Single mother of one gains confidence and a new life

It with tremendous appreciation that I write this letter of recommendation for The Heat’s fitness program. I would like thank you, Florence Crittenton and all of the wonderful people who make this program possible. You see, for me, this program has been life changing. A little over one year ago, I fell while exercising and injured my left ankle. When I say injured, I am referring to a stress fracture, torn and damaged ligaments and tendons and an inability to get around as I needed and wanted to. The worst part about being injured so badly is that I am a single mother of a 6 year old little boy. I need my body to work correctly. He depends on me. Normally, we are very active and enjoy hiking trails, taking long walks with our little dog, participating in youth sports and attending community events. When the injury occurred, I was unable to walk to the mailbox, let alone enjoy the lifestyle that AJ and I were accustomed to. The good thing that came from my injury was that it provided me with a glimpse of an understanding of what people with true disabilities go through every day of their lives. Talk about humbling. I knew that this injury was temporary, but the blow to my emotional state was horrific. I became very sedentary and in a cast by doctor’s orders; I became depressed and turned to emotional eating by my unintentional choice. Both of these ingredients mixed together equal a recipe for an unhealthy mom. As the months went on, I gained upwards of 30 pounds. I now only felt worse and even more hopeless.

I have a comfortable income, but when you take into consideration the priorities of being a single parent, I just couldn’t afford to shell out money for a fitness facility. Besides, I didn’t feel confident enough to go in front of people who were already so adept to a healthy and fit lifestyle. I was praying over my situation when I stumbled across a Zumba Facebook post by a lady named Lisa. I sent her a private message to inquire further, and it was then that she shared with me the information on The Heat’s schedule. Much to my delight, they had noon classes every day of the week! Talk about a perfect opportunity for me, with no excuses. I could leave my office and fit my workout in during the work day! I started by attending classes that I knew I could handle with my weight and disability – Yoga and Pilates. I soon realized that my emotional balance was shifting; I was becoming more comfortable working out with others in a group setting and I was able to meditate during these sessions to think about my personal health goals. After a few weeks, I worked up the nerve to try a noon kickboxing class. I was shaking with anxiety; it was in a similar type of class that I was initially injured. Upon entering the classroom, I took a deep breath, introduced myself to John, and explained my injury to him. He made me feel so comfortable, without pressure or judgment. I completed the first full class at my own pace and realized that I could do it.

The rest is history. I am now a confident woman, mother, colleague and friend to those who need me. I am uplifted not only because of my improved fitness level but also psychologically. I know, in my heart, that God had this plan for me. My wellness journey is not over; it is one that I plan to incorporate into every single day of my life. I am no longer drugging myself with toxic foods to feel an immediate sense of comfort. Although I still have some pain and a little trouble due to the injury, I know how to work through it and improvise when the class is doing something that I am unable to do. I am surrounded by others who are on my same journey and I feel a terrific sense of comradery. The mixture of classes during the week is exactly what I need for a well – rounded, healthy ME.

May the Lord bless you and your team richly for giving me my life back. You cannot put a price tag on that.