We all come to our life choices via various routes. Please allow me a few minutes to briefly share some aspects of how and why I chose to enter the health/fitness/wellness field. Perhaps, you’ll recognize some facets of your own life in them.
Growing up I hated sports and gym classes (my apologies to Coach Kennedy), and yes, I did have a fat period which affected my mindset for a number of years even after I lost that weight. A confession: I did play Little League for a year to make my parents happy. That was the agreement I had with them—play one year, and then, you can quit. I stuck to it. Amazingly, I was on the winning team and buried somewhere is my trophy—honest.
My shift regarding exercise occurred over 25 years ago. At that time, I witnessed someone very close to me have a severe heart attack, being placed in an ambulance, having repeated hospital stays, and then, happily a full recovery. Days after his heart attack, I joined a gym. My reaction to someone else’s health crisis is the same one that motivates others to start their fitness routines.
At the I joined, gyms were mainly the domain of bodybuilders, and believe me, even now, I do not fit that mold. What made a strong impression on me was the other members respected me because I working out. The victim stereotype of the 98-pound weakling depicted in the Charles Atlas ads of the ’60s and ’70s was shattered. It wasn’t my size or lack of it that mattered; what counted was I walked through the door and continued to return. I continue to return to this day.
Over 10 years ago while working in marketing research, I fielded a pharmaceutical study requiring participants who were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and were controlling their symptoms through diet and exercise. To the client’s and my surprise, everyone was already on medication.* They all opted for popping a pill hoping it would be the “magic bullet” for them. I asked myself what’s wrong with this picture?
While my fitness routine is an important part of my life, I wasn’t consciously aware of anyone else taking notice. Then, by chance I was named “the most healthy” employee at a company event—surprise, others were watching and paying attention to my health habits.
I began thinking about the supposedly age-related health problems of my parents and in-laws. Were these an inevitable part of aging? I also thought about how their issues coincided with the increase in the chronic health conditions we face today.
Since I was growing older, my thinking became personal. I realized I wanted to shatter the stereotypes and myths of aging. I also wanted other to realize they can have life-long health and fitness. While various options came to mind, I chose becoming a health and fitness professional as the way to achieve my objective. My company, My Body Physics, LLC, is the realization of my goal.
* In 2002 the National Diabetes Fact Sheet stated 18.2 million Americans had diabetes and 54 million were pre diabetic. By January 2011, almost 26 million Americans had the disease and 79 million were at risk (for individuals 40-74, this figure is currently estimated to be 47 million). Please remember, being pre diabetic does not mean you’ll inevitability become diabetic.