58: My Big Wake-Up Call

58: My Big Wake-Up Call

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life

My Big Wake-Up Call

The world breaks everyone. And afterward, some are stronger at the broken places.

~Ernest Hemingway

My wake-up call happened five years ago on the scale at my doctor’s office. Normally, I’d make small talk with the nurse by way of distraction. I’d step off the scale with no knowledge of just how much I weighed. The nurses would quietly write down the mysterious number while I made my way back to the examining room.

For years, my strategy of number avoidance worked beautifully to keep me ignorant of just how much I’d gained. But on wake-up call day, I put down my purse and stepped on the doctor’s scale to find a very different experience with a very different kind of nurse.

I stepped on the scale with my usual darting eyes and light conversation about the weather. All of a sudden she announced my weight. Aloud! I’m not saying she shouted, but I’m saying every staff member and doctor and patient in the building knew my weight.

Worst of all, I knew it. Honestly, I can’t remember the exact number (my subconscious is protecting me from the shock), but I do know it was more than I weighed going into the hospital to give birth.

I was shocked. Embarrassed. Completely in a tizzy over this number. And although I don’t remember why I was at the doctor’s that day, that cataclysmic event sent me on a mission to get healthy. It was the shove off the cliff I needed to get my body moving.

I called my dear friend, Amy, and took her up on the standing invitation to join her kickboxing class. It was the best decision I could have made.

The first day of kickboxing, I about passed out (quite literally). But I’d made a die-hard commitment to get in shape, and soon I fell in love with it. Kickboxing for exercise revived a childhood dream of becoming a black belt. Two years after starting, I started training at our local mixed martial arts school along with our two sons.

Last May I tested for my first-degree black belt, earning the Best Tester award in my category.

Five years after my wake-up call with the number-yelling nurse, at forty-four years old, I tested for my second-degree black belt. I fulfilled a dream while working my way into a stronger and healthier woman. I feel like I’m just getting started. It’s true; some of the best things in life are just beyond our biggest wake-up calls.

~Lori Lara

More stories from our partners