Fabulous Fitness Freaks: First Installation

I am easily inspired. If I see someone accomplishing something against great odds, or battling adversity, and forging ahead in spite of it, I am transformed into a “blubbering idiot” within a nanosecond. Even, if it is just someone setting an example, and aspiring others to do the same. These individuals are enthralling. They are told they can’t, or shouldn’t do something, and they do it anyways.

One afternoon, not too long ago, I was at the gym, and there was a woman working out by the cardio equipment. She was approximately 55, small-framed and thin. The woman wore a lovely blond bob, and a classy matching workout ensemble. Her most surprising accessory? – a walker.  I watched her as I knocked out my minutes on the bike. She shuffled from machine-to-machine, sometimes barely able to keep going. Once on the machine she would rest for a minute, and then, bless her heart, perform whatever reps she could handle. Then, she would rest again. She was there for over an hour, and never stopped pushing herself. Every movement was clearly a struggle. It would have been so much easier to just give up. I knew within a few minutes of watching her that she had advancing multiple sclerosis.

I have come across many inspiring “fitnessy” people during my travels, but this woman is my greatest inspiration of perseverance. I see her regularly at the gym now, and she always motivates me. If she can show up and give it her best every day, so can I.

The FITNESS FREAK SERIES was inspired by those people, who take my breath away with their brave and courageous acts – the people that raise the bar for the rest of us. FITNESS FREAKS are people, who stand apart from the apathetic, inactive, status quo. These men and women remind us that there is no “one way” to stay fit – there are many. And, all of them will share the following motto, “Do EVERYTHING you can today, because you have no idea what will be taken from your pool of abilities tomorrow.”

I have been collecting these wonderful examples of fitness motivators for a few months now, and I thought I would share three of them with you today.

Here are the first three FITNESS FREAKS stories in my collection:

HELGA – “I am 70-ish woman. I believe that if I do everything that I can to stay fit, I can do everything I want. Working out makes me HAPPY! I walk or swim every day, and I work out at least an hour at the gym. Working out is the first thing I put on my calendar every morning. I even work my other obligations around my fitness schedule. Fitness, and subsequently my health are THAT important to me.”


I see this woman at the gym every time I am there. She works hard, and smiles the whole time. She positively glows from the inside out, and the radiation that comes from her is pure health.


KIM – “I had stiffness throughout my whole body. I was stiffening up more and more, and no doctor could tell me why. It got so bad that I had to sleep in a chair at night because my whole spine would hurt so badly when I lay down. I finally decided to take things into my own hands – I enrolled at a gym. Gently and slowly, I started to wiggle and move. I danced on the treadmill, and waved my arms in the air. Over time, everything just started to change. I felt the blood flow to my fingertips and toes. I made sure to sweat hard because that is when my body felt the best. Thankfully, I no longer have stiffness, and I am healthier than I have ever been. I work out every day.”


I am mesmerized by this woman’s dancing routine on the treadmill. It is fantastic! She closes her eyes, and completely “lets it all go.”


PETER – “I am 63-ish (his wife behind him indicates higher) man. I was a firefighter for many years. I learned the “80/20” rule early, and it has kept me fit. Eighty percent of the time I do everything right (eat and exercise), but the other 20% I go easy on myself. But, being in this kind of shape has to be developed early on. I fear that I would not be able to enjoy life the way I do (i.e. golfing, biking and running), if I had not started early, and stayed consistent. I did it because I did not want anything to hold me back from my fulfilling dreams in later life.”


I noticed this man, while on vacation. He was super fit, and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. He laughed a lot, and often engaged with the other guests at the hotel. This man seemed to have TONS of energy. And, he was happy to share his secrets with me!

Has someone inspired your fitness journey? If so, I would love to hear about it in the Comments Section of WELLFITandFED.

2 Responses

  1. What a great article! These fitness freaks are a real inspiration. May I adopt a similar mindset in 2015. Thank you for sharing!

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About Dr. Denniston

Dr. Denniston is a wellness strategist for elite leaders and their teams, bridging the connection between personal well-being and professional success. She provides custom solutions for burnout and stress and facilitates cohesive habit-training strategies that maximize vitality, productivity, and resilience.

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