“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”
– Muhammad Ali
What does the word “champion” mean to you? Winning a race, a game, or being the best at something? I have found out through the years of hardships and health challenges that being a champion encompasses being able to accomplish the things I never thought I could, being able to conquer what is out of reach, and most importantly, finishing what I started. It has nothing to do with trophies or being number one. When I think about all the times I felt life was too hard, I recall some of the major accomplishments made during those times in my life. Graduating from nursing school is my greatest achievement. I was told by some of my teachers in grade school as well as my own nursing school instructors that I would never graduate nursing school because I was not smart enough. Hearing that made me feel like a loser, not a winner. In the end, it took something deep inside – a desire, a dream, a vision. It took both the skill and the will to become a nurse. I became a champion and passed nursing school with an A average.
When I think of being a champion, publishing my cookbook also comes to mind. At times throughout my life, I have not felt smart enough. I spent many years doubting myself and thinking I was no one special. When I put aside self-pity and accepted my disease, I accomplished the dream that I never thought possible. Not being able to do my first love of nursing anymore devastated me, and my dream shifted. When I put my vision and skills into practical use, I followed a dream that led me to be a champion by writing Be Your Own Chef. I put my doubts aside and believed in myself, knowing and trusting God had a purpose for me, even though my life had detoured from all I loved and knew.
Lastly, as I go to the gym and struggle through my workouts each and everyday, I wonder, “How can I do this? Can I finish this? Will it ever get easier?” I struggle every single workout, as I attempt to catch my breath, work through the pain of my disease, and just find the stamina to finish my workout. All exercise is a real challenge to me, but it is so important to my physical and mental health. Most days, I want to quit and just give up because it is just too hard. Throughout the workout, I have to tell myself to persevere and that I can do it. I have to believe I can or I will never succeed. After two long exhausting hours of working out everyday and 1000 calories burned each workout, I feel like a champion over my disease.
What are your dreams, visions, and desires? Look back on your life and see where you have become your own champion.