bootcamp. Your first one is free but NO PRESSURE." At the time, I was trying to tackle all my food and fitness demons on my own and like years before I kept falling short of my goals. Week after week Laurel gently planted the idea of bootcamp until one day I gave in and little did I know it was the beginning of my new life.
I vividly remember that first Saturday bootcamp and all of the emotions that came with it. I had already mentally set myself up to fail. I came to that first class telling myself that I'm just doing this to support my friend. My self esteem was so broken that I thought if I put a wall up and expected to hate the class I couldn't become disappointed with myself when I failed. As Laurel and I pulled up to your house I was scared, nervous, ashamed and had already started judging the 7-9 beautiful and fit people standing before me. Gosh, I remember feeling like a mortal standing amongst Gods. I would never have survived without that core group. They are some of my biggest cheerleaders and inspire me to this day.
Oh man! I wanted to puke after that first day. Even though everyone was so supportive, I had not allowed myself to fully admit that I enjoyed you, the class and the people. As a few more Saturday bootcamps went on, I still didn't allow myself to admit that this place was something special. I was afraid to let anyone in and see that while I was smiling and laughing on the outside, I secretly hated myself and wanted to cry every time I looked in the mirror. How could I admit something like that to this group athletes? The group was slowly breaking down the tough exterior I had worked so hard to build up and you were always this amazing beacon of light and hope but once again, I had found a way to discount all the good that was happening in my life. I remember thinking, "Of course Kristi cares. Its her job." and "Geez, these people are just taking pity upon the heavy girl who keeps holding up the group." My negative self-talk was at its all time worst until one day a stranger showed up to teach the class, my other beacon of light and hope, Mike Fischer.
I had only met and talked to Mike when I would barge into your house to use the bathroom. Towards the end of that bootcamp session I was struggling with the suicide runs and was so far behind the group. I started to breakdown and negative self-chatter in my head when all of a sudden Mike shows up at my side to finish off my last 4 runs. Everyone else was done. I wanted to cry and quit. I felt like the biggest failure. I could have quit but he didn't let me. Laurel joined in too but she was my friend and I knew she loved and supported me no matter what happened. I couldn't make any excuses for why this stranger would care enough to see me through this exercise. I remember getting in the car and asking myself, "Why does this person care more about me than I do about myself?" It was in that moment I realized I had to change the way I saw myself. It was time to love myself again and I would have not been able to achieve that if I didn't have you, Laurel, Mike and the core group of FFUers supporting me.
My journey is still going and I'm happy to tell you that my mental state is so different than when I first started 6 months ago. I'm enjoying my new friends, my new body, my healthy and active lifestyle and instead of weight and inches loss being the main focus, they have now just become the perks. Thank you for inspiring me everyday, not only in fitness but in life!