“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. –D.H. Lawrence
A chord was struck. I sat in awe. Her grit, her determination, the sweat on her brow: she was the antithesis of self-pity. I, on the other hand, was a soft and vulnerable teenager. A Nancy Kerrigan-esque “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy….” was too often the cry of my heart. Life was unfair and people were hurtful. As adults, we’ve come to terms with this reality. Grief is appropriate, as is everything for a season. But wisdom realizes and maturity determines just how long a season should last.
My first one-on-one experience with a trainer was in the winter of 2007. I was broke, but I was even more desperate for my health. And although I had spent a small fortune at Bally’s in my early twenties (socializing as a cardio-bunny), I hadn’t touched a dumbbell since doing Cindy Crawford videos in the living room with my sister and Radu. So, in my first few months, I bombarded my trainer with concerns and gripes galore: what to eat (Jenny Craig?), what to drink (Captain and Diet?), when does the soreness go away? And did he remember where I had come from? And did he realize how much harder this whole fitness thing was for me than for anyone else? (And when does the soreness go away?!)
His response was unforgettable. “Jules, when are you going to stop feeling sorry for yourself and start realizing who you really are?”
There it was again. That chord undeniably plucked. That was the day that I made a conscious decision to stop being a product of my environment and to start acting like the woman I wanted to be. I wanted to be G.I. Jane.
Okay, so I didn’t really want to be G.I. Jane. At least not in the “shave my head and mock me” sort of way. But I begged for my tenacity to be tested. I was adamant about being the only female in the gym to succeed at this or that. And so it began: my passion for chalk and iron and my journey toward ACTIVATE.