I am often asked how I got started with my healthy living project.
It was some months after it happened before I actually told anyone quite how. I guess I was a little embarrassed.
It was 16 March, the day before St Patrick’s day, when I went over to Melinda’s house, answering the call to help her with some St Patrick’s Day cooking (lamb stew, yum!).
We were in the kitchen, chatting away, when she stopped what she was doing and went and pulled something from her purse.
“So this is an intervention.”
She handed me a business card.
“This is Chris. He’s a personal trainer and wellness coach. He’s the real deal. Not a trainer who did a six week course once and is five minutes out of school, but a proper athlete, a triathlete who knows his stuff.”
“He wants to win, and he wants you to win. He’s the one. He’s the one for people like us. He’s good with the bonkers women stuff as well. Pat and I have been seeing him and he’s been great.”
“I’ve told him that if you don’t call within five days, he’s to call you.”
Mumbled protestations from me.
“I have a problem with my feet!’ (plantar fasciitis)
“I don’t think I’m ready for all that at the moment.”
I didn’t even have the energy to argue with her. Looking back, I was so very unwell.
“Just call him,” she said.
“We both know how this works. You can start now, or not. And another six months, or a year goes by. Now is the time. You’re back in Brisbane. You have a job, the time and the money. There’s no reason not to. I’m worried about you. The problem with your heels, the RSI in your arms. Your body isn’t well. The time is now.”
I didn’t call him. I hoped it would all go away.
She texted after a few days asking if I’d called yet.
I hadn’t, but I said I would.
Five days went by and he did, as she had said, text, phone and leave a message.
“Hey Emma this is Chris, Mel and Pat’s trainer. I got your number from Mel she said would be interested in putting a plan together. When would be a good time to call you in the next couple of days, mornings or nights?”
And even though I didn’t feel as though I was ready to start anything and I didn’t really want to engage with any of it, I phoned back. Not because I had any kind of epiphany or sudden rush of motivation. But because it felt a bit rude not to.
Good manners are the reason my healthy living project got off the ground!
I met with Chris on 26 March (I cried a lot, but that’s a story for another time). We agreed on 2 April to start with the healthy eating and 7 April for first training session.
The rest, as they say, is history.
When I tell people that story, they often ask if I was cross or upset about being ambushed by my friend. And I tell them of course not; we’ve been friends for 20 years, since boarding school. She acted with the very best of intentions.
I’m endlessly grateful for her fortitude in having that challenging conversation and staging an intervention. I’m not sure where I’d be today otherwise.
Definitely not here.
Don’t wait for motivation, inspiration or an epiphany.
They may never come.
Sometimes, you just need to show up, start and see where you land.
And look after your friends.