Epiphany (from Koine Greek (τὰ) Ἐπιφάνια, epiphania "appearance", "manifestation)
Ok...so I am not trying to be sacrilegious AT ALL, but it is serendipity that today is the one year anniversary of the first day that i stepped into O2 to work with Adam and it coincides with Epiphany! I happen to be one of those people that believes that there are no coincidences and really savor the joy of the day, both in my religion and in the manifestation of this new phase that was brought in to my life...this absolute gift that is and was as much spiritual as anything in my life thus far.
Now, in looking over the first posts, I realized that I am not sure that I ever really told the story of how this all started. I have told this story so often this year that I assume all know..but on this day, the first anniversary of this wonderful journey, I want to write it down.
I had been struggling with my weight all my life. But since 1999 I had put on over 100 pounds, was diagnosed with diabetes and had begun to develop a number of stress related problems as well as some debilitating back issues.
I was, however, no less active in community work and wanting to be involved. I just kept going and while I was at it, I grabbed whatever was the most convenient to eat..usually something from a drive through and never accompanied by exercise or by eating regularly. I was just not taking care of myself at all.
One of my friends and a mentor of mine literally had a massive heart attack right in front of me and died one night at dinner. It was at a very special dinner and while his passing was most certainly eye opening, so much happened as a result of his death in my own life that i did not have time to really learn at the time from his passing.
However, as life would have it, and in my view God, by his passing I was asked to get on the leadership team of the Heart Association in the Cape Fear. I can remember going to functions and listening with half an ear to what was being discussed and what was being handed out..but seeds were being planted as I particpated.
But, I was too busy. Then my breathing became so short going up stairs, I began to not be able to swallow my food without...well, let's just say I would have to take very small bites and most of the time I would end up losing some of it..and then there was the chest pain.
I ended up in the office of Dr. Buchanan at Coastal Cardiology. They did full scans and lit me up like a christmas tree. I had reached 348 pounds and somehow, when all was said and done, I did not have any blockages. But i was told, at my age, the amount of stress, my weight and blood pressure and diabetes, I had to make a decision or make plans to leave this earth early.
I was at a loss. I had tried every exercise program and failed. I bought the WII board and was too heavy for it. I bought a bike and it was too much for me. I tried a gym and then was ashamed to go.
Finally, I bought a bow flex and my very good friend Kristi came over to show me how to use it.
I still think to this day that she knew I was not going to follow through. It was not too long after she showed me how to use that that she and my friend Ashley met a trainer at 02 fitness named Adam Freeman.
Adam had moved here from Charlotte. He and his then wife Aimee were trying to re-build their lives after one of the most traumatic events any two parents could ever encounter: the loss of a child. They had a beautiful little girl, Kayleigh Anne Freeman, who was born into this world premature. So premature that she was the smallest child ever to undergo open heart surgery and survive. Their struggles and Kayleigh's story was astounding and when Kristi met Adam Kaykiegh had been dead for about 5 months, yet he told her that he did not have a lot of money, but he had learned through that event that giving was the best way to live. Kayliegh's life had taught them that love was above all else the most importnat thing and not much else mattered. He wanted to give and pay it forward as it were to help others with heart issues.
Kristi, who happened to also be a close friend of Ashley, who had taken over the heart association here locally, who both happened to be close friends of mine, had an idea.
the next thing I knew they came to me and offered that if I would do this publicly, pay it forward by helping others by learning as I was learning, this Adam Freeman would train me for free! All I had to do was show up.
You can go back and read day one. The rest is History.
So, love manifested itself through that. It still does.
Adam just gave someone else the gift of training...He is doing it again. This person is the wife of a very dear man who has served this community and those in need of heart healthy experiences for a long time and who himself is a power of example.
Adam is my brother, my very closest of friends. I am blessed by him as are all who are his clients and friends. He and his ex-wife HAVE a child, Kayliegh who lives on in all the love that manifests itself in all that transpires now and continues on.
This journey is not over..it is but a year old.
I am glad that you all are along with me. I will continue to "pay it forward" and it does not matter how many read it...even if it is only one..I was only one a year ago and my life is changed...one day at a time by this love..not just losing weight...but by living and being the best I can.
Thanks be to God!