She called me for help. Little did I know how much she was going to help me…
I wake up with my head pounding and the room spinning. My tongue feels like sandpaper, and my memory is hazy.
Nooo, I did it again! I got accidentally drunk. Oh well, you only live once, right?
I look at my diary. OK, I need to sort myself out. I have a consultation with a potential new client.
I force myself to eat something and drink copious amounts of water, then I get my personal trainer gear on and make my way to her house.
The first thing that strikes me as she welcomes me in is her huge smile. She radiates warmth and positivity. She is determined to get fit and to look after her body. She had a son who she wanted to show a good example to… and she has terminal cancer.
As the months went on, she shows me the meaning of gratitude. Facing the end of her life, she continues to look after her body and her mind by taking positive action in every way that she can. She is not in a victim mindset (though it would have been entirely understandable if she was) and is determined to make the most out of every single day, to keep improving herself and to choose to be grateful for everything she has.
There is me, her personal trainer- in excellent health despite being in a cycle of party, recover, repeat. Despite being very fit not respecting my body or doing anything meaningful with my life and am so stuck in victim mentality that I am buying into my own stories about why I can’t do this, why it’s not my fault, why it’s not fair (WAAAAAH!) and why it’s OK to go out and get hammered because I make up for it by exercising a lot, right?!
Looking back now, what can I say? This woman called me up to help her, which I did, but what she will never know is how much she helped me and continues to help me as I keep moving forwards along my path.
I didn’t realise at the time as it was a gradual process, but now I can safely say that during our training sessions where she was full of strength and determination and let nothing stand in her way, my eyes started to open and I began to allow myself to see the opportunities that were out there for me.
Now, when I hit points along my journey where it looks like everything is going against me, I think of her and how much courage she showed during the darkest time of her life. It reminds me that it doesn’t matter what my circumstances are, I can choose to fall back into victim mentality, or I can choose gratitude for the things that are going right and to keep taking action to change them and become a better version of myself.
When I found out she had passed in 2016, I felt a deep sadness that the world had lost an amazing person, but I smiled thinking of the impact she had on me and countless other people.
When we choose gratitude and focusing on what we have, instead of spinning around in that never-ending cycle of blame and justification, that is when amazing things start to happen.
That is when we choose to live, not just to exist.
That is when we choose happiness.
What are you grateful for today?