“I hope there are days when you fall in love with being alive.”
The last couple months I’ve learned a lot about people’s personal struggles with health. As I’ve shared tidbits of my story on this blog, taught barre classes, and shared how I try to live to be healthier, stronger, and feel better on a daily basis, people have also shared with me their challenges. I’ve heard a pattern of explaining why they aren’t actually making the changes. And truthfully, I’ve come up against a wall. What I have found is that most people simply don’t want to hear it. People don’t want to hear that fast food will kill them or that exercising is a non-negotiable or that anxiety and stress can be healed holistically. People don’t want to hear that lifestyle changes are the number one thing you can do to prevent disease. People don’t want to hear it because it’s hard and it takes work. I completely understand and relate to that perspective because I had it myself and I pushed aside day after day what I needed to do to end my own struggles.
I didn’t want to hear it either. Then I had no choice.
You see, health issues happened to other people, not to me.
Then on April 28, 2015 I got a call that my sweet father and one of my best friends was found unconscious. It was in the middle of a workday, on an ordinary Tuesday. I entered the hospital, after the longest drive of my life where I pled with God that I would walk in and talk with my Daddy again, and discovered that it was over. There was no recovery or rehabilitation, no second chance. It was just over. The doctor said they could “find no electrical activity.” I asked “people can come back from that right?” She said “they can sometimes.” She could tell I wasn’t processing it. I couldn’t process it. Then it was just people shaking their heads and asking if we would like to see him.
He was a 58 year old former collegiate and professional athlete. He had just left the gym. He always cooked homemade meals. He chased after his grandkids and rarely if ever sat down at work. He wasn’t supposed to die at 58. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he also didn’t look the part of a man who was going to die of his first heart attack.
This changed me. How could it not? I felt it would be in vain or lost on me if I didn’t allow it to wake me up and change me to my core. It sparked in me a fire and a passion to learn from it and change my life accordingly.
So, over time, I’ve found a way, a way that came about after much trial and error, hardship, tears, frustration and victim mentality. I finally found the way after I was brutally honest with myself and said that this was on me. It is on me, 100%. This was no one else’s problem or future or life but my own. So, I found a way that I come back to again and again after I lose track or fail. Because failing is inevitable. No one is perfect, it’s just a matter of knowing how to start again. I found a way that has empowered me about my health. A way that I’m sharing with anyone that cares to hear it. I strongly believe that most of the time it doesn’t have to be pills and doctors. I believe that our bodies are freaking miracles from God that can do amazing things. I believe that each decision in our teens, 20’s, 30’s and up will decide what kind of life we will live as we age. I believe it is a gift and a privilege to get the opportunity to help our complex and magnificent bodies heal and grow and get stronger by giving it yoga and functional exercise and living, green foods. We get this one life. We get this one body. Don’t wait until you get that perspective from loss or reality that stops you in your tracks. Live healthy now, be present now.
I’ve shared below three people that inspire me. These people and their stories have helped me tremendously in the past few years find an intention that has catapulted me into caring about true health. They also helped me feel empowered about my health.
The first is Kris Carr. She is a cancer survivor and self-taught wellness advocate. She is living, breathing proof of what nutrition can do for you.
Dr. Joel Kahn gives you real life advice, having treated thousands of heart attacks, his answer is that nutrition can heal the body.
Rich Roll, is an ultra-athlete and plant-based nutrition guru, who has overcome a lot to find a whole new life in wellness. His podcast is one of my favs and gives me tons of resources.
Lastly, please know I’m always here, for anyone who needs a little help. You can work with me or Zach in our group fitness classes, personal training or through skype workouts where we do the same thing as in class, just over skype. If you are interested, contact us through our website or email me at Erica@flowspacefitness.com for more details. We are about to launch a way for Flow Space to aide you in your healthy journey so we can work with you wherever you are, so stay tuned for exciting details coming up in the next month!