When we wake up each morning, we decide what kind of day we are going to have. Some may wake up and struggle to climb out of bed, while others struggle to fit into their pants. Some look in the mirror and hate what they see, or just lack the “oomph” that it takes to be happy. On top of that, we struggle with the everyday stress of bills, jobs, parenting, marriage and so forth.
Imagine waking up with one less stressor! Imagine that your life has taken a new turn—one that includes physical activity and means you don’t have to struggle to find clothes that fit and look acceptable each morning. Imagine a lifestyle that changes what you see in the mirror—both physically and emotionally. This is what we refer to as self-esteem and self worth. This is that spark inside of you that drives you to do more every day. To feel more confident when you walk into a room full of people. To be less indecisive. To want more for yourself and the people around you. To feel better naked.
We beat ourselves up each day in order to take care of others and survive, but what we don’t realize is that when we take care of our bodies, everything is different. This doesn’t mean you need to be a body builder or run marathons, it means that you have one body. When you take care of your body, it takes care of you.
Here’s the catch: it’s not easy. Taking that first step into a gym or going for that first walk is tough, and doing the same thing two weeks later is even tougher, but you CAN do it and you NEED to do it—for you and for your loved ones. Life is difficult and it’s packed full of struggles that are out of our control, but living an active and healthy lifestyle is within our control and the smallest changes can make a HUGE difference. It is my belief that no one can truly be happy unless they are physically active! (Think about that last sentence!)
The women in the above picture are real woman who struggle with regular problems every single day. You name it, they have been through it. None of them joined this fitness club to make friends or accomplish what they saw as unimaginable. I have had the true honor of working with them for well over a year now, and I have watched as each one of them transitioned from a mindset of “I can’t” to the embodiment of “I can.” Their accomplishments are endless; from losing weight and getting off of medications to becoming runners at the age of 40 and finishing half-marathons. The list goes on and on.
Although we can measure their achievements and talk about how each one of them has turned their lifestyles around, the most remarkable thing that I have witnessed is their personal growth and increase in self-confidence. You cannot put a measure on the emotional transformation that each one of these ladies has undergone.
Although there are about 14 “ninjas” missing in this picture, I would like to take the opportunity to share this general story: the story of 35 amazing, everyday woman who came together without a plan and took group fitness to the next level. They are all amazing, they all have a story, and they all have a very special place in my heart.
Over a year ago, you could have never put this group together for a goofy ninja photo shoot, but they are all different now—and they have all decided to change their lifestyle and be the best that they can be, no matter how difficult. It is important to note that the road has been long and there have been countless obstacles thrown in their direction, but they fight each day to keep on top of their health and to support one another.
It has truly been my honor to work with each person at Anytime Fitness of Harvey and I am honored to have had the chance to work with these ladies, otherwise known as “The Ninjas.”
Liz Mathie is an Anytime Fitness H2i and one of the Leaders of the Fitness Rebellion. Don’t worry, she’s not leaving the Anytime Fitness (or Fitness Rebellion family), she’s just heading to a new club in a new city.