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The Impact of Exercise: One Family’s Story

** Since this was written, Anna and Joey have CONTINUED to show an incredible amount of progress. I am so honoured to be able to witness and contribute to their success on a weekly basis – Christina **

 

You know how they say it’s the little things that matter?  That life is made up of a whole bunch of moments, and that some moments are greater than others? I know it sounds cliché, but I do not know how else to describe the impact the Boomers Program has had on my family and I without writing a novel. So here is my attempt to frame it within a few paragraphs.

  • December 2013, my mother complains about her knees hurting. We brush it off and think it must have been all the walking she did on vacation.
  • January 20, 2014. My mother’s birthday and I came home to her crying. We go to Credit Valley Hospital. She cannot walk.  They give her pain relievers; we arrange to get a cane.
  • May 2014. Mom has been on medication almost every day, and we do not go anywhere without a wheelchair. She jokes about feeling “high” all the time but I can see the dependency on the medication is bothering her. The list of things she can do for herself is getting smaller and smaller.
  • June 2014. The stress of mom’s condition is taking a toll on the household. On a particularly tough day, Slavka Cibri talks to me about her experience, and how exercise changed her life.  To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sold at first, because the thought of my parents (especially my mom), at a Crossfit gym was something I could not even begin to image. Not sure why I did it, but I convinced my mom to try some physiotherapy with Christina.
  • Late June/Early July. Mom tells Christina she fears being home alone while the rest of us are at work in case she falls down and no one is around to help her. Rather than cater to the fear, Christina teaches my mom how to properly get up off the floor.  It was at this exact moment that I knew something special was happening. This was the turning point.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.” – Marianne Williamson

Have you ever watched a video of a child’s first steps? Usually it is accompanied with the enthusiasm and pride of the parent. They know their child can do it, and they give encouraging words. My parents were like that with me, and never imposed any limitations on what they thought I could accomplish. I don’t know the exact reason of why I lost sight of that, but as my parents grew older, I found myself wanting to “protect” them.  I had in the back of my head that they were too fragile to do certain things, especially when it came to movement in the gym.  In fact, I would be distracted with my own work out because I wanted to make sure they were “okay”.  And moment after moment, they proved my fear to be irrational.

  • Mom squats on a box
  • Mom does a deadlift
  • Mom does laundry all by herself (much to the worry and dismay of my Dad)
  • Dad sees Mom’s progress (both physically and mentally), and starts seeing Christina too
  • Dad learns to squat
  • Dad learns to deadlift
  • Dad and Mom are doing burpees…. BURPEES!!!!
  • Dad and Mom come to Element with me on a long weekend Monday, to get their work on in (WHAT IS HAPPENING??)
  • Dad and Mom carry their own box of mangoes

Etc….

The list goes on and on and is nowhere near finished yet.  It was not easy for them, and it did definitely did not happen overnight, but my parents are doing Crossfit…. No joke, they are WOD’ing under the guidance, passion and belief of the Boomers Program. And as the program continues to grow, nothing makes me happier.  I can see how movement is so important. I can see the determination in the members’ eyes, the belief that they have in themselves. I cannot say enough how much this has changed my parents’ lives… my siblings… and mine. It has opened up my eyes to recognize the limits that we not only impose on ourselves, but unknowingly impose on our loved ones too. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. Life is too precious to sell ourselves short.

“…We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

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