I have always admired people who see the positive instead of the negative. I hear people saying that now something else has happened and why does life always bring them bad luck: wrong. Think again. Good and bad things happen to us all and it’s in how we deal with it we see the differences between winners and losers. Right?
“Success is not luck but hard work and the right attitude. “
So I have always championed those who take challenges, who are able to step outside their own comfort to make themselves better — but also, by doing so, to make the lives of those around them better.
I work with a lot of writers and being able to encourage others and show them that if I can do it, so can they, fills me up a million times. It makes sure I keep grounded and never stop believing that every day will be good, even if it isn’t. So when I work with writers, as well through my little publishing company for charity, when I was able to bring young writers together (at Paws n Claws that I really missed doing his year) and even in my writing group, I hope that message that you can do anything shouts out loud and clear.
If I can do it, you can.
When I moved back to Essex, just over a year ago, I already felt I had a good balance in my life, I was happy with my job, I was successful with my writing, but I wasn’t as fit and healthy as I wanted to be, so I applied the same CAN DO IT, WILL DO IT philosophy I apply to every area of my life. I said I would find a gym (no matter what it was like, and I never liked the gym!) and I would go there every week day (health permitting or as long as it was open and I wasn’t away) and I would do that for myself. FOREVER. I mean it.
Well, as many of you know I did just that. I needed to shed weight (at least 2 stone) but I needed to feel healthy. Well, what I never bargained for was the friendship and the community that little gym on Oak Road, Canvey Island gave me. Really. It has changed my life in so many ways. I have always liked some exercise, but trust me, it has never been high on my list of priorities until now. But the positive, inspiring, happy faces of those at Fitness 4 Life, of Dave and Angie Rowe and the whole family (the nicest family you could meet) changed my life. Really. Yeah I know that sounds dramatic, but it did. I work for myself, so to have somewhere to go every morning and people who have become the best of friends in the process, means I can’t be lonely. They are like colleagues, only a million times better.
The gym is a place I know I have to set a story at some point, because this kind of family gym, in particular, is more than a place people get pushed to their limits, it’s a family, a community and I never knew that in the other gyms I’ve been to, the corporate ones. And the stories I hear every day inspire me. No matter how bad things are, we come and we work out our frustrations. Every day we are pushed but also praised and what I love the most is the ethos the Rowe family created is one of supporting one another. It’s not about ego, it’s about support.
So I can not thank them enough for what they did to change my life, apart from having hard defined muscles where I never knew I had them (I have strong legs, who knew! And the size 8 jeans!) I have far more than that, and even the new fella came from that gym. I met someone, after ten years of not thinking something was missing. Wow.
So look people, if you live on or near Canvey, if you do anything for yourself in 2016, give Fitness 4 Life a try…
And you know, we had our Christmas Party on Saturday, a wonderful excuse to get all dressed up and have fun. This year I was looking forward to it more than ever as I am fully part of that family now… and wow. What a great atmosphere and what a sense of belonging. THANK YOU.
But, to top all of that, Dave announced that they were introducing an award in honour of a lovely woman who sadly I never met, but who was also part of the Fitness 4 Life family who passed away from cancer, way too young, this year. Her name was Kara Hiskey and she inspired so many and touched so many lives, so the award is for achievement and inspiring others. Well you could have knocked me over with a white feather when Dave started to talk about the first recipient… OMG, it was me! I think I was in a daze when I tottered to the stage in my glam dress. I could feel the tears and was holding them back. But wow. I don’t think I really took in most of what Dave said. Wow. Just glad I did not have to make an acceptance speech! But I also didn’t feel worthy, wow. Me? Little ol’ me?
But it was me!
Holding my award…
I didn’t feel worthy when I know how good the people are who go to that gym and I think all of the Rowe family, for what they do and what they have had to overcome, deserve the biggest trophy of all, but humbly I say thank you.
But it wasn’t just me and I so pleased that the amazing Beryl Andrews, a really lovely lady and new friend, also was a recipient, not only for losing more than 8 stone this year, but the way she inspires so many people. At 74 she knows no boundaries… well done and so well deserved. An honour indeed to be stood with her. She has the best attitude ever!
And last but by no means least Jason Wood who has completely changed his life with a staggering 102 lbs off since March and counting. I remember when I first met him at the gym, and how I said the way to get results is to come every day. He tells me he has always remembered that and humbly thanked me for that when he got his well-deserved award. Jason never had any confidence but now he has so much and so many friends. Well done.
Dave, Jason and Angie
This place, these people really change lives and the award should go to them. Thank you from all of us, that’s all I can say and I can usually say a lot! These awards, and in memory of someone special, makes sure she is never forgotten and her legacy remains in such a powerful way… but also it means each year someone else realises their worth and their place in this special family. It’s indeed a lovely thing to do. Thanks is a wonderful thing, and they always make you feel appreciated.
THANK YOU DAVE and ANGIE.
Best Gym Ever.
Sign up and change your life… best gift you could ever give yourself. TRULY.