Life can be very difficult at times. Some days may get you down—motivation is lacking and energy levels are low. But each day is a new day! Every day is a new opportunity to work towards your goals. Don’t let your past circumstances determine your future.
Here we have Idalis Velazquez, NordicTrack’s iFit personal trainer. She is a perfect example of what determination looks like. She shares her story below and explains how something so disabling can be what fuels you to get moving.
“I have two daughters, Mia and Valentina. Mia is 11 years old, she’s very creative. And Valentina, she’s very energetic, very funny, very silly. We laugh a lot. We dance. Now we have our own little world. They’re definitely mommy’s girls. The way they show love to me, and how they’re always so proud of me makes me feel like I’m doing a good job with our relationship. I always tell my daughters that they can do anything as long as they don’t give up, like in my case.
I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. My parents divorced when I was five years old. For me, one of the things that kind of helped me go through that and feel a little confident was sports. Track and field was definitely my first love, just something that made me feel really good about myself. I was in a national team in Puerto Rico from the ages 13 to 23. It became my identity—just sports and winning. I was getting really good, really strong, but I started getting a lot of injuries, and I started having weird problems in my arms—numbness, a lot of migraines. I was laying in bed with my husband, and I got these sudden pain in the
back of my neck and from there like the worst migraine that I’ve ever felt in my life. We went to the nearest hospital. The doctor in the ER quickly discovered that I had bleeding in the brain. The bleeding remained there for months, and I was just afraid to go to sleep at night. I’m like, what if I don’t wake up? They told me, ‘You cannot run anymore, you cannot do anything high-impact’ and that was the crushing moment that came that I literally lost everything that I worked so hard for. Emotionally and physically, I was just feeling beat up, tired. I thought this was it for me. And then after one of my appointments with one of the specialists, he just told to me, ‘Idalis, you’re an athlete, right? Just start running again. What else do you have to lose?’ That’s exactly for how I felt, like I’m following all this instruction and I’m not getting better. That day was the first day that I went for a jog.
Little by little, I will try to add movement. I connected with my body and remember how good it felt to be strong. I have way less pain than I did years ago. In my experience, a lot of times, the first advice they give you is just, um, whenever you have any kind of pain is just rest, but the most important thing you can do is just to listen to your own body. You know best. Don’t just give up the first time you hear or know ‘you cannot do this anymore’ or ‘that’s it, you’re not supposed to exercise or do anything’, but from this experience, movement heals. Try to find ways to add movement to strengthen your body to heal, so that you can feel better, and who knows, you might end up doing those things that you never thought you were gonna do again, like in my case.”