I had an interesting conversation outside of my son’s school waiting for the bell to sound and kindergarten class to end. Sad, telling, real, and unfortunately more and more common.
It’s funny how quickly people can get to know one another just spending 10 minutes together each afternoon outside of a class room. Ever met a person that will tell you their life story in the first few minutes you meet? Well, this past week I met a grandmother of a child in my son’s class – I won’t use her real name, I’ll just call her Jane. In my first 10 minutes of knowing Jane I learned a few things about her: She was from back east, but likes living in Las Vegas better. She doesn’t get out of the house much, but likes coming to drop off her grandchild at school. And… Jane’s grandchild, a classmate of my 5 year old son, (barring a miracle) is about to lose her mom. Cancer.
Then a few things initially ran through my head:
Why, God, is this little girl going to lose her mom?
I’m so sorry.
What if it were me? What if I left my kids behind? I can’t even imagine.
I said, “I’m sorry Jane”, and did not say much after that for the next few minutes. She needed someone talk to, so I just listened for a moment.
She told me a little more about her daughter-in-law, I’ll call her Cindy, and how the cancer hit her hard. How she went from 250 pounds to 125 pounds in a matter of months. How Cindy’s mom advised her to quit all physical activity and mobility when she started chemotherapy. How Cindy’s doctor hypothesized that her extra weight may be what has been keeping her alive.
Another few things ran through my head:
Maybe it was her weight and lifestyle that contributed to cancer in the first place.
Maybe if she got active earlier her body could have fought the cancer.
Maybe if she kept active while having the disease she could live longer and beat the cancer.
Then Jane made a comment. “I thought that if she were active and moving around and exercising as much as she could, ya know, while going through the chemo, she would be better off.”
“I think you’re right,” I said, and she instantly gave a look back at me (holding tears in) that said a silent thank you. I went on to tell her how my grandmother beat cancer twice, and she was told to stay active by her doctor. My Grandma and Grandpa went for walks often while she went through cancer treatment. It kept her moving, kept her active, and probably kept her alive.
Jane and I talked for another minute and then the bell rang signaling the kids would come running out of the classroom any second. As we made our way to greet the kids she asked for prayer for her family, and I assured her I would pray for them. We went our separate ways for the afternoon and said goodbyes.
I thought about some more things as my son and I drove away from the school:
Did Cindy’s obese condition contribute to her disease?
What if Cindy had help to lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise two years ago? Would her outcome be different?
How many more parents will I see die young from effects of obesity?
I don’t know for a fact if Cindy’s cancer is related to obesity, but I can’t help but wonder, especially knowing that research shows living at a healthy weight greatly reduces the risk. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle also reduces risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression – all of which can be fatal. FATAL. Over one third of the American population is obese. That means out of ten people that I meet outside of my son’s kindergarten class, three or four are potentially shortening their lifespan. Some are potentially not going to see their kids graduate high school, or in Cindy’s case, kindergarten.
I am not saying that living healthy is going to completely eradicate all diseases. But if it greatly reduces the chance of contracting a fatal disease – WHY NOT?
So here I am. A Beachbody Coach and soon-to-be personal trainer. I offer services that can help people live healthy, live better, and live longer. I am not trying to turn this article into a sales pitch, even though yes, I do make money in the health and fitness industry. I am not trying to profit off people’s shortcomings. I don’t believe teachers are profiteers of the education field, firefighters are profiteers of emergencies, or doctors are profiteers of the sick. I don’t see myself as someone that just sells fitness products and nutrition. Even though I do make money doing what I do, it is not solely to line my pockets and make a profit.
Next time you see me post about me doing P90X and how good I feel….
Next time you see me write an article about eating healthy…
Next time you see me post an “advertisement” about Shakeology…
Next time you are tired of hearing me talk about health, fitness, food, etc….
Know that I am not a salesman. I want to help people live the life they deserve – a healthy one.
I want to hear more stories about people feeling good. I want to have more conversations with people telling me how great they feel. I want to have less conversations about people dying from the effects of obesity.
There might be someone you know that needs help. A few years ago it was me. It might be you.
With that, today I will pray for Cindy again. I will also post this article and reach out to a few more people – hoping I can reach someone that needs and wants help. If you need help – with prayer, fitness, weight loss, or all of the above… I’m listening.