Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A letter to my former fitness instructor

May 10, 2017


I greatly hesitated writing this letter, but am doing it anyway. So, take it for what you will, be it a letter from the crazy lady in your MSCR 45 Strength or a client testimonial.

I simply want to express my gratitude that you were my instructor for 45 Strength September 2016-March 2017. There I was a stay-at-home-mom of a 6-year-old son, Gus, and almost 2-year-old daughter, Lucy. Our family had recently moved back to Madison after living in a small town in Iowa, where minds were mostly small and opportunities to meet people outside of a church were scarce. I was really looking forward to taking a strength class. I was looking forward to have time alone without the needs of my kids coming first. I was looking forward to doing something for my four children in Heaven, Oscar, Bella, Tittle and Firefly, as attention for them is sometimes hard to come-by with the tasks of everyday family living. I was looking forward to getting stronger and feeling better about my body, knowing we are done having kids.

I was nervous about having a male instructor for an exercise class, as I had never had one before, but you were just what I needed. You fit exactly what I needed: some goofiness, lots of motivation, modifications for each exercise so I could choose which level to try, and so many reminders that my fitness journey was my own, where I was on that day was not where I had been in the past or where I would be in the future. At some point, I’m not sure when. I began to believe you, that I was making progress, that I could choose heavier weights and that I was getting stronger. And then, after that, I wasn’t going to class to show Oscar, Bella, Tittle and Firefly what their mom could do. I was going to class because I liked it. I liked that I felt stronger. I liked that I was doing something for me. I liked that I was taking time for myself and using it to improve my mind and body.

And now here we are today, about two months since my last class with you. In that time, I tried out the new instructor for 45 Strength and it was NOT a good fit. My husband, Jon (who has been lifting weights every day for the past year), and I did some gym shopping and two weeks ago he moved from Gold’s and we started at Princeton Club. I’ve been going every day since then. Me exercising every day is not something I think I’ve done since I was a kid, when playing was exercising. I’m trying to find my way in the big gym, feeling comfortable in most of the group classes, feeling uncomfortable in the free weight area, working up courage to try a water exercise class and trying my best, but not doing very well, to try to remember some of the workouts you had us do in class.

I know I gave you some grief in class, and for that I apologize, but know that it was coming from the heart, mind and body of someone who has always felt her body was broken. Type 1 diabetes since the age of two and infertility and pregnancy loss in my twenties and thirties told me over and over again, day after day, that my body was broken, weak and sometimes worthless. That mindset is changing. My body is still broken: stupid pancreas and reproductive system, but the rest of my body can be fine, can be strong and can be worth a whole lot. So, thank you. Thank you for being what I needed at a time that I was ready to change.



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