Our Breakthrough Spotlight member for February is Staci Parker! Staci shares how developing her physical strength has helped in all aspects of life, and helped her realize she is capable of anything she sets her mind to!
BREAKTHROUGH: Staci, thanks for being our Spotlight member for February! I always like to start with a little bit of background on what you were doing before you joined us at Breakthrough… So how were you feeling before you started training with us? What led you here?
STACI: I wasn’t feeling good! Ha, ha! I just felt that I was getting more and more ailments… I have some ankle trouble. I love hiking, but with my ankle that wasn’t as much of an option. I knew I needed to do something different. I figured I needed to build some core and that would help me… Also being in my 50’s, approaching my mid-50’s, and knowing that if this is what my 50’s feel like, what is going to happen when I am in my 60’s? And I didn’t want to go down a road that I felt I was starting to go down, and I wanted to nip it in the bud.
BREAKTHROUGH: That makes sense. You realized, “This the time I need to take care of myself.”
STACI: And I am not a gym person, so this was just like totally going outside the box for me. It took reading all the reviews on Yelp and Google and your website and then coming in and talking to you and hearing your story and your mom’s story. That got me.
BREAKTHROUGH: Great! So how are you feeling now, compared to when you first started?
STACI: Overall, I feel great! It has been an emotional and physical journey for me. Since I joined Breakthrough, I feel my life has changed in a more positive way and the choices I make in my life are more positive. I feel encouraged, I feel believed in, I feel proud, I feel stronger, I feel more confident, I feel more secure about taking new things on. I feel more at peace, and the peace I feel in my heart feels so good. I noticed it for the first time bringing in the New Year. I felt peace with the year and contentment… and with all of that I feel gratitude.
BREAKTHROUGH: Wow! That is so wonderful! What is one of the things you have accomplished in here that you are the most excited about?
STACI: I have to say that – even though they weren’t the perfect chin-ups – that day when I did two unassisted chin-ups, was like the biggest high since I was here. And also I feel like the second biggest accomplishment is conquering the kettlebells. I know there is no perfection – like you say you are still working on the perfect swing, but I feel like I never thought I was going to get that down. And now I can do them!
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, I know swings look really weird when you first see them. It does take some time and practice. But then once you get it, it is just really fun, and it does feel like a big accomplishment. So, congratulations on that! A lot of people are super intimidated by even looking at those things and don’t want to try it at all!
STACI: So, I guess I have learned that I can actually do whatever I put my mind to doing. It might not happen right away, but it is gonna happen.
BREAKTHROUGH: Very rarely do impressive things happen right away. It takes work. It takes time. So, we are in the midst of the Best Life Challenge right now, and we are about halfway through. It has been really great to see you accomplishing stuff through that process as well. Is there anything about that that you feel is going well that you would like to share?
STACI: Yeah, I noted this weekend that not striving for absolute perfection, and allowing myself forgiveness when I need it is keeping me on track in other areas. Like this week with my dog not doing well, things are challenging this week. That is ok, because I meal prepped like crazy. I am still doing other positive things. I am still going to practice my hangs for my chin ups. I am still doing other things to reach my goal. I am not going to beat myself up over this and that is huge accomplishment for me.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, that is huge to cut yourself slack when you need it and know that you are still accomplishing other stuff.
STACI: Another thing I like about the Best Life Challenge is, I stress easily and I always think I have so much on my plate, so it really helps to hear other people sharing about what’s going on in their lives.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, it helps to know that we are not alone. We all have our life stresses going on. They may not be exactly the same, but we all support each other. That is a very positive thing. The last thing I want to know is – what is your WHY? What is your deeper sense of why you are taking care of you?
STACI: Well, my initial “why”is kind of embarrassing… I wanted to improve how I look… I do love it when people tell me that I look good. I enjoy getting the compliments…
BREAKTHROUGH: We all want to look our best. There is nothing wrong with that. I am not going to judge you for enjoying a compliment!
STACI: But as I am blossoming, I realized that my “why” is also blossoming. It feels good to feel stronger. It gives me more confidence to do things. Like with my dog right now. Had I not been coming here, there is no way I could be lifting her the way I am lifting her. Also, I want to continue to discover what I am capable of. To continue to push myself. To continue to discover the inner/outer strength I have, and continue stepping outside of my comfort zone, and trying things that continue to feel hard and uncomfortable. To take these on knowing that in the beginning I may not be good at it, but knowing that with perseverance, determination and the right mindset, I will get better and I will conquer. That is HUGE for me. This is something that I need to take into other areas of my life and I believe as I continue to get stronger I will be able to take this knowledge to other areas of my life. To continue to surround myself with “positive” goal-oriented people who encourage me and believe in me. Who make me want to give my very best. My “why now” is to continue being my very best, doing my best and experience the “ups and downs” of this journey.
BREAKTHROUGH: That is so fantastic! I think this is awesome and I can’t wait to inspire other people with your story! Thank you, Staci!