Tuesday, October 09, 2018

An inspiration like no other

Throughout my weight loss journey I have come across people that have greatly inspired and influenced me.  While my drive and motivation to lose weight is my responsibility,  these people are what helps me to push a little harder....to go a little further....to stay the course.  These inspirational people have come into my life at random times and through many different ways.   Sometimes it is a virtual influence....I might read  an article about someone’s weight loss success online  and it inspires me.  The inspiration sometimes may come from my friends who double as accountability partners.  I have even received inspiration from people that I call angels...random steangers that make comments and compliments...for me this is usually while out running.  Such as the touchy guy and the safelite guy. Inspiration is awesome!

The other morning when I was out running a song started to play in my headphones. It was a song that we  used in Zumba. Immediately memories started to flood  through  my mind. I remembered my first night at Zumba  and how I hid in the back room. I remembered the emotionally battered woman that I was when I started. I remember how I had to exert my independence and wishes within my marriage just to  attend Zumba. I looked back and could clearly see how my independence and confidence grew each and every week of Zumba. Zumba, was a life saver and a life changer for me.  My fitness level skyrocketed and I was inspired almost weekly with each and every class I attended. It wasn’t just the hour of exercise that changed my life and inspired me. It was one lady… The instructor.... Anita. (And yes, I was indeed crying while I was running and reminiscing... it was from the incredible onslaught of memories. Doesn’t everybody cry while they run?)

Anita. I don’t even know where to begin. This lady is just all around incredible.

Anita  is my mothers age, but don’t let that fool you. This lady can out exercise most people. I remember after one class talking to a group of people and we mentioned how the hour long class had been a real tough workout. We were blown away when we realized that Anita had already taught four such classes just like the one that had wiped us out....that day alone. Anita is constantly searching, learning and bringing new techniques and exercises to her classes.    She also practices what she preaches. When you talk to her or glance at her Facebook page you will quickly see and hear that she take the steps to secure her own fitness levels. She doesn’t just rely on the 20 some classes that she teaches to stay in shape...she works out on TOP of leading multiple classes. (I think at one point she told us she was teaching over 20 classes a week… but I could be wrong on the number.).  She leads her classes in a way that all levels of fitness are reached and made to feel welcome and pours herself into these classes.   She reaches everyone in that room, in spite of how she is feeling personally.  And we all work harder because of her example!  This lady is a true dynamo!!

Anita is inspiration like no other. I have seen this lady push through tiredness, pain and sickness to still lead a kick butt exercise class.  I have seen her dancing and exercising with what she suspected was a broken toe… She still stomped her feet in time with the beat!   Surgery/ Procedure on her hand earlier in the day that required her to keep her hand elevated? Anita didn’t cancel the class that day! She arrived, got on stage and lead that class with the same energy level that she always did. She did it all while  keeping her hand elevated for the whole hour. I even saw her lead a class with a case of stomach bug. What an incredible inspiration. She truly leads by example. It’s easier to push through the pain of a hard workout when you see your leader push through her pain.  ‘If she can do it...so can I!’ When you have a leader like that, it makes you realize that you can push through and accomplish so much.

Have I mentioned how fun Anita is?  She makes her classes smile.  Holidays are always celebrated... She dresses for each holiday!!!
Yes, those are indeed her legs!!!

Last but not least, I want to talk about the compassion that Anita shows. She is very passionate about making sure that the attendees in her class get a good workout. But what really sets her apart from any other leader, is her compassion for each and every person in her classes. I can’t tell you how many times I arrived for my hour of exercise and received a hug and words of encouragement about life issues I was  facing.  One of the  best examples of her compassion was the last week before I announced my pending divorce in 2014. I was an emotional wreck and could barely hold it together. Anita took one look at me and gave me a long hug but didn’t say a word...just gave me her silent support. A week later  when I announced  that I was getting a divorce, Anita made this comment, “I could see the turmoil within you last week.   I could see that you were barely holding it together. And I knew the only thing I could do was hug you to let you know you weren’t alone and that whatever you were dealing with was something you had to wrestle with on your own.”  Once I made it public,  she was right there continuing to offer her support for me as I went through that difficult change.  How’s that for compassion?  But the compassion doesn’t end there,   I had to stop attending zumba due to schedule changes that prohibited me from attending her classes. Yet, three years after I stopped attending,  she arrived at the viewing when my father died. (I’m sorry for sobbing all over you when you hugged me that night… I was working hard to hold it together, seeing you and feeling your compassion gave me the much needed release for all that pent-up emotion.). Anita is the real deal.    If I can have half the compassion that she  displays, I will consider myself lucky.

This lady is the complete package.  Incredibly fit, tough as nails,fun and compassionate!  I have been blessed to have her in my life.  

A few years ago the local newspaper did an article about me and Zumba. It alluded to and talked about how Zumba had change my life and it even mentioned lightly the inspiration that Anita had on me.  But the article didn’t make it clear enough.   Anita has inspired me in so many ways.  I want to be her age and in the physical shape that she is in.   I push myself through aches and pains when I exercise because of her long lasting influence.   And I try to show the compassion and love toward others....the same behavior she has continually shown toward me.  She really is my inspiration.  And Anita, I thank  you from the bottom of my heart!


Sarah said...

Maybe you can start zumba again?
She sounds like an awesome person.

Anonymous said...

What a great story.

mxtodis123 said...

Anita sounds like a wonderful person. Great story. I love zumba, but my back isn't holding up well enough to do it anymore.

Anonymous said...

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MaryFran said...

I have been looking for classes in my new town that fit my schedule!

sunny said...

I think this is the Anita that I take classes from.. she is awesome!!!

Unknown said...

I have know Anita (or Rusty) since we were 6 years old. She was wonderful and fun loving then and still is now. Through her efforts she is keeping our high school class up to date on new grandkids, operations, and sadly the passing of friends. Did you know that our 50th reunion she convince several to go zip lining? She is one terrific lady.

MaryFran said...


MaryFran said...

If your in the Hagerstown, Md area I’m sure it is!!!!

MaryFran said...

I can definitely see her encouraging people to go zip lining!!! She is awesome!!! You are lucky to have her in your life!!!