The day I was born I was given last rights. I was welcomed into the world and almost immediately expected to die. I was suffering from severe neonatal seizures and was rushed to a nearby high-risk hospital, while my mother stayed behind at the hospital where I was delivered. My seizures continued for about a year, and my team of doctors continually prepared my parents for the worst. When the seizures ultimately abated, I was left extremely weak and prone to illness. I had countless ear infections and various other ailments during my first two years of life, the lasting effect of which was complete loss of hearing in my left ear. I consider myself lucky to be alive, but I now have a substantial disability that I’ll live with for the rest of my life.
As I grew older, I had to figure out ways to cope with my hearing loss. I would find myself involuntarily turning my head to aim my good ear at a person who was talking and instinctively reading lips. Socially, I’ve admittedly had a hard time telling friends about my disability because I’m embarrassed. Currently, I wear a very small hearing aid that has helped me significantly. I still worry about what others think of it, but I feel less and less inhibited by my self-consciousness all the time. And even though I have a hearing disability, I never let it hold me back. I have always played sports and done well in school, and I’ve realized that living with a disability has made me see the world differently than my friends. Having a clear cut goal in health and fitness has been that main outlet for me.
These last 60 days have been far from easy. My father was diagnosed with leukemia and was laid off from his job of 20 years, all the while I was trying to learn a new career in a completely foreign industry to me. However, having a fitness goal and dedicating my heart and soul to that has kept me on track both mentally and physically. I was much heavier at the start of this program than I am now and as I progressed closer to my goal and lost the weight I found clarity in other areas of my life as well. I’ve trained with several different trainers throughout my journey but throughout the challenge I’ve worked with Erika Patterson. I’ve undergone metabolic testing, nutrition coaching, and I feel I’ve learned a lot through this process. I’ve been able to get to the lowest body fat percentage I’ve ever had. When Murphy came knocking on me door as he always does, it didn’t completely derail me. I was able to focus better and retain more information at work. Now I feel more confident in my own skin and that gives me hope. I know life will continue to happen but the fact that I know I am able to not just survive but THRIVE despite all of it. I’m in THE best shape I’ve ever been in and that makes me think that the next 60 days might just be a little better!