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My Story of Strength, Loss and Finding the Real “Me”

by Cindy Creelman

Ten years ago I was in the best shape I’d ever been. I was doing a boot camp and running a total of five days a week. Then my mother was diagnosed with gioblastoma and died within a month. I was devastated by the loss. I lost interest in everything. I was angry and sad. And not long after, my marriage started to fail. Unlike my mother, my marriage took years to die. 

I kept up with the boot camp, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore. My attendance got spottier. Then I started a boxing class twice a week at the Charles Houston Rec Center. I got hooked on boxing and gave up boot camp. Two days weren’t enough, so I kept searching for something to add in. I started following the Alexandria Stylebook and Fitness on the Run caught my eye. Unfortunately, at the time, FOR’s classes didn’t align with my schedule. But I kept watching them. Finally, about two years ago, FOR started offering early morning and evening classes – just what I needed. So, I signed up. Then a few months later, I started taking a yoga class. 


Strength Loss, And Finding The Real Me


My workout regimen had come together, and just in the nick of time because my father died that fall and my marriage was on its last legs. More loss. The boxing, FOR, and yoga all gave me something positive in my life amidst the loss, and helped me cope with the stress, anger, and sadness that I bounced between daily. 


Strength Loss, And Finding The Real Me


Then, almost inadvertently, I started to change my diet. No big changes, but significant ones. I stopped drinking soda and eating processed meats. I made healthy dinners and brought lunches to work as often as I could. I cut out low fat and fat free products and tried to eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day. I don’t always succeed with healthy eating, and I do love a cocktail and pizza, but that’s what weekends are for. I also stopped looking at other people and feeling bad about what I couldn’t do. Now I look to other people for inspiration.

Strength Loss, And Finding The Real Me


None of these changes individually were big or difficult, but together they were huge. Over time, my body started to change and now I’m in the best shape of my life. I have visible muscle definition and passed all my physicals with flying colors. My doctors tell me that I am the ideal patient and to keep doing what I’ve been doing.


Strength Loss, And Finding The Real Me


I feel great every day, and I enjoy every workout – even the hard ones. The personal training and classes at FOR are not just great workouts, they’re fun. I’ve gotten so many more benefits from working out than just physical strength. I have made friends at FOR, in boxing class, and at yoga. All of these have made a monumental difference in my life and helped me face some of the most difficult challenges of my life. 


Strength Loss, And Finding The Real Me


I may never be the best, or the fastest, or the most flexible, or the strongest. But I can be the best, fastest, most flexible, and strongest version of me.

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