Guest Blogger: Blake Scheidt
Personal Coach Lakeland Athletic Club
Everyone has a story that makes their life hard. No one’s life is easy, no matter how many privileges they have. Why? Cause everyone is born into this broken world where awful things happen every day. However, we have two things that stay constant through the good and the bad in this world: our choices and our bodies. Our choices are essentially the attitude and decisions by which we will govern our lives. Our bodies are the vehicle by which we experience these decisions and choices. We are born into this world with the same body that we will leave. And while our body will evolve, grow, break down and die, it is the same body you have with you all the way through.
Learn to love that body! Far too often, we are in a mindset of hating our bodies and wishing they were someone else’s. So here’s the deal, we only get one life and one body.
My friend Liz, a current client of mine for the last two years, passed away from COVID. She wasn’t dealt an easy life nor a body that most would describe optimal. When I first met Liz at another gym, she came through the door with a walker and a big smile. I remember her having to come with her mom and sister due to her health because she couldn’t drive by herself at the time. Liz sat down in our consultation and told me her story. She used to work in Iraq as an accountant for a contractor. She led Zumba classes on the base and had lots of fun living the adventure of being in another country. Then, around her fourth or fifth year living in Iraq, her company required everyone to get the yearly flu vaccine. So, Liz did and unfortunately had a very uncommon reaction that gave her Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). This condition is where your immune system attacks your nervous system and can cause you severe sickness and sometimes even paralysis. For Liz, it was the worst of it. She spent the next six months living in the hospital, learning how to see and walk again. She was a woman of faith and prayed daily to learn how to walk again, but her doctors told her she probably would never be able to. I can remember Liz telling me this story as she began to tear up with joy that she kept believing God to heal her. I guess she did cause she walked out of that hospital six months later.
Liz still had lots of battles with severe nerve pain in her back, and this fight would be a lifelong one.
This chronic pain caused her to gain quite a bit of weight because moving was more difficult. She went from a 150-pound Zumba instructor to over double that and could not workout. Many would-be depressed and unmotivated, but Liz was a fighter with a big joyful smile that could light up a room. She came into the gym ready to try hard things. Liz fought for a better and healthier self, and within our first year, she lost 80lbs eating a high-fat diet, walking 8-10k steps a day, and working out with me once a week. You might wonder, how did that work? It worked because Liz owned her body and did the most she could with what she was given.
She was a joyful, loving warrior to the end, and I will greatly miss my friend.
As I write this, I’m crying right now; I’m also thankful for the reminder that Liz’s life gives me. That I only get one body, one life, and lots of little choices. I hope that I can have an attitude like Liz, who didn’t complain about some of the bad hands she was dealt but instead fight… fight until the end…. and learn to appreciate my body with all its scars and stories.
RIP Liz! You will be missed.
Blake Scheidt and the Lakeland Athletic Club are not affiliated with LPL Financial or Allen & Co.