In 2008, I met a woman who changed my life. I met her on Facebook, and it was completely silly. I was very much a scrapbooker then, and my friends were all friends with the Founder of Chatterbox, a very successful scrapbook company. A woman named Melody Ross. Early in 2008, I sent a friend request to Melody, thinking I was a peon and she’d never accept it. She did! I had read Melody’s blog for several years and had SO much respect for this woman. But I didn’t know her, and back then, you didn’t really send friend requests to complete strangers, right? Well, later in the year, Melody had something happen in her life that was really big. She posted about it on Facebook, and I don’t know what compelled me, but I reached out to her in a private message and told her that it was all going to be okay and that I had her in my thoughts and prayers. Melody has been a friend since that day.
When she and Kathy Wilkins (her sister) started Brave Girls Club, I was one of the first people to sign up for the daily messages. I was SO excited. Beyond excited. When they started offering Brave Girls Camp, my heart cried to go. I knew I’d never have the money, but I yearned to go and be there and participate. I had some extremely scary and heavy stuff going on in my own life (maybe someday, not sharing now!), and I was very broken. I knew I needed to go to camp. In January 2010, Brave Girls Club offered Soul Restoration for the first time. It was an online version of Camp. I signed up immediately. It was the true start of the most amazing part of my journey. I loved the class. I learned SO much about myself, my past, what had made me who I am, and what I needed to do to heal and move forward. It was a long, difficult battle, but I learned that I’m worth it. I did the work, and I met a group of amazing women who are still part of my life.
In April of 2011, I got laid off from the worst job ever. I was handed a severance package that gave me enough money to go to Brave Girls Camp, and camp opened up just as I received the money. I signed up right away! Not only that, many of my friends from the online class also signed up! We went in May of 2012. McCall, Idaho. I cried on the plane as I flew into Idaho. I couldn’t believe I was there. It was so so crazy. My dear friend Mel met me at the gate. We flew into each other’s arms and it was the start of yet another chapter in my crazy journey. When we met the other girls, I met women who were sisters. At one point I met dear Melissa, who I love more than anything. SO much more, but not the key here. Camp was again, lifechanging. I came home, I went to work, I did my job. I daydreamed. I eventually changed jobs because I felt it was time and that I could do better. My first change was a job that I really loved, but the company went under. I found a new position that I thought I loved. My close friends told me to get out. They told me it was NOT a good job, NOT a good match, and I was crazy. I didn’t believe them. I thought it was so wonderful. One day, however, I realized how much I hated it. How no one appreciated me. No one respected me. I was in what Melody would call a “carnival job.” I was working for the head carney! I was broken hearted. But. I knew what to do.
So, in the middle of the job at the carnival, in June 2013, I started doing DDP Yoga. In case you don’t know, DDP Yoga was started by Diamond Dallas Page, 3 time WCW Wrestling Champion. I know, I can’t believe I do it either. Keep reading. So, you can go to youtube and read about why he started it. I’m not going into that here. Fast forward 4 months. September 30th. I’m at the DMV renewing my license and my phone rings. It was Diamond Dallas Page himself. We chatted for 20 minutes or so and he actually ended up calling me back because it was my turn. When I finished talking to him, I had that feeling I had with Melody. This person is someone who is going to influence my life. I knew it as surely as I knew my name. If I could get Melody Ross and DDP in a room together, I think t would change the world. Truly. They are cut from the same cloth in many ways, and I know they would "see" each other immediately.
Today is Day 286. I have put in 286 days of DDP Yoga. I have sweated my way through 9 sport bras, 6 pairs of yoga pants, 6 bandanas, and 2 yoga mats. I have eliminated 28 pounds and more than 37 inches. I am a new woman. I am strong, healthy, my posture is amazingly better, and I am HAPPY. I get up each day and I look in the mirror and make myself find one feature that I like about myself (that isn’t my face or hair!). Each day it’s getting a tiny bit easier. And I'm JUST starting!!!!
So why did I tell you about Melody? Why did I put Dallas and Melody together this way? Because I really think that had I not met Melody and gone to Brave Girls Camp and done the work, I wouldn’t have stuck with DDP Yoga. I would have said “oh this is too hard.” “oh I can’t do this.” “I’m not good enough to do this.”
Like so many other things, something valuable would have been put aside and I’d have continued my slow path to killing myself with a sedentary life full of unhealthy choices. When I went to Idaho, I was barely able to do the hike. It was really hard. (It was a 2 block beautiful walk to a lake, it was FLAT!) Now I know I’d be fine and have fun and enjoy it! When I started DDP Yoga, my first workout, I don’t think there was a single move that I didn’t have to modify in some way. In fact, some moves, I just sat and watched. I burned 169 calories in that 20 minutes. Say what?
Today on Day 286 of owning my life, doing it anyway, being enough, I want to reach out to every person out there who is standing at the edge, looking over, afraid to leap. I want to shout to them, come on, do it, it will be worth it. You are enough. You are loved, you need to do this! Trust me. Just. Do. It.
I haven’t had the blazing success that many others have had with DDP Yoga, I haven’t lost my 100 pounds yet. But, I have received a gift. A lifelong gift, that I will treasure the way I treasure the gifts that Melody has given me. I have received self-confidence and self-belief. I KNOW I can do anything I set my mind to now, and I KNOW I am enough. Do I have bad days? Days where I think “no, I can’t.” Yes. But, on those days, I have my accountability partner, Mark Furniss, (you know he thought he was getting left out!) who says, “get up, do it. You’ll be happy you did. TRY. BREATHE.” And he’s usually right, even if I do call him #meanman all the time.
If you are new to DDP Yoga and struggling, or even not struggling, find someone to be your accountability partner. Really. Do it. Team DDP Yoga is a fabulous place for support, and there are many people there who will happily agree to be your accountability partner.
If you are a Brave Girl, and you are just starting your journey, or if you are struggling, trust me. It gets better and better and better. Do the work. It’s worth it. YOU are worth it.