And I was there to witness it.
61 year old woman, 85lbs overweight, never exercised a day in her life. Multiple back surgeries and so much weakness that she couldn't sit up from a laying position without rolling onto her side, pushing herself up with her hands, getting to her knees and holding onto something to pull herself up, one foot at a time. Cereal was an acceptable meal for any time of day and often the one chosen. Chocolate was the second in line in demand.
She came to me unsure of herself. She only knew that she needed to make a change. Playing with her grandchildren was getting harder. They wanted to run a 5k in a local race and wanted her to go with them, but she knew she couldn't in her current state.
One day she called me.
I was the lucky one.
She trusted me to help her get healthy.
It took almost 2 months until it happened. But it did. And it was today, right in front of my eyes.
She had been getting stronger, no doubt. She saw the progress along the way. In the beginning, barely able to finish 15 Russian twists, today completing 50 without a pause. Two months ago she couldn't sit up without assistance, today she was up without the use of her arms with no thought. A mile was just a small workout now, since she was strong enough to complete her first 5k two weeks ago.
But none of those things was it.
It happened on the rower.
She had 5 minutes to row and I stood next to her in silence as she seemed incredibly focused. Once done with 5 minutes, she said, “I hit a new record.”
Me, surprised, “You did? I didn't know you had a record. What's the new record??”
She looked intense and serious, “I kept my pace under 3:00 for the whole 5 minutes. When I started, I couldn't even hold a 4:00 minute pace.”
And that was it.
The moment she found her spark. I didn't push her. I didn't ask her to do that. It was the moment she believed in herself, set a goal and accomplished it. She found her intrinsic motivation, her spark, her ability to tap into her potential.
She thinks I did something magical, but I didn't. I can't. I can't make anyone do anything they don't want to do.
She doesn't realize quite yet that I'm only a facilitator in her goals of becoming stronger and healthier. I'm simply a guide along a journey that is all hers.
I've been encouraging and empowering and affirming everything in her that she finally realized was already there.
She always thanks me...
I'm really the one who has the most thanks to give. I watched a seed bloom today. I have helped change someone's life. And I know if I were to die tomorrow, she would be okay because she knows she has what it takes to get where she wants to be.