Have you ever had one of those moments in your life where something happened that was so significant that it totally changed the course you were on?
I’ve had several such moments, and this month I’m celebrating one. If this moment hadn’t happened there’s a good chance you and I would have never gotten connected, so to mark this very special occasion I will use this newsletter to share that story with you.
It was October 1998. I was 16 years old and I was 10 months into a 26 month chemotherapy protocol to treat my leukemia. My lifestyle during those 10 months was about as sedentary as it can get. I did virtually nothing and went virtually nowhere.
When I wasn’t in the hospital getting chemo I didn’t experience much nausea, so I spent most of my days at home eating to make myself feel better. I was already an emotional eater to begin with and I was about 40 pounds overweight going into chemo. After 10 months I had ballooned another 40 pounds, causing me to form stretch marks on both sides of my abdomen (which I still have today).
Over those 10 months I literally spent days on my back and days on my butt, week after week after week. I can only imagine how much muscle I lost. 3 months earlier I did the most activity since the beginning of treatment- a several block walk on siesta key beach- and I felt like I was going to pass out from exhaustion. Needless to say I was in bad, bad shape
My friend Nick, feeling sympathy for my socially distant lifestyle, called me one night and invited me to a party at a local skating rink. It sounded fun so I decided to chuck the quarantine for an evening and go. Thank God I did.
When I walked in I heard techno music blaring and I saw strobe lights, black lights, and wall to wall teenagers having a blast. Other than Nick I didn’t know a single soul in the place. So, rather than just hang around him as he was with his other friends, I spent much of the night just walking around people watching.
Within about the first hour I must have seen at least dozen young men my age with their girlfriends. Many of them even had their shirts off and were confidently showing their fit bodies to this entire room of people. As I saw this over and over again I began to get very self conscious of my grossly unfit and obese body.
As the hours went on the feelings turned to shame, disgust and guilt. I began to feel so horrible for mistreating my body through my awful diet and lifestyle. I felt like the fattest thing alive and I felt like no woman would ever want me the way I was.
I got mad. I got inspired. I got zealous for a change. And I still had like 5 more hours before Nick was ready to take me home!!!
As I walked around there the rest of the night, I felt like I was already a man on a mission. I thought all about what I was going to do differently and why it was so important. The very next day I got right to it.
I went straight into my dads bedroom and grabbed his dumbbells. I did a few exercises that I’d seen before and when it was all done, I really felt good about myself. After two weeks of home workouts I joined a gym. I went faithfully 3-6 days a week except when I was in the hospital. I went on various diet plans until I found one I could stick to. I read books, magazines and online articles zealously trying to understand how to get better and faster results. I tried things, failed at things, tried other things and eventually succeeded.
After 22 months I had lost 80 pounds of body fat, added 40 pounds of muscle, beat the cancer, had a six pack and could physically do anything I wanted except dunk a basketball. I honestly felt like I had conquered the world.
This personal transformation experience is what inspired me to enter the field of health and fitness, where I met the man who introduced me to Muscle Activation Techniques. That led to me to eventually starting my own practice and serving over 700 clients and counting.
The funniest part of it all is that before that night at the skating rink, I honestly had no intentions of changing anything. Although I had almost passed out from walking 3 months earlier, it wasn’t enough of a concern to me to do anything about it.
EVERYTHING changed for me during that one single October night.
In August of last year I moved to a condo that is only a block from this skating rink, which is now closed and for sale. Every once in a while I walk by it as I’m out praying and I ponder what would have happened if Nick had never called me and asked me to go to that party.
It’s things like this that really make it clear to me that God has a plan and that He can use any horrible thing to be a springboard to something amazing.
Also, since I’m on the subject of anniversaries, yesterday was another anniversary worth mentioning. It was exactly one year since I was featured on the National TV show “The 700 Club” where I told a miracle story about something that happened in my practice 13 years ago. It was seen by 1 million people in 1 day and many people have told me that it really blessed them.
You can watch that by clicking here- My TV Segment
Thanks for letting me play story time with you today! It’s a blessing to be a part of your life! You have God and Nick to thank! 🙂
God bless you!