I had the privilege of seeing Oprah when she was here, thanks to a client who bought me a ticket. Oprah talked about “following the thread back through your life,” to find your passion. I look back at my life (following the thread so to speak)...and what did I find?
Fitness, helping others, and pushing the limits on all goals and overcoming
obstacles set in front of me.
I wanted to let you in on how and why I am at this point in my life.... I
was raised with 5 adopted brothers and sisters all of different nationalities....we
were a target from bullies right from the start. Living in an all white neighborhood
with black brothers and a native sister we endured not only abuse at home but
bullied in the community for being different. I distinctly remember being chased
by kids at lunch time along with my brother with chants of “we are the KKK and
we going to kill you.” Going home and telling Mom what happened and being met
with a slap in the head. On top of that my brother at 15 months got meningitis and
he has brain damage to this day, he has CP and he’s mentally 2 to 4 years old. Having
a “retard” brother was just the icing on the cake. (That’s what the kids called
him in the community).
Most of you probably don’t know but I was raised in an abusive home, mentally,
physically, emotionally, sexually you name it happened to me.. Being an abused
child can be a very confusing thing....I thought at the time a parent’s job was
to hate their children. I look back at my child hood photos... never a smile always an angry or scared look
on my face. I was told I was no good, an idiot, stupid; I would never amount to
anything. I even remember my mom telling me she wished she never adopted me.
She hated me. I remember being put out in the middle of winter and not being
allowed back in all day, even to go to the washroom, (we had to find other alternatives
the side of house was the favorite of my sisters). I never had a birthday
party, a sleep over or any friends over. We were beaten not only by any object
my mother could find, but a huge hand carved board that was used for extensive beatings.
I remember being thrown, punched slapped hair pulled and being thrown down the
stairs. That is just the abuse on the surface, but I think you get the point.
I was scared spit less to come home after school not knowing what would
await me....My brother was in trouble with the police at an early age. I remember
him kicking a three legged dog on our way to school and me crying....of course
back then I had no idea this was a direct result from the abuse suffered at
home. I just thought he was “mean.” Looking at my brothers and sisters the
anger is still in them, they have not taken the steps to move forward, they are
using the past for excuses in their lives. The results of not facing your past will
come in many forms such as; anger, alcoholism, drugs, physical abuse, mental illness,
over eating, under eating and the list goes on. Dr Phil has always said that mental
and psychological abuse is always worse, because those scars never heal. He’s
You see this abuse grew into an anger issue, a big one. It started at 14 years
of age, that when I started experimenting with alcohol. I soon would discover
people, were frightened of me, I could use this anger as power to get my way.
But something funny happened, I found the gym. I found exercise. I found an
I was 15 years old when I found exercise. I snuck into the gym to get way from
the abuse at home, I looked up to older women at the gym and stated following them
around the gym copying what they were doing. I would spend hours upon hours
there. All those hours at the gym helped with the anger, sadness, self doubt
and all the other aspects of being abused. Exercises were helping to heal me.
It was my way out. I mean I was always athletic, but self doubt always kept me
from joining the track team or any team for that matter. WHY because I was brain
washed to believe I was a failure, I was not good enough. I would surely fail.
I had to go alone; I had to face my demons.
Looking back I now know why I was at the gym for all those long hours. I was
escaping from the abuse at home. I was filtering all that aggression and hostility
into workouts out and that helped to relive the stress and anxiety. I firmly believe
if I did not have that I would have ended up in jail, a drug or alcohol
addiction or worse. Fitness and helping others was my destiny....it was the missing
Your past does not define who you are.
The difference is I made a point to change my life and not follow that
pattern of abuse and the vicious cycle that would surely affect my future
children. I am the only one in my family that has made that change, stopped
making excuses for my behaviour because of my past.
I knew this path of destruction was not for me. My mother in law asked me
the other day how I came to this point, with no one guiding me, how could I be
who I am today? Easy really, I made a conscious decision I would not go
down that road. I had God. I read self help books, I watched Oprah...yes she
was a big influence in raising my kids and being the person I am today. I went
to counselling. I put my energy into positive things like charity work in the
community and working on myself, (which is a never ending mission)....So many
people have asked me to write a book about my life and experiences, I have started
but it’s a work in progress.
Being abused has taught me to have a soft spot for abused kids and abused animals.
Why because I have been there, I know the hurt, I know the anger I know the
Thank God for my workouts, I get up every day and think I am able to walk,
run, climb, hop, punch, kick and hopefully by the end of the year a hand stand
I am so blessed to be able to do this
fitness thing....I will always have a passion for fitness. I make a difference in
people’s lives every day. I make them believe in themselves when maybe no one else
would, I improve the quality of my client’s lives, and I give the best possible
training to clients. I take my job very seriously; I actually had a lady tell
me sarcastically a few Saturdays ago (a brand new client) tell me Belinda you
really need to have more passion when you talk about fitness and training, with
a big smirk on her face. Yes it’s true, I can’t contain my knowledge when it
comes to fitness, I can’t contain my passion in helping others, I am quite shy
normally but when the topic of fitness comes in I can’t stop talking...!
Why did I tell you all this?
You need to stop making excuses for whatever is going on in your life, face
it, work through it, move past and learn from it. The past may be 40 years ago
or yesterday but guess what, as humans we always tend to go back there and
blame it for every bad thing in our lives.
You see when I ask a client to do something and they say “I can’t”... I think
to myself yes they can! Why don’t they believe in themselves? I know they can
do it. They are just self- doubting themselves....they don’t want to fail. They
are second guessing themselves. Failing is not trying and giving up before you
have even begun. I think to myself if they only knew the true power that they
When you achieve a goal, it transfers to many different areas of your life,
you start to believe in yourself. You see people differently. Life becomes a
journey that you must finish little by little, step by step, hurdle by hurdle.
I look at my kids and say to myself I did something right, the abuse stopped in
its tracks... it did not permanent my family. I changed my kids past because of
I challenge you to follow the thread in your life...find the passion, it’s there
you just need to look. Stop the self doubt talk, you can do anything you want
to do. You are important, you are seen, you are heard. You are special. Believe
in yourself! Giveback, help others, and the end of the day if you can say you
did the right thing, you were was ethical,
you were professional and you made a difference, it really does not matter who
has what to say.
START TODAY TO CHANGE YOUR FUTURE ONLY YOU CAN!
What an amazing, heart-felt post Belinda. Not easy sharing emotions and memories like you did here.
Thanks for sharing - and inspiration to us all in sharing our emotions... and in letting fitness become more of a leader in our lives. Awesome stuff! Troy