Writers get inspiration from so many places. From the movies we watch on the silver screen, to the music that plays on the radio, and from other books we read. Today I’d like to mention one person who inspired me.
Amy Adams was a pioneer in my community…and a female entrepreneur among few. Alongside other big chain gyms, she opened a women’s only facility so ladies could work out without being ogled and measured by the guys. Why? Because she’d been where we were, with a hundred extra pounds weighing us down. She’d battled to become slim and wanted other women to do the same for themselves. I joined her location in Graham with my mom and sister, so we could get healthy together after Amy told us the grim news of our BMI. We also used it as a time to reconnect as we let go of outside pressures and stresses. Our hours there were our time to chat, pump some iron and sweat, but not in that order.
Amy was the first person to personal train my sister as a Christmas gift from her husband. And when I had my car accident and didn’t come to the gym, Kim would say “Amy’s wondering where you are.” She was always there checking up on us to make sure we stayed on track. When my sister dropped 80 pounds Amy told everyone at the gym, and had my sister post a testimonial on her website. (What Amy didn’t know was that she’d spurred my sister toward earning a personal training degree and a dream of carrying on Amy’s vision.) Every one of us mattered to her, no matter how busy or preoccupied she was from watching over her two girls who often joined her at the gym or running her business.
Since there’s never enough time in the day, I also multitasked while I worked out alone. I still recall those days on the treadmill when I’d read the latest RT to see what was current, and the Sunday afternoon I spent riding the bike while I judged Golden Heart entries. The gym was also one of the first places I got to unveil my new business cards, since Amy supported other women who’d started their own businesses.
Amy was also a prolific writer who reached a wider scope of women and men alike through her articles in several local publications. Her articles in ALAMANCE WOMAN were the reason I decided to submit. When the February issue with my first submission hit stands, we were both in the magazine. This December, the editor is dedicating the issue to Amy for her inspiration and determination to help women.
Remember that drama I mentioned last week in my post? Well it tripled in magnitude this week when I learned that Amy was found dead. She’d been forced to make the hardest decision of her life by closing the gym she’d run for 9 years. From friends I learned Amy felt that she’d let us, her members, down. Yet, really she’d built so many of us up to highs that we never would’ve reached alone. Together we’d built new relations to strengthen each other as not just as workout buddies, who shared triumphs, and especially this week, tragedies.
Please let anyone who inspires you know how you feel about them! Reach out that helping hand to a friend, and listen when they need to talk. You never know when that few moments could mean the difference between life and death.
One of the special pictures I got to see of Amy last night at the funeral home was a shot from her first 5K. I had to wonder if that had something to do with my sister’s drive to do 5K’s. Needless to say, each one we’ve done has been special. Our first race we did for ourselves and to meet one of Kim’s testimonial goals, the next we did for Breast Cancer since we have friends and family who’ve battled the disease, and on November 15th we’ll be racing to honor our Dad. If you’d like to add to our fundraising efforts to support research and education about Lung Cancer, please go to: www.firstgiving.com/dadsgirls .