My dog was already a submissive… she was “put down” in many ways in her early life. I am still disgusted at it all.
But, you know what? I will only talk about it here. I bombarded FB for the first two weeks with my pain… and now in modern decorum I will pretend it doesn’t rip me apart on the inside. Oh, geez, am I following the steps of my forefathers, who chose to sweep inconvenient truths under the proverbial rug?
People don’t know how to mourn, these days. Our fast paced society urges us to “get over it and move on” as quickly as possible. We treat ourselves like processed food with defined expiration dates that serve as suggestions. You might be cool eating an out of date yogurt at your own house, but if a host of some other house offers the same thing, you cringe.
“Keep it in house.”
See, I don’t feel like I am allowed to mourn my dog companion for more than a couple of weeks. It isn’t allowed to break me, because their life expectancy is so much shorter than ours, and I should have known better.
I don’t feel like I can allow Claddagh to be the portal in which my previous pain, loss and suffering is filtered through. I just don’t feel like I have permission to fully feel, even though people say “take your time” and “feel it fully.”
I don’t feel permission because I am always trying to integrate and get along, and no one likes a Debby Downer, or a Miserable Mandie. I don’t feel permission because the extent of the pain is mine, alone to bare.
After day three, I told myself, “You HAVE to stop crying. You HAVE to buck up. No one cares as much as you do about it, and no one wants to hear about it.”
If you make it a mantra, I guess it makes it easier to adhere to, just through repetition.
If left to my own devices, I look out the door and say “All I really want is my dog.” And I imagine what that looks like, only to further upset the state of my heart.
Honestly, I don’t care if I upset you if I end up crying in reminiscence of my dog; but because I am empathetic, and I know you don’t want to hear it, I will self censor. I am not looking for your pity or sympathy…. I know you don’t know exactly what to say and it may be uncomfortable for you, that every topic you excavate leads back to me and my dog.
I am sure it is annoying, or at least uncomfortable.
I’m sorry, but I’m not.
I suppose if you don’t know what to do in the awkwardness, just smile. Know that I experienced a facet of love in life that I would have otherwise avoided, and that in and of itself, is bound to make me a better person in the long run.
I know she wasn’t as interesting to you, as she was meaningful and profound to me, and that is okay… but try not to sweep her memory away in your urgency to bring me back to whatever you feel is your self perceived center. I will take my time, and I require no rush on your end, for it will not bring any benefit.
She was “my girl”, ya know? I don’t even know if I am allowed to use the same distinct whistle if I find a new dog friend… I feel bad for chiding my cats with her same belly rub rhyme. Things are flowing into each other with my other animal friends, where it once was distinct and individual.
And I liked that, ya know? When her whistle was our whistle and not like any of the other whistles that were common for the other animals we mutually knew.
I kinda wish I got a Chilton manual on how to deal with this,or a “When your Dog Dies for Dummies” book, even though I know, internally all I need to know.
Life cycles are beautiful, until you see the shame in loss. My dog should have lived forever… I mean, that is how I feel. I never thought about getting another one, even though at times I thought about re-homing her due to my own personality flaws.
I’m looking at rescue dogs, trying to find a face I recognize. Not Claddaghs’ face, per say… just a face that feels familiar in the rustic part of my being that is perfectly adapted to animal companionship. I know it will happen when it is meant to… if it is meant to.
No worries here. I just miss her so damn much and rightly so.
This piece may seem a bit off topic in my series about Claddagh. However she was with me when the whole situation occurred in my writing. My landlady had found a lost dog, and that dog got along with Claddagh, so I kept it for the night. While the dogs were playing, things got a little rough and I was on the floor between them. The scuffle turned into a fight, so in the process of pulling the dogs apart, the visiting dog bit me. I was hit with a lost childhood memory of being bitten by a puppy while staying with my aunt. Minutes after this memory returned, I received a call from my family saying that said aunt was in the ICU.
I was completely bowled over with emotions. I wasn’t completely sure what her prognosis was, but it sounded pretty bleak. As a coping mechanism, I explored what my family might be going through in that moment, especially focusing on my cousin but at the same time realizing the attributes I didn’t like about her, were/are prevalent in me.
My aunt did not die that night. It would turn into a drawn out process that would take another three uneasy years. The following piece is my raw expression from that night.
July 18, 2009
Skin is thin. A scratch, a paper cut, a scrape. Blood from a small wound, the pain radiates for a day; a reminder of some lame excuse for not paying close enough attention.
I am bleeding from a scratch and a bite. Slightly deeper than superficial. This is payment for being a good Samaritan. I can’t be mad, it was harmless fun gone awry by animals who communicate some other way.
How often in human reality does this happen? We are asked to play nicely, then some words are said in jest causing a friend to unravel enough to fight back. A fight unseen on the horizon.
It was just two beings- doing and then there was an unseen spark. One took something the wrong way and since I am not fluent in dog play language, I find myself in the middle. I’ve pulled larger dogs apart without incident. Why tonight?
As I assess the bite on my forearm and I am taken into an old memory of being bitten by a puppy when I was two or three. I am in the care of my aunt, playing in the front yard of her humble apartment with a small puppy belonging to the neighbor. The bite catches me off guard.
The phone rings.
It is my father telling me that my aunt is in the hospital and things look grim.
The timing of all of this makes me reel. I have to write it all down, the perceptions I am having in this moment thousands of miles away from my family. I’m not sure what is going on, and I know writing will calm me down so that I can process the bite and it’s deeper meaning.
I am jaded on death; the cycle of life few seem to live, all reaching variations of the same end. Those who live their lives like tomorrow will never come because they already know it’s on its way to greet them.
Then there are those aching to leave their mark, they live for posterity. For now I am ambivalent, watching it as it comes and goes; feeling l’ve already lost so many important ones and still there are more to come as I continue to keep loving.
There are no words for this, no way to convey the normality of it, despite the pain and what it seems to be. It is what I call the Death Diet. It comes and goes, as we all do, in it’s own time- staying for short and sometimes long duration. A visitor, unannounced, unwelcome.
As to not forget those I’ve lost; how can the relationship continue, how can each of us live on and keep those who were once here and dear to us, after they depart?
Is Spirit not something that speaks in each ear in due time? Do remnants of the past not live and breathe around us, still?
And so they do; each person, place or thing. Our interaction with them is not at all lost when voices stop humming and hearts stop beating; body buried below. Beyond the picture enveloped in memory…
Perhaps that is the reason I like chicken and dumpling soup. The one thing she would fix for me that was recognizably made from scratch and not from a can. I’ve not seen her in years and tonight she lays under anesthesia in a hospital. She lays in a deep sleep from two heart attacks in a row.
She was found barely breathing by grandparents; those kind and gentle souls who’ve seen one daughter die away already.
Does Leslie sit next to Terri as she lays in medicated limbo?
Does she hold her hand in spirit?
Does Terri ask, in a morphine induced dream, the same thing Leslie asked when she lay deteriorating her own hospital room over two decades ago? The same hospital many renovations ago; a place Leslie never left again, alive.
Is Leslie there, and is she honest? Does she say “No, you aren’t going to make it. I tell you this because I am your sister and I won’t lie to you. I am going to sit here with you until you go… and then I am going to see you to the other side, where all of us are covered in rainbows. I am going to give you the biggest bear hug.” Does Leslie then squeeze Terri’s hand?
Leslie is eternally twenty-six, or maybe she shows up as a seventeen year old; thin and vibrant. Healthy and cancer-free. A spirit in a dream only recognized by the dreamer.
Family waits in the hall. The son acknowledges his distance. A certain sense of discontent and regret boil beneath the surface. He questions her sadness and why she couldn’t do more for herself and him. He knows he distanced himself out of fear and retaliation.
She left him fifteen years ago. She gave up being a responsible mother despite how much she loved him, despite how much he loved her… Something inside of him felt sick with longing and regret, disgust and confusion. He knew this was coming and in some way it was a waiting and a relief at letting this subconscious worry go. Yet he knew, this wouldn’t be the end of his worry, there would be others- the grandparents who sat next to him, for instance.
No. This would be a double edged sword of worry, like, “one down, two to go.” This loss would only breed more anxious anticipation. This thought was neglecting to add the dozen or more people he also adored and maybe even loved. He was focused in this moment on family ties of blood.
In the face of their differences in belief or opinion, he saw and valued whatever it was that this was – “however fucked up.” This was the only place the son was suppose to be right now. There was much to acknowledge and heady thoughts to consider. This was an act all too grown up for anyone to want to take on; he was no stranger to responsibility but this was a first when it came to what many may consider posthumous intimacies- him being an only child of a husband-less mother.
There seemed to be a question of “deserving this.” Was it something he deserved for being less involved with his mother than perhaps he should have been? For keeping busy for more time than it seemed necessary in the mentality that “Life is Short. Love Hard. Visit Your Mom”? He knows he should have visited more. He shouldn’t have been so fearful of seeing her and trying to help her out.
Questions just become answers that lead to more questions.
Here is where he should be. Waiting in an ICU waiting room; thinking about all of this. Taking it all in.
Next to him are his grandparents, now in their eighties. They’ve been less than active for years, left to sit at home with injuries that happened later in life and never healed properly. Here they were, watching their second daughter fade before their eyes. She’d been back home for nearly seven years now. About as long as she’d been gone when one day she decided to abandon her home and her son for some internet love affair.
She had bought a home just a block away from her parents. She was working as a nurse when one day she just quit going to work because the internet was more important and interesting than helping the geriatric folks she was employed to care for at the assisted living home.
One day she got in her car, and drove to the east coast to meet a man that she would come to realize he wasn’t who he said he was, only to leave him for another far off man who was not who he claimed to be.
She left the son in the abandoned house and the utilities were systematically shut off. The mortgage went unpaid and the son was displaced. She left debt and pain in her wake, only to show up back home – ill of health needing a place to stay. She would be fifty-three and living in her parents basement.
I suppose we all have regrets. I wonder if this is hers?
My family is susceptible to addiction but they are also susceptible to will power, drive and sarcasm. I’ve fallen into the categories. Right now my addictions are strong and my will has been weak. This must switch because I have things to do and I suspect my dead mother is sitting with my dying aunt in a hospital room.
I never really got to know my mom but I’ve had my whole life to observe my aunts actions and consequences. At my youngest, when my mother was still around, she was having a hard time dealing with a smart ass two year old daughter. It was too much. My mother would leave me on the door step in only a diaper because “if you don’t want to live here, you are going to leave the way you came in. Naked.” And screaming.
My mother would call my aunt and tell her that she couldn’t handle me, that she had locked me out front. My aunt who lived a couple of blocks away would come to get me and dress me in over sized clothes belonging to her son. She would take me to her apartment to ride out the emotional storm. I would play with my cousin and watch movies until I wanted to go back to my mom.
My aunt would bundle be back up and take me home. This back and forth is part of my earliest memories.
From what I can tell, my aunt had horrible taste in men. Manipulators; liars, drunks and a gay man who was in the military. She chased men that seemed to share her dreams only to leave her in the dust. Her will was weak, she neglected to see these things in advance. She was always waiting to be saved from her own squalor so that she could ACTUALLY LIVE!
She wanted to have it provided for her by someone she cared for and in the meantime she drowned her sorrows in some other reality. A place where she could meet other “real people” feeling the same way she did. Perhaps she didn’t see that they were all reflections of her. Lonely, sick and addicted. Weak-willed and seeking, only bound to find one another.
Lost in a basement on oxygen, typing away. Beauty of youth lost long ago, only to live in a shadow of cyber script. She stopped living a long time ago. She craved the life we all do- To love and be loved.
She adored nature, but she rarely visited it in the end. There were times when I was very young, when she would take us fishing, early in the morning before the sun rise. The thermos would be full of hot coffee, (and though I scowl at parents who allow small children to drink coffee,) she would pour each of us a cup mixed with a hot cocoa packet. A poor man’s mocha at sunrise.
How did a person so close to nature, move so far away from it? How did that sanctuary neglect to hold her interest? Loneliness.
We don’t all wish to be hermits. How sad to age before your time- what a predicament to want love and to be too sick to attain it. Family was never enough.
She was married twice in her youth, but her youth is a bit of a mystery to me. The eldest child, the oldest sister of three other siblings. Did my grandparents have high expectations for her? Did she lack guidance? What was the exact moment that made her give up?
She had her son, young, with a Native man who would disappear from the picture shortly after it was taken. Her next husband would be a closeted homosexual in the military who would tend to be abusive.
Her long time friend Loyd would love her desperately over the year, and their friendship would grow, but it would never be the relationship both of them were longing for.
She smoked cigarettes her entire life, until she couldn’t. They were always the cheap smokes, GCP’s or what ever was affordable.
She loved babies and believed that everyone that she was able to hold, was a little bit hers and that included me.
I guess I never really viewed her as the adventurous type. When she left, she must have really believed things were going to change for the better; but she was already lost in a confusion that misaligned her radar.
As this story unfolds under my finger tips, I unabashedly see the personal similarities in myself, things I would rather not admit to.
Now I am left with a dog bite, reminding me of who I do not want to become.
Are you familiar with the action of a wrecking ball?
That is Sara Goossen in a nutshell. The lady is powerful, energetic, and ready to knock excuses out of the way. She is a bright and compassionate person who sees the potential in people and then helps individuals harness their inner bad ass. This talent is an imperative staple in her personal business model.
October 1, 2012, Sara opened Fit Body Boot Camp- Cheyenne, with 14 clients. Her goal is to change the lives of 5000 of Cheyenne’s citizens by 2017. As of April 2015, she has trained and cultivated a community of 1200 residents who are interested in adopting a healthy life style. That is an average of 400 people a year, getting active and aware in the fair city of Cheyenne and it’s surrounding areas. No small feat for this 5’3″ wrecking ball.
Sara and I got together to discuss her fitness past and her optimistic fitness future; how she came to start FBBC and some of her own trials and tribulations in the fitness process.
Before I jump into the interview, I would like to state that when you are looking for a gym, and a support system to help you change your habits; having a leader like Sara is imperative because she has run the gamut of unhealthy eating and body weight issues. She has children, she knows struggles and excuses. She has taken initiative on her own, in her own life in order to transcend her past hang ups. In turn Sara has turned hardships into valuable insight for those at any point in their fitness journey.
It may be easier for certain people to take her ethic very seriously because she didn’t start out on this lifestyle right after high school or college before having children; when most women’s bodies are still in that youthful metabolism. She wasn’t always healthy. It was a choice that she had to dedicate herself to; which meant a long road of challenges that led to the changes that are evident in her today.
Let’s find out more, shall we?
WEIGHT: 145.3 lbs
FAVORITE EXERCISE: RUNNING STAIRS, WORKING THE BACK, AND SQUATS
LEAST FAVORITE EXERCISE: BUILDING CLIMBERS
Let’s talk about your fitness past, eating disorders, all that stuff.
It goes so far back, it’s disturbing… so, okay, 10 years old; my mom told me I needed to stop eating granola bars because they were making me fat and at that point in time I had just finished some book, I can’t remember the title of, and it was talking abou this girl who would throw up, because she was so fat. So…I…followed suit.
Thank God for Children’s Literature, right?
Yeah, I was like, “Well, now I am well informed and I can solve this problem.
(Sara reminences with awkward laughter.)
So, at ten years old that started fourteen years of just roller coaster disordered eating; ranging the spectrum of binging and purging to just starving myself. When I got pregnant with my son, when I was sixteen, I kind of just said “Fuck it. It doesn’t matter if I am skinny; it doesn’t matter if I am fat…I am pregnant. I can eat whatever I want and have no guilt.” I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant with him, and I lost ten. I lost some weight nursing, but after I stopped nursing him, I continued the disordered eating cycle.
Just picked it up where you left off?
Yep, just picked it up right where I left off. And I knew… I was an athlete in high school, I knew about nutrition but it’s not something that I ever listened to because disordered eating was so much easier than learning how to feed myself. At nineteen I married my now ex-husband, (my daughters’ father) and gained all that “happy weight” I maxed out the scale before we got married, at 197 lbs…. so, I looked like a cow in my wedding dress.
Thank god for girdles….
After that we were trying to get pregnant with Emma, and couldn’t get pregnant… couldn’t get pregnant. We tried for two years, and I finally went to the doctor and asked “what is going on?” I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and the doctor told me that I had to make a lifestyle change, or else…. “you’re going to end up with diabetes; you are more apt to have certain types of cancer, you are just going to get fatter, your thyriod is going to peter out…” All the things that go along with PCOS… “This is your future. You either make a change now or enjoy your future where it is headed.”
At that point I sought help because I knew my disorder was no longer a sustainable way to live life. It wasn’t mentally or emotionally healthy.
So I lost about 20 lbs. and we got pregnant with Emma through a series of fertility treatments. When I was pregnant with Emma I only gained about 20 lbs and then I lost it all right away. At that point they (the doctors) said “Well you are probably not going to be able to have any more children, so don’t worry about it.” And I thought, okay, cool; I am just going to go back to doing the whole weight loss thing, because I still had fifty pounds to go.
So I lost another twenty pounds, and then I got pregnant with my daughter Ileena… BOOM! I remember going to my dads house and saying, “Well… I am pregnant again just when I was gettting my ‘sexy’ back.” My grandma looks at me and says “Well honey, maybe that’s the problem.”
Double edged sword on that one…
Yeah! So I got pregnant and did that whole thing and I only gained fifteen pounds with Ailena , and I lost that all right away. November 2009 I found Body For Life, Bill Phillips, transformation.com ; whom I heard about from my step-mom. So I thought, I am going to try this thing. (Everybody thought I was crazy for starting during the holidays.) It was pretty easy; three days of lifting, three days of cardio, all high intensity intervals. By doing that the next three months I was able to loose the rest of the weight. About half way through that three month process I was like “Ya, know, I want to help other people because I can do this as some one who has struggled their whole life with eating well and taking care of themselves … I can help some one else do this.”
I got my personal training certification.
How long did that take you?
It was about four months and about that time I was working for my dad as his administrative assistant amoung other things. I decided that I would try this training thing before and after work, and see what happens. I did that and it just blew up, so in June 2010, I quit my job working for my dad and I started training full time.
I was doing a lot of one on one training and two boot camp sessions at a local gym. I was making money, doing something I love. I worked there for two years and I left because there were some issues that made it neccessary for me to get out of that environment. I decided, I am just going to start my own place; I left and they came after me with for violating my no-compete/ no-solicitation agreement.
Looking back, I was so mad at the time. I was furious, like how could they do this? How can this stand up? Well, it stood up because I had solicited the people who had signed up with me, but were also their clients. I had to take a year off of training and I went back to working for my dad for a year and within that year I knew I needed to do something. I was miserable.
When you are following a life of passion and suddenly it is taken away; it’s like the wind has been knocked out of your sails. You don’t even feel like a human being. I started looking down in Colorado for places I could move to and open up. I was doing all this during the same time I was being sued and working for my dad; I also had gotten a divorce from my kids father. It was everything that could go wrong, did.
I was at an impass; like shit, what do I do?
I looked down in Boulder and I spent about six months driving back and forth, just looking for a location I could open up. I encountered road block after road block.
By this point I had already talked to the CEO of Fit Body, who has been a long time friend. I told them, I want to do this but I have to wait until this year is up or I am screwed.
Was that part of your Non-compete agreement? Did you have a time limit to wait?
Yes, that was the year. One year to the day, October 1, 2012; we opened up with fourteen clients. I was just so excited to be open and be able to do what I love to do. That’s it… the rest is history. Here we are today; looking for another space, a bigger place… sitting down with the bank and talking about bigger loans.
That’s pretty quick, only three years.
Yeah, less than three years actually.
How do you know the CEO of Fit Body?
The fitness industry is so small, it really is. So if you don’t know every one you soon will if you stay in it long enough. I met him doing a master mind. I was in there with the two founders of Fit Body Boot Camp, Steve Hochman and Bedros Keuilian. I was in Steve’s Master Mind and through that I met Bedros. We had several conversations and talked on the phone several times, emailed back and forth; He called me up one day and said ” What’s it going to take to get you to open a Fit Body? And I told him, “You know what it will take, you know what I am up against right now. It’s going to have to take one hell of a deal and some patience and that is where it’s at.” So he said “Alright, let’s make it happen.”
At this point it was going from licensing to a franchise, so they were looking for people and I just happened to be one of those people.
Do you get together with other gym owners?
I do know a lot of the Fit Body owners simply because we get together quarterly; every three months, usually in San Diego or Chino Hills, California. There is a great community with in Fit Body, even from a corporate structure coming all the way down to the clients. It’s nice that we can just continue to pay it forward. It’s pretty cool, and a very unique situation.
Would you like to talk about your competition stuff?
OH YEAH! Sure! I don’t want to bore you to tears with business.
I first competed in August of 2011, I also ran the Denver half marathon in October 2010, and after that I gave myself permission to never run again. (laughter.) I find it really useless and painful. It turns out I am better suited for lifting heavy things than go fast.
Did you do this on your year of sabbatical?
No, it was right before everything blew up in my face. Then I competed in my second figure show August 2013.
Did you win anything?
I did. I placed 5th in the second show, I was pretty excited about that. Granted there were only six figure competitors, so I was 5th, but I was happy to have something to take home, regardless.
My first show I did there were 36 figure competitors, and I think I finished 34th. So I was like, “I think I have improved!”
Were these in Wyoming?
The one in 2011 was in Loveland, Colorado. The Warrior Classic, and the other one was in Wyoming, and that was the Jay Cutler Classic. And that Dude, is a Big Dude. I have a picture of him somewhere.
He was there?
Yeah, he is huge! He is a moose of a man! My head is as big as his shoulder!
He could pick you up in the palm of his hand!
Honestly I am getting the bug again, to compete. I am trying to weigh out the time commitment that it takes, along with my other obligations to see what it will take… if it’s something I can feasibly do right now while keeping everything else balanced. I do love competing .
If you wait to have your own place, you could put on your own competition, in house competition. Then you won’t have to go too far.
That is one of the most fun things about competition; you get to meet so many interesting people from all over the country. People who are busting their asses just to get super lean for just a minute. It literally lasts a day. You deplete enough to have a six pack for a day, and then you gain 20 pounds the next day because you drink water. It’s crazy.
It would be interesting to time lapse a person going through the build up to competition, and then the 24 hours afterward. Once you get the tanner off, and start drinking water again, it’s like what the hell? You blossom like a flower.
You still eat, you carb load the day of to fill out your muscles because you have depleted to the point that you have taken all the glycogen and striped your body of literally everything. It’s not something you want to do often because it is kind of dangerous, BUT, it’s still fun to push your mental ability and physical barriers. That is big for me, because I love the challenge.
Are you a challenge junkie?
I totally am! I love the personal challenge. Competing against other people is fun, but figure prep is anywhere from 2-5 months.
It’s kind of interesting that you have struggled with disordered eating which is in and of itself sort of an addiction, and pushing your body to a limit and challenging it, but not in a very healthy way. And here you have turned your addiction around to a healthier way of expressing it. Yet, there are still these extremes that you go to.
It totally is. What I think helps me with competing and the lifestyle of body building is the structure that it provides. It’s like a security blanket. You take some one with an eating disorder who has struggled with that their entire life, and you say, “you don’t have to struggle, here is some structure. Have a nice day.” It’s like, “okay, this is safe.”
Then the biggest struggle, is will power to be able to keep on the regamine.
Yeah, it’s like any other fitness goals… as long as you have that dead line… the finish line at the end; it makes it that much easier. It’s not like you have to do this for a lifetime or else… It’s here is your dead line, and then you reset the goal. And that is something that is really, really exciting for me.
Through competing I learned to accept my body, where ever it is; whether I am 120 pounds or 145. I am still strong, I am still beautiful and I am still worthy of love and acceptance and success. That is one of those things that I have accidentally learned through the process. It is a by product.
I know a lot of people who compete who struggle with that mindset. Like if they don’t have a six pack they are done for. They are like “Oh My God, My Life Is OVER!”
It basically boils down to bulemia or dysmorphia. It’s all activated on the same brain wave length, same neurological pathway. It’s been nice to find freedom from that as I have gotten older. To not be stressed out about the numbers, to see yourself and be like “You look good!”
IT’s a good example to your kids, too.
I hope so. Sometimes I wonder, “am I ruining these little people?”
Instead of “You’re the reason mommy has a drinking problem,” it’s more like “You are the reason mommy has an exercise problem.”
That’s funny beacause when I took two months off earlier this year, my kids were like “what is wrong with her?” I did not feel like myself. I felt like I was insane most days; like absolutely bat shit crazy.
You needed to be exerting yourself.
Yeah, I needed that rush of endorphins and I think it was something that I had always taken for granted because I have been doing it for so long, it’s just been part of my life for so long. When I completely took it out, I had no idea the impact it would have on me. Not just physically but spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I got to tell you, the week we started working out again, my husband and I; He was like “Gosh you are so much easier to be around.” And I knew he meant that in the sweetest way possible, instead of being a jerk, and I was like “I know, trust me, it’s easier to be in my head.” I went to the doctor and I asked am I schitzophrenic, what is going on here? And she said “I think you are depressed.” And I just needed exercise.
So tell me about your favorite success story to come out of here.
My favorite one, honestly, is from when I very, very first started. He followed me when I opened Fit Body. His name is Austin, he was 16 when he came to me he was 386 lbs. and he was tall and huge. He knew he had a problem. He was home schooled so he didn’t have a lot of interaction with other kids. The reason he was home schooled was because when he was in school, the other kids were just horrible to him because he was so big and kind of awkward and quiet.
He would come, every single day to Boot Camp. At that point in time, they were 1 1/2 hour sessions, he would show up at 6:00 AM, every day. And even if he couldn’t do it, he would struggle through it.
He asked me, “what do I eat? how do I do it?”
His mom was onboard, but I didn’t see her much. Sometimes she would come and walk while he did Boot Camp. Every now and then she would come talk to me, well when I took the year off, Austin started power lifting and he took his focus off the weight loss. Then he came over to Fit Body when I opened, and he brought his mother with him, and they did it together.
It was just so, so, so cool. He ended up losing 110 lbs by the time he was 19. Then they moved to Oregon. He was such a great, great kid. It was just so cool to see how he was able to influence his mom because it’s usually the parents who influence the kids. He was able to influence his mom after two years of going at it by himself.
Was she also over-weight?
Yes, she was, but such a nice, nice gal. I look back on those two, especially Austin and I think “That kid could have made every excuse in the world because teenagers do, adults do. Teenagers learn from what the adults model.” He just was like “I am tired of this. I am tired of being the ‘fat kid’. I don’t mind being a ‘big kid’, I am 6’3″. But I am tired of being the ‘fat kid'”
The last Halloween he was here, he dressed up as The Hulk; and that involved taking off his shirt, and painting himself green, and walking around with out a shirt on. Two years prior to that you would have never seen him do that. It was so cool to see him blossom from this awkward quiet, video gamer (indoor) kid to this little ball of life and energy, and sass.
It was fun to not only see his journey of weight loss but also to see how he grew as a person. To see him evolve into an adult from a kid that just didn’t want to be fat and made fun of.
Do you stay in contact with him?
I do. I stay more into contact with his mom because he is a young adult now and all over the place.
It would be interesting to see if he takes a career in Fitness from this influence. It seems like people who a great at teaching come from a past of being ostersized.
So, we have touched on this, but obviously Fitness has a positive effect on your homelife.
Oh God, yeah! The kids are like “Mom, go work out, you are driving us crazy.” It is also nice though, because my husband and I can share it together. Every morning Monday through Saturday we go work out together, and then go to work and do our thing. It’s been a good bonding experience for us too. Although it did take us three years for him to come and work out with me. The first time we exercised together, he was having a bad day and we were just friends at the time. I was like “he’s having a bad day, just go lift, and he will be fine.” Well a half hour in, he is dry heaving on himself, and I was like ” I thought you were in shape?” Well, after that he didn’t come back to work out with me for three years. And he comes to boot camp, and he makes it through the whole thing, and after that he said “I am going to have to wait until you are ‘deconditioned’ a little before we can work out together.”
He took the oppertunity while I took two months off to “even the playing field.”
Since then it has been nice, in the last couple of months to have that morning time with my husband because we have five kids… we need that time together. It’s nice to have that time and cheer each other on.
What are some of your future goals?
Really my mission is just to help people and it always has been. I am in the business of changing lives and if I am not changing lives, then I am doing something wrong.
YOU RUINED MY LIFE THROUGH EXERCISE!
Ha, ha! Oh man, if some one said that to me, I would have to reevalute everything. I really do just want to leave an impact on this world. And, Cheyenne… God Bless it, and all of it’s citizens; (but Cheyenne) is a FAT city. Overweight, unhealthy; spiritually, mentally and physically. People are over worked and under paid, or over worked and over paid. They have little or no time for their families , no time for themselves; no time to do anything. So we have people spinning their wheels, but for what? At the end of the day if you don’t have your health, you have nothing left. I don’t want to out live my children. I see obese kids around and I want to slap their parents. I don’t want to beat the kids, but I want to slap the parents. It makes me so mad. But then I look at it, and you have to change the lives of the parents before you can change the lives of the children. At the end of the day, it is our job as adults to make those responsible decisions. It isn’t easy, but it is our responsiblity.
It’s in my heart to change the health of this community, if not the entire community of Wyoming, but that’s a long way off down the road. I want to continue to make a difference in peoples health and in their lives.
Thirty minutes of exercise might not seem like much, but it can change how a wife treats her husband. She is in a better mood, she feels better about herself, she feels more attractive… she actually wants to be with her husband instead of saying ” I don’t see what you see, at all.”
It changes how a mother treats her children because she has more energy, she will want to take them to the park, or go hiking and do stuff. Or maybe she is just in a better mood and doesn’t want to paddle their butts just for being little people.
It is just fitness, it is just a work out… but it can change EVERYTHING. I have seen it with myself. I saw it when I started my journey years ago and I still see it today. If I don’t work out, I need to work out because I start feeling ‘cagey’ inside. Anxious.
What has your biggest triumph been in your personal fitness journey?
I think just staying the course. Every day is a new day. I can’t say one event has been a real defining moment in my health and fitness journey. I think it just staying course with the lifestyle. I mean sometimes I fall off, just like anyone. I go on a little cookie diet, when I feel stressed, and then I gain eight pounds and then I have to lose it again. At the end of the day just knowing that I am doing what I need to be doing is just great. But when I am not doing that I can tell a difference. So for me, it’s just committing to the lifestyle.
Is there anything you would want to change?
No. Not really because I believe even the hard stuff is lessons. And I think I am far more grateful now toward some of the hardships that I went through. When you look back at it, it just gives you an oppertunity to learn about yourself; to learn about others and the way the world works. Hardships are often self inflicted. So if anything it’s just learning about who I am and who I want to be and who I do not want to be. It’s just about growing up.
Would you like to give any tips or inspiration?
It’s just about consistency. You have to pick and plan and be consistent. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, as long as it has some good foundation of physical health, mental health and spiritual health. Even if it’s CrossFit or lifting or body building or boot camp; whatever it is, I think it’s just about picking something that works for you and stick with it. I know Boot Camp isn’t for everyone. I wish it was. At the end of the day finding something that works and sticking with it long enough to get results. So many people just go about their life by starting a new program every two weeks, saying “But I am just not getting results.” and I am like “Dude, it’s only been two weeks. Do you know how long it took me to lose 70 pounds?”
How long did it take you?
Beginning to end it took three years. Granted I got pregnant twice in between, but it took me three years to lose that 70 pounds. It’s not going to happen over night.
After spending all this time taking other peoples measurements; when do people, on average see a difference for themselves and accept that change is occurring?
Typically eight weeks, especially for women. I call it an 8 Week Miracle. Literally nothing on the scale can change and inches may not change, but may be your clothes fit differently. For whatever reason the inches may not change, your body fat may not change, and then one day you wake up and somewhere between the bedroom and the bathroom, you realize you lost your ass. It’s like it’s just fallen off somwhere and you hop on the scale and you are down ten pounds from the night before. And you will be like “what the hell? My scale must be broken.”
So you call in a spouse or a loved one and you have them hop on the scale and it says what it always says to them, and you hop back on there and it says the same thing, “you are down 10 lbs.”
You have to trust the process, long enough. Not just “half commit.”
“Oh I am just gonna work out for eight weeks and hope that everything is going to happen. You have to have a plan. Have a plan of attack and exicute it flawlessly. Even if you have one bad day, okay, perfect; get back on the band wagon, but don’t let that one bad day or one bad meal derail you for the next six months.
So I think that is the key. Consistency. You have to be consistent, no matter what. And that goes with anything; if it’s fitness related, or business related, or if you want better relationships. What ever it is, BE CONSISTENT! STICK WITH YOUR PLAN! Things WILL change.
In summery; Knowledge, is the awareness that all action has a reaction, and Wisdom, is using that awareness to your advantage whilst utilizing all available resources.
Fit Body Boot Camp works because of the significant insight that the program lends through collaborative Wisdom and Experience.
Fit Body Boot Camp is calling out more of Cheyenne to get involved in their fitness; and during the month of May we are taking extra efforts to expose residents to the opportunity. If you have been following this blog and you are tempted to try it; COME ON DOWN! Let them know you read this blog and that it has helped you to take the first step in health and wellness; or if you are new to town and looking for a fitness community and this seems up your alley, come take a test drive.
If this article interests you and you would like to read more, check out these related blogs. And as always I appreciate “likes”, comments, suggestions and subscribers; so please feel free to interact. And remember kids, Fitness is great, but Burpees SUCK!
I think I am having a sort of identity crisis. As I mentioned in a previous post, a belated mourning. It’s been slowly building day by day creating a depression like I have never known before.
My life is very isolated right now. I see one or two people on a daily basis. Mostly I just see my grandmother, but at the same time, despite living with her, and taking care of her; I avoid her.
It is sad to see the loss of memories of some one who was so proud of her ability to retain information, to loose a little bit more of it everyday.
Recently she asked me how my mother died (her daughter)… and I replied “Cancer.” She responded with “what kind?” I had to ask ” is this a quiz or do genuinely not remember?” Her answer was shocking… she didn’t remember.
My mother passed away of ovarian cancer when I was four years old. My family bottled their sadness and harbored their memories of her to themselves.
As a resilient and adaptable person, I just didn’t give it too much thought. I did what people expect you to do, which is “get over it and move on.” I had a little brother to look out for and influence.
There have been times in my life where this depression surfaces and causes me to question where I came from, maybe what I missed out on, but people in my family have been hush hush .
I have noticed that over the past year with the passing of my grandpa and my aunt, that my grandmother’s mental hard drive is crashing.
My dad remarried when I was 8 and he had a daughter with his new wife. That half sister of mine is married now and had a baby this year. My step mom is a very active participant in their lives.
My full blooded brother died in 2006, and that was the first time I felt the pangs of losing what I know to be a part of myself, and the living memory of a mother who didn’t stay too long.
The things most girls want to grow up and be are a good wife and mother… but not me.
I feel a huge rift in even contemplating that life because it feels so distant to me.
Where do I come from, why do I feel such sadness? Will it ever get better?
I don’t know the word “mom.” Even when I say it out loud it sounds foreign and awkward. How could I ever be that which I do not truly understand. I find jealousy at how easily “mom” rolls off the tongue for everyone else.
I hate that my sister gets to use it with such frequent consistency. It never felt right to call my stepmom anything but her first name.
I live in a world full of moms, and daughters, and because of my past I don’t feel like I fit in at times. I wish I could conquer this void.
It recently came to my attention how Disney movies often run a program in their scripts that kills off the mother figure leading the main characters to be highly vulnerable to influences of say, a witch in disguise. And I wonder if I run in manic directions because I don’t have a mom to run to.
I am well aware of the benefits of a good hug, the oxytocin and the bonding, but I don’t hug or touch anyone very often because it too, feels foreign.
My grandma use to hold me and comb her fingers through my hair, but now she is frail, and when I do hug her, I feel that I may break her. This breaks my heart a little more each time.
Love to me is synonymous with sadness and loss, and I am not sure how to remedy that physical and mental reaction. I enjoy being alone because most people just don’t understand how deep this program runs. I can tell disappointment in others when I don’t say “I love you” in return.
I am not close with my mothers brothers, I don’t really know anyone she grew up with. And in that I fear that when my grandma passes that I will have little to validate my existence outside of my own creations. This sadness is so strong lately that I don’t want to create much, mostly because I don’t feel like I have many people to share it with.
It all feels sort of pointless. And since I am not out for fame or fortune, I wonder for who does any of this benefit?
Recently because of Robin Williams death, people have been more vocal about their depression and sadness. And I believe it’s a great topic for discussion, but I find that when people realize how depressed a person is, they find a conflict of caring and repulsion. No one likes hanging out with a Debbie Downer all the time.
This is another reason I am reclusive at times. I just don’t have the energy to be happy or funny all the time. I don’t enjoy how worn out I can feel from pretending.
So I don’t pretend. But is taking its toll on me, and it saddens my grandma, which turns into a cycle of us throwing sadness back and forth.
This is no way to live, and no way to die. I wish I knew a way out of this cycle.
Excuse me for being brash… crude; crass, rude, un-Kosher, un-classy, and perhaps even UNACCEPTABLE…. but I am pretty sure I am not the only one, IN THIS BIG yet small World… who at times, thinks; Fuck This.
Fuck it all! Fuck this, fuck that, and use a whiffle ball bat!
I can’t say what moments bring you to that point, but I DO know I have ’em. I struggle. I look at the accumulation of all that is, and see its potential to be so much more… and in the same glance I see all the hurdles and blocks that restrict the way.
I see it every day. And some days, I feel like a champion. I love a challenge and I am ready to meet any one that may come, head on. But some days, I just wanna say “Fuck THIS… it isn’t worth my time/energy/creativity/life force.”
It isn’t because I am lazy… but rather because everyday I wake up, I rise with the belief that “Today will be better! Today I won’t have to give looks of confusion or redundant disbelief, because they will get IT too! And perhaps today will be the day of harmony! Finally we can all just get over ourselves and GET ON with Our Next Big Task.”
I get, like two minutes into my day, only to realize….uh well, today probably isn’t THAT Day. And I know this because I am the first person I encounter in a day… and if I am not, for some reason, bliss-ed out… well chances are no one else is.
There are many philosophical discussions on perspective. How our perspective, colors and influences the World we see and interact with it. Cultures far older, honor a system of reflection. The greater I AM, IS ALL and WE ARE IT, and IT IS US… and so it goes. Perhaps no One Person is Perfect…but between the collection of our experiences, together we can create a symbiosis of Perfection through Our unique expressions and perceptions.
Anyway… along those lines, many cultures talk about an up coming “Golden Age.” A proverbial time many have found intriguing for the fact they feel the same aching, internally, in which says…”Fuck This.”
It doesn’t have to be rude, or mean. It doesn’t have to even relate to laziness or cowardliness.. Rather it comes from a conclusion, which is far headier than most want to admit to. It comes down, or rather UP to seeing a bigger picture; which quite frankly may invoke a desire to shit ones pants.
It is the acceptance of our collective nature in a Source, far more multifaceted than modern cultures and religions have given it credit for. When the Hindus talk about having 33 million Gods in their belief… but One Absolute… They could be very close to the Truth. I mean if we are all made of the same star dust; and If We look at Ourselves, We see many faces of God. At that point it seems weird to have such superficial divisions. (Except for the fact that there are have been those who wish to enslave humanity, knowingly. And only for nefarious reasons… which we are observing and taking emotional action toward…)
Some of Us are only just now recognizing the repetitive nature of existence. It’s lessons, our participation, and It’s steadfast nature in conveying impressions of Truth through any avenue. It is unavoidable.
For some of us, It seems We have been struggling, consciously, longer than others.
Perhaps this is where competition really stems. If there is an “end,” then most likely it is “Source.” Why shouldn’t we rush, and push each other to get there? Like Spiritual Sperm finding the Etheric Egg. Most of Us are in for the long haul, but many of Us are reaching Our own thresholds in a way of in-explainable proportions.
The game is just an old rehash, kids. From every parallel and perpendicular; every story has been played out, far too many times…. EXCEPT, the ones that include Ascended Masters.
No one gets tired of imagining themselves as some sort of Savior… meanwhile defaulting in realities mind fuck, in such a way that it relies on some one else to take the proverbial reins and Save, what could be seen as a Sinking Spiritual Ship that is the Hopeless Human.
And that is what separates those who say “Fuck This,” and mean it as a mantra of not giving up… and those who say the same words, with different tones, resonating in defeat and complete submission to the moment, with out regard to the end result which comes in it’s own way, unprovoked.
I, was a child, who never really liked just chatting about the weather… but I sure did enjoy talking about having control over it. These are conversations of sages and the Future. I am by no means calling myself a Sage. But I will admit to being a voice of the Future, and Let me tell you; The Future is Now.
Sure, sure, sure… people have been saying that for a long time… but never in history (this time around) have We been able to reach such a critical mass of people, so quickly, who see through the bullshit; and know better than to wait on a Savior. THEY= YOU, know You have the ability to Save Yourself/ Us. You/We are just waiting on the 100th Monkey to pick up the straw, and go with it.
I know at some point, We will get our 100th Monkey… and I will not give up hope. Just as, in turn I will say; The journey has been crazy and worth it… and I am here to endure it. But at times I find We have neglected Our Own Divinity too long. It’s time to hop on Our Own Soul Train… We have had time to reflect on our past, we have been given opportunities to endlessly rehash… But Now, a new sun on a new horizon, and it is calling Us.
No more fussing and fighting. Time is calling for Re Uniting. And we are the ones to live in the New Sun, We are the Ones who bring the blessings of Eternal Guiding.
When I say Fuck This… I honor where we have been… and I get it.
When I say I want to move on, it is because my Soul says We Are Bound for SO Much MORE!
May you Master the Fuck Out of This Experience in order to be Confident in moving into the Next .
Well, I am home. And sort of in disbelief that I am here. It is so wierd. I went out tonight despite not sleeping for over 48 hours. I saw a bunch of people from high school. I didn’t want to talk to them; they looked really lost. The same old people hanging out with the same old people since God knows when.
I was glad I wasn’t them.
Then I started thinking… in your own little way, you are those people.
And throughout our relationship I tried to be those people despite the fact; that inside, I really didn’t want to be those people.
This is neither bad nor good. It is just yet another thing that makes us different.
I’ve never wanted that lifestyle. I feel, something else awaits me. Somewhere else.
And that’s okay. I’m willing to search until I find it.
You too will find something.
The “same old, same old” routine fits you, and you enjoy it…
Maybe you always will. Perhaps it fits your comfort level.
I am still waiting on my niche.
E, You are amazing in your own ways! And so creative; please, never become so comfortable with things, that you forget to expand your mind and your inspiration.
I am stoned right now. Sitting in a pop up camper in my parents back yard.
This letter probably makes no sense, but regardless, I am going to write it.
I always thought you put on the facade of “the well adjusted funny guy,” but as I have gotten to know you; I see that even you doubt yourself at times. And sometimes “sort of comfortable” is just comfortable enough.
Spread your fucking wings, E! DOOO IT! You can!
Listen to me, BAH Miss Wyoming.
I’m sorry we couldn’t just have our sweet perfect last day. But just as our first meeting paraded as perfect, we lived a farce and tried to birth truth and perfection…AHHH, how we tried! No worries.
We loved, we were wrong and diseased in our own ways.
We learned, we lost eachother, and gained knowledge.
Luck, and blessings to you.
I gave you my love, and part of my heart… but you must know I will ask for it back sometime down the road.
You can have yours back too…ya know… for someday down the road.
Good, bad, we did it all with passion and intensity. Thanks! I don’t hate you and never will. I am glad I feel this way.
I love you, boy. And the maturity we both need is just over the hill, almost at hand. But we both know, we are going to have to let go of all we know and accept as “normal” and “comfortable” to get there.
It’s just another leg in the journey. See you at the end?