Saturday, June 29, 2013

An Open Letter to My Trainer

This is a bittersweet week for me. One of the toughest parts of military life is making friends, close friends...then leaving them 3-4 years later. The longer you're in the lifestyle, the more Facebook friends you have... that you eventually lose track of because of distance. The mantra of "out of sight, out of mind" is a tangible way of military living.

In 2010, I took my first real steps towards weight loss. I weighed in at 171 lbs. & couldn't get ahead of it. I found a personal trainer thru our on post gym & got to work. I made progress & felt good about it. But the best thing she did for me, I think, was to introduce me to Heyda Diaz. She was moving, you see, & Heyda was newly-certified & looking for clients. She thought Heyda & I would be a good fit.

In the military life, it always comes back to moving.

When I first met Heyda, she was on a treadmill. My trainer said, "let me introduce you really fast, because we can't interrupt her workout; she will not like that. But I want her to know who you are & that you're interested."

That. Was. Intimidating. I'm not sure Heyda even knows about this part of the story. I was honestly afraid to talk to her after that...I wasn't sure if she even liked me.

After my trainer left, I started working with Heyda. It was an adjustment for me, especially because I'd gotten used to my regular routine. But my routine wasn't good enough for Heyda. She knew I had more, could do more, could be more, if I just worked for it.

And work we did. For 3 years, she's been what I refer to as "my sponsor." When I didn't understand what truly eating healthy meant (i.e. clean eating), Heyda explained it clearly so I could cook better & in a way that made sense for me that I could actually stick to. When I needed support during an office party because there was a 6-layer chocolate cake & I was having trouble staying strong, I texted Heyda a cry for help...& she spent at least 20 text messages helping through those crucial 5 minutes of temptation. When I wanted to be a better runner, Heyda figured out creative ways to make my legs faster because she knows I hate speed work. When I flat out refused to give up my coffee, Heyda figured out a caloric way for me to keep it in my diet. And after my last half marathon, when I realized I still had more, could do more, could be more, Heyda helped me develop a training plan to remove the walk breaks from my running routine.

Now, it's three years later. And it's the military, so it's time for us all to go our separate ways...Heyda to North to Florida. And when I told Heyda we'd be driving through her area, she immediately offered to open her home to 2 weary travelers (& 2 crazy dogs). Heyda just doesn't stop...she always has more to give her clients & her friends.

Heyda helped me change my life. It's going to be tough to continue without her constant encouragement & support, but it's time to stand on my own & use the tools she gave me. But I know if I really need it, she'll only be a text or FB message away. Because if I know anything, it's this: Heyda will never give up on me. I can always rely on her to remind me that I have more, can do more, can be more.

So thank you, Heyda, for these three years. You gave me something I didn't even know I was looking for.

Me & Heyda after an awesome session!

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