Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Paying It Forward

From the moment I saw the light and got healthy, I can't resist helping someone else hop on the healthy bus.  In mid- Sept., I had such an opportunity come along.  My neighbor, Angela, asked if I would help her get started with a  walking program.  She said she was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and was committed to make a change. She wanted to get healthy.  Those of you who know me personally,  know she came to the right person.  I was more excited than she was to get started.

Angela is a working, single mom and only has 30 minutes to spare in her busy day.  We agreed that Monday through Friday we would walk every morning after putting our kiddos on the bus.  I mapped out several 2 mile routes that we could complete in her time frame.  We started that following Monday.  

As soon as the bus pulls away, we begin walking.  Not a casual pace, but conversational.  During these past 8 plus weeks we have encountered some wonderful weather, along with the cold and bone chillin' wind.  Less than a handful of days have been missed due to life getting in the way. 

We have gotten to know each other quite well and discuss several topics while we are trying to breathe.    Recently, the topic of Thanksgiving came up.  She told me of her plans to head to her family's neck of the woods.  She told me she was looking forward to eating tacos in Tenn., at one of her favorite restaurants there.  I cringed inside.  Then she told me about all the foods she was looking forward to indulging in once she got to her Mom's.  Again, I cringe.  I try to explain that I don't think it's a good idea to indulge in a holiday buffet right now.  I remind her of her goal and how far she has come.  Angela said she doesn't care and she is going to splurge.  After all, it's the holidays.  I have a couple more weeks to get her to see things my way.  If I am not successful, Angela will pay for it when she gets back.  Ha Ha 

But seriously, yesterday, she and I met at the bus stop, like usual.  She said " I want to show you something."  She had to roll down the waistband of her pants in order for them to fit.  I was so excited  for her that I gave her a hug and a huge slap on the back.  It's highly possible that I was happier about her progress than she was.  I said " see, you must be doing something right."  Of course, I couldn't resist saying something about all that hard work going to waste in a couple of weeks.  I still have time......  Fortunately , the bus came and I was able to sneak away without her seeing my tears.  They were tears of joy, I get emotional sometimes. 

Over these last few weeks I have noticed a huge change in Angela.  Beyond the physical, she has started smiling more and has just been happier.  It's so amazing to watch someone take charge of their life.  I feel honored to have had a front row seat.  I have watched Angela get excited about her life and what the future holds for her.  That is priceless.

I want to thank Angela, for letting me share her story.  I am very proud of her and how far she has come in these last couple of months.  Today, I informed her that we have walked about 80 miles together.  We did it 30 minutes, two miles, at a time.  That distance is just over 3 full marathons.  When you put things in perspective like that I believe it helps motivate you to keep going.  

1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool, Wendy. For her and for you, since I know how much it means to you to be a part of it. :)