As I walk along the Florida beaches thinking about how lucky I am to be able to see my family all around me, I can’t help but appreciate the little things.
Being able to walk, to talk, to breathe and to laugh.
Yesterday, I treated a patient who had no legs from diabetes (2) complications. (60 % of people with diabetes lose a limb).
Her name is Melinda and she is 56 years old - and what an incredible woman she is.
When I got near her room I could hear the familiar sound that is always associated with Melinda -laughter.
There she was - sitting on her bed surrounded by 2 church friends, who were so captivated by the amusing stories being shared by Melinda, they barely noticed me enter the room.
Melinda has this amazing ability to lift people up, put smiles on their faces and make them feel good about the world - even if she is facing tough times.
“Have you always been so uplifting?” I asked. “No,” she responded. “When I had two legs I was always miserable. I never listened to the doctor when he told me to stop eating junk food. And exercise? Forget about it! How I wish I had my legs to go for a walk now.”
Which brings me back to the amazing attitude change from Belinda. We’re working on getting her arms and abdominal muscles strong enough so she can transfer into her power wheelchair independently.
It’s hard work and she is so cooperative with her therapy sessions. But the amazing thing is; before arriving at the rehab facility and despite all that she has to deal with, Melinda has created a life of happiness and giving for everyone she comes in contact with.
I left her after an hour of providing her with her exercise treatment, but as I went back to document her session for Medicare, I had tears in my eyes - not tears of sadness but tears of joy and thankfulness.
After all I have two legs and can walk. I'm no longer focused on them being a size skinny, but instead, being a size healthy because that’s what we at Functional Fitness strive for. The media has brainwashed too many women to feel like if they’re not a size tiny, their not attractive. Hog wash, I say! It’s is better to be a size healthy, than a size skinny!
What about you? What are your health hopes and dreams? To have enough energy to play with your grandkids? To be able to have strong legs to go on a cruise or sightsee? To have a strong core so you have better balance and not become one of the 11 million people who fall every year, or to have strong arms to be able to reach into cabinets without pain?
You can achieve all those things. Never give up your dreams and always strive to be the best you can possibly be!
Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.