I was competitive and wanted badly to WIN!
I’ve always been active: Running in our neighborhood street races, playing on the monkey bars, running the open 400 and 800 meter relays in my Junior High and High School, participating in gymnastics, not to mention making up dance moves with my neighborhood dance group, has been a major part of my life since the second or third grade. I was competitive and wanted badly to WIN. I would race the boys on my block in Omaha, Ne and most times I would WIN.
My first year of High school – 9th grade, I ran track. I was good too. (lol) I’d stay at track practice long after it was over. Getting home early enough to still eat my mom’s homemade cooking that always consisted of a starch, boiled or overly steamed green vegetables and a protein that was usually covered in her homemade gravy; yet late enough to miss the cussin and fussin, loud music blaring from our wood encased floor model stereo and the hostility and drama of my home life.
Track and field is where I escaped the reality of lost love, failed friendships, tedious homework and a home life full of loud and raucous; yet colorful characters of all shades, socio-economic backgrounds, and sexual orientation. I didn’t know it at the time; however, running would later SAVE my life.
In 2002, exercising saved my sanity; as it helped me heal from, what I thought at the time was, the best relationship of my life. I made a mix CD of all the female empowerment songs that included the likes of Destiny’s Child, Madonna, Taylor Dane, Mary J. Bligepan, Christina Aguilar and my homegirl: Lauren Hill of the Fuji’s. I’d take a spin class, that consisted of only me, and I would spin and cry, spin and cry, until one month later, the tears dried up and the emotional weight I was carrying in my heart and around my abdomen area were lighter.
I was Fine, figuratively and literally speaking. While in that spin room, I would pray and affirm to the woman I wanted to become. It wasn’t a conscious prayer; however, on a superconscious level, the Universe was strengthening my heart muscles, my mental muscles, my character, and physical muscles; so that I could know how to celebrate the successes and triumphs of my life; as well as the challenges and setbacks that life always put before you in order to help us grow and expand.
In 2009, I lost my courageous and beautiful best friend of 14 years, to a rare skin cancer. I turned to what I knew best: working out. I got strong. I got lean and I got fit from the inside/out.
That same year, my first cousin, on my father’s side, was the first African-American to die from the Swine flu in Omaha, Ne. When I received the news, I was on my way to run the Santa Monica, Ca Stairs. I was determined to continue with my workout; as I knew if I stopped, even for a moment, I would break down and temporarily, if not permanently, lose my will to live. I cried up and down those stairs for two hours as I felt myself getting stronger, more lean and more fit from the inside/out.
In 2010, two of my favorite clients, a mother and daughter duo, died 3 days shy of one another. Again, I worked out. I got strong. I got lean and I got, even more, fit from the inside/ out.
August 17, 20011, was a life changer for me. My mother, Donna Marie Alvoid, lost her battle to leukemia. While staying with her in the hospital, in Omaha, Ne – I remembered finding the Hospital gym where I was able to run while praying for my mother’s happiness and her life. When she passed, four days later – the only way I could cope with losing her and not losing my will to live, was to work out. Only this time, I started working IN; as opposed to the working Out.
While I exercised, I focused more on strengthening my Faith. I became mentally, emotionally and Spiritually strong. I knew I needed a strong mind and body in order to be a witness to my mother’s life and death. I’m supposed to be here to re-share who she was, what she accomplished and the impact her life had on me and soo many others. I am supposed to be a witness to the unapologetic life of the party that she was.
This thing called fitness…has SAVED my life and continues to do so. I know if it could transform me, from the Inside/Out; surely it can do the same for you. After all, Success is NOT convenient, but Possible for all those who believe and have Faith.