I have good news…. the big day finally arrived! After 18 months and numerous delays, the brand-new state of the art Meadows Fitness Center is now open!
It is such a beautiful place too. Everyone who has seen it has been stunned by how much of an upgrade it is from the old building. I encourage you to come and check it out sometime!
Today though I want to encourage you with a fun “God story” related to the new building. I think it will bless you.
As you may know, the opening of this building was such a rollercoaster. Originally, we were supposed to open in June or July. Then it was August. Then it was September. Then Ian came through. Then we had no idea when the county would even be able to certify it. Day after day for the last two months, we were all waiting with anxious anticipation, and then we finally got word during Thanksgiving week that we were good to go!
After that, the club and the MCA had to do some last-minute things to get it all prepared, so when all was said and done, the grand opening was on December 1st, a date that is especially meaningful to me. This year, December 1st was the 25th anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with cancer.
On December 1st, 1997, when I was 15 years old, I went to an oncologist in St. Petersburg to have my swollen lymph nodes examined. I was expecting them to tell me it was just “mono”, but instead their tests showed that it was leukemia.
The next day I was put into chemotherapy, and for the next 10 months my life was a living hell. I was so sick, so depressed and so hopeless. I had also lost so much muscle that I literally couldn’t even walk a few blocks without nearly passing out, and I had gotten so obese from the appetite stimulants and the emotional eating, that I had developed stretch marks all over my body.
Then, one day in October of 1998, I had an awakening. I realized that I had to do something about the direction my body was going, so I began to exercise, eat healthy and focus most of my attention on taking care of myself. Within 22 months my body was completely transformed. I had lost over 80 pounds of bodyfat, and I put on nearly 40 pounds of muscle. I was strong, I was fit, I was healed of the cancer, and I felt like I had conquered a true goliath.
As time went on, I felt the calling to help others improve their health and fitness too, so I began to work in the field at age 22. By the grace of God, I met the right people at the right time, I learned the right things and I developed the right skills. After a few years of figuring things out, my career and my practice totally took off. Now, after nearly 18 years in the field and over 11 years of operating my own practice, I’m truly in awe of what The Lord has done.
Often times I think about the fact that had I not gone through cancer and had the awakening I had- I probably would have never even started exercising. Here’s a fun fact about me- I HATED exercise when I was younger. I even once vowed to never do it again after a bad experience with a personal trainer at age 13! Talk about a turnaround!
If I would have never begun exercising, I would have never had the physical and life transformation that I had. If I never had that transformation, I would have had no passion to help others in that way, and I never would have begun in the health and fitness field.
If I never would have gone into the field, I would have never met all my amazing clients and been able to help them. I also would certainly not have my own corner office in the new Meadows Fitness Center either. It kind of makes me feel like the building was meant to be opened on that day all along.
My point of telling you this story is to remind you that- “bad things” can sometimes be the springboard to some of the greatest blessings that we could ever have in our life. If we remain hopeful during the tough times, respond to the challenges the right way, and trust God, I believe we will eventually see redemption.
In your corner,