Thursday, 31 August 2017

Opportunities and Learning Curves

Life presents us with many opportunities. Unfortunately, we miss many. We miss them for various reasons. Fear of change or perhaps the stage that we are at on our Life’s path may not always be timely, are but a couple of the reasons for failing to see the prospects that some events, or experiences hold for us.

When the opportunity that I am about to share with you first presented itself to me, I was least ready for it.
At that time, was living in New Zealand and nearing my 50th birthday. I held a great job as a Hebrew lecturer at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch and lived a quiet, sometimes too quiet, life down under.

I decided to spice up my routine and joined a local gym. That decision has changed my life, enriched it and opened up doors that led me into realms that I could only dream of.

One day while I was training with my personal trainer, I noticed some younger girls standing in front of the mirror and posing in a way that enhanced their muscle tone.

I was intrigued.

“What are they doing?” I asked my personal trainer. “Oh, they are practicing for a body sculpting competition,” she answered casually.
“You mean body building?” I persisted. “No,” she quickly corrected me. “It is a much milder, softer and more delicate field.”

“I would like to try it,” I jumped in excitement.
“Forget it,” came her abrupt response, “ you are forty-nine, fifty, forget about it.”
I was taken back by her discouraging answer but not for long.
“No dear,” I answered in a determined voice, “if anyone is going to forget it, it is you, not me. No one has a right to kill anyone’s dreams.  I am going to start training and aim toward competing. I may not win,” I added before I left the gym, ”but no one could ever stop me from embarking on that journey.”

The following day, I changed personal trainers. Shelly, my new one was wonderful, supportive and encouraging.

The routine I had to go through was harsh. It required an immense amount of self-discipline and will power. The exercise regiment was rigid. I trained for about 2-3 hours per day, walking, weight bearing exercises, practicing my dance routine and posing. The diet was, likewise, strict. I had to weigh every crumb I put into my mouth. No alcohol, no sweets. There were many temptations along the path. And while I resisted them, I knew then that I would do it only once in my life.

In November 2003 as I was standing on stage holding my 1st place trophy, another door opened up for me to reveal another great opportunity. I realized that if I, at almost 50, could reach such an achievement, I can help maturing women such as myself, women after childbirth, during menopause, improve their looks, their self-image and self esteem. I suddenly realized the niche that this experience carved for me. 

Six months later I completed a Personal Training course and received my certificate. It was an immensely rewarding experience and a great learning curve. I have learned about our body, about nutrition and overcoming hurdles to reach what many believe is the impossible. I have trained many women who achieved some wonderful results.

My advice to them all was, “do not let Life go by you, let it go through you!” 

That was, is and always will be the motto of my life.

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