“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ― Maya Angelou
It started out as a normal Saturday, except this Saturday, I was to meet a friend for a long 4-mile walk. I hadn’t seen her in a few months and so we were going to catch up on things. She has been my running buddy for the last two years so my plans were for a nice walk. She then texted me Friday night and told me that she was unable to make it for Saturday, that she had some other things to do; which is not a problem for me because many of my friends live busy lives as I do. So, I decided to take the walk anyway and spend some time with my awesome dog Buddy. Buddy is a great running dog, but he needs to learn how to walk, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to do some loose leash training with him. I parked my car at the Humane Society of Memphis and crossed the street to the path that leads into Shelby Farms Park. They have been doing some major construction there to improve the grounds, so to get the mileage I was looking for I park there. About 10 minutes later as we were entering the park Buddy and I see this woman running with one of those running strollers with her baby tucked away inside. Me, being a personal trainer and someone who has overcome some major weight and health issues said: “You are doing awesome!”, as she passes by me. I wasn’t sure if she heard or even understood me, we have a melting pot of different nationalities in Memphis. Three miles later I see the same woman struggling up a hill with that stroller and I was so proud of her determination, so I yelled, “Wooo hoooo, you are so doing awesome!”, very enthusiastically. Then the humbling experienced happened, she said, “That’s because you are my inspiration, I read that article about you.” I was in total shock and as she passed by, I was able to get out a thank you. She was referring to one of the three articles that were written locally about my 242-pound weight loss. I don’t write this blog to show how great I am, I’m not. I am nothing special, just someone that was greatly blessed by making one step of faith to rocket me into a positon of inspiration. I made some of the rightest choices in my life for two straight years to lose all that weight. When that woman said that to me I wanted to stop and cry, it meant a lot to know that I may have changed one person’s life for the better. It doesn’t take much to inspire, all you have to do is lean a lot, learn a lot, love a lot to live a lot.
Leaning on God is where it all begins. Leaning is steps of faith and trust that will find us God’s favor in our lives. For me leaning was realizing that I did not have enough will power in myself to overcome all that weight. I needed God’s intervention and I found it with some awesome people he put in my path that got me started. I consecrated time every day to spend with Him as well. Leaning made the most important part of my transformation, change on the inside.
The next is learning from God gives us wisdom. I went to school on what I was dealing with. I learned about the different causes of congestive heart failure. I found that my enemy was myself and the poor eating choices I made, and the lack of exercise that I needed every day. I also learned about God as I spent more time with Him.
Loving God, ourselves, and others is probably the biggest game changer in my life. God wants us to put Him first in our lives. Then He wants us to look in the mirror and love the creation that we see before us in a healthy way. I’m not talking about a selfish love that only focuses on you and what you can get out of life. I am talking about selfless love that asks what can I do to change my life and the life of others, what is my purpose in this life? I want to continue to inspiring people to change by being a personal trainer and teaching them healthy way to live.
The last point is living your life to its fullest. You can’t do that without point number three, loving. Loving makes us life giving. When we are life giving we are being like God, which is a good thing. God always take a tragic situation and turns it around to be something of a blessing. We have to look for it and expect it. That’s how we should be in our lives, loving and living as much as we can, because life is short and hard, but we only make it harder if we allow ourselves to take every hardship as a negative experience. I took my physical heart issue and turned it into a way to live a longer healthier life. Always look for and expect the awesome to happen, when something bad comes around in your life.
Being an inspiration takes leaning on God, learning wisdom from God, loving like God, and living the abundant life God provides when we take Him into our lives. I can’t guarantee that you will walk past someone and have them tell you what you did for them, but you will find out one day, that’s that treasure of heaven, all the souls you touched in your life, all the people you inspired.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015