Relationships. Connections. Togetherness. Some of the most powerful words that bring people together to share an experience.
Choosing to be vulnerable in this month’s blog was my way to express how a community can truly help to guide a personal journey to find motivation.
I entered “adulthood” at 23. For me, this meant an extremely stress-filled occupation in addition to not working out or eating healthy. This lifestyle led roughly a 20 pound increase with my weight and decreased self-confidence.
To add to this, I was bartending and waiting tables, along with coaching sports. After a short time, burnout and sickness started to creep into my life.
Shortly after, I began working with specialists at The University of Michigan, because something was really wrong. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
For those who are unaware, this is a neurological disease that affects the immune and central nervous systems creating tremendous amounts of pain. I may look fine on the outside, but the inside feels like a completely different story. I'm not writing about this for pity, but so you can understand how this ties into community.
At this point in my life, I had to make a choice...live sickly and in pain or find the motivation I needed to change my life. This is where Sarah came into my life.
I had heard about her camps from some of my cousins that were working out with her. I saw their results, how positive they were, and wanted to be part of something that gave me the strength I saw in them.
I missed being a part of a team, feeling motivated to improve, and connecting with others through meaningful relationships. I signed up for camp, feeling determined to make the personal choice to do better, feel better, and find my health again.
I knew it would be a process and at times difficult. I would probably cry, be sore, and in pain; but knew that in the end it would be worth it.
Honestly, that was one of the hardest choices I have had to make in my life. It has now been 10 years--I started out by doing camps, eventually stumbling through Club SF, to now being an instructor. There were definitely times I struggled and wanted to quit, but the relationships I have built at Sarah Fechter Fitness are what keeps me coming back. Yes, I love to work out, stay in shape, and earn some extra money--but that is not why I continue to stay.
I love walking into a community of people with goals that are similar to mine. It is uplifting to be able to have conversations about people’s families, vacations, fitness journeys, and life in general.
I know when I go to work each day, there are people happy to see me, motivate me, and work out with me.
Plain and simple, the community you surround yourself with will either lift or sink you. The people you choose to spend your time with will have an effect on your lifestyle. Make sure those people's goals & visions align with what you want out of life.
Sarah doesn’t know this, but she is one of the most influential people that helped to guide and save my life.
There are still days that I struggle; days that I don’t want to work out; days that I could eat an entire pizza or drink a bottle of wine. Sometimes that's okay...it’s life, just come back--don’t give up, and know there is a place and people waiting for you.
I am thankful for the community I am part of each and every day--my only question for you is this; do your people and surroundings do this for you?