While I doubt that anyone reading this is currently in a phase where you’ve given up hope of achieving your health and fitness goals, or, let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t be logging onto Gyminee right now, I bet that most everyone has felt that way at some point in time. You wonder whether or not it’s worth it; wonder if you should just quit; think it’s just never going to happen for you.
Now, I could be wrong, but I would bet that the most widely used reason for giving up goes something like <*ahem*>, “I just don’t have time to workout or eat healthy; my lifestyle is too busy and hectic to allow for that” or the less common, but more direct, “It’s just too hard”.
Well, don’t let Melanie Roach hear you say that because there’s a good chance she could lift you over her head until you change your tune. She does hold the unofficial world record for Clean & Jerking more than twice her body weight, after all.
Melanie Roach, a 33-year-old, 5’1″, 117-pound mother of three is a weightlifting competitor for the good ol’ U S of A in the 2008 Beijing Olympics (whose opening ceremonies are tomorrow night), and if you haven’t heard her story before, she’ll make you think twice about giving up. Because until you’ve suffered from a hyperextended elbow, a herniated disk (which affected her for seven years, caused her more pain than any of her three, natural child births, left her unable to stand up straight, forced her to remain in bed for days at a time, and threatened to put her in a wheelchair if she injured it any further), depression, and dealt with the unique challenges that come with having an autistic 5-year-old son, all while running a business, I don’t think your excuses (or mine) hold a candle to the numerous ones she could have fallen back on. In fact, most of the reasons I’ve used for not aggressively pursing my next life, health, or nutrition goal sound rather stupid stacked up against Melanie’s story.
Now, I could choose to let that bring me down. I could tell myself, “Wow, if she can do all of that, how pathetic am I that I can’t…<insert goal here>”. But instead I challenge myself (and you) to let this story be a motivating factor in my (and your) life. I don’t have Olympic aspirations; I don’t have the same degree of obstacles standing in my way. So, if Melanie can earn herself a spot on the US Olympic team, against all of the odds that life stacked against her, then why can’t you or I achieve our goals as well? It should be easy in comparison, right?
OK, maybe it’s not easy, but it is, without a single, microscopic doubt, doable!
Want to know more about Melanie Roach?
Below is a link to an article written by Greg Bishop of the New York Times, which details the daily challenges Melanie and her husband face as the parents of an autistic child, Melanie’s conquest over her injuries, and the amazing comeback that led to her qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Finding Inner Strength by Greg Bishop
Note: Mr. Bishop’s article was published on May 6th, 2008. Melanie qualified for the Beijing Olympics at the trials held on May 17th, 2008.
Melanie has also been featured by ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, NBC, CNN, among others.
Good luck in your competition, Melanie…but you’re already a winner.