A New Attitude - Darby's Story

Photo:  Joe Combs

Photo: Joe Combs

My best friend stood in my kitchen with her hands on my shoulders as tears ran down my cheeks. That day I made another attempt for a business loan just so I could be told NO one more time. I felt rejected by my world, my knowledge, my inspirations…my future. “How can this be…maybe I DON’T know what I am doing…maybe I DON’T deserve this…yet how is this possible? This is my only way out…this is my only way out!” I cried. My friend put her arms around me and said “I know…I know this is your only way out.”

With my teeth grinding and my mind desperately holding on to the last bit of courage (a.k.a…self-respect), I made one more attempt for a business loan so I could do what I needed to do. This time I was bringing a new attitude to the table. I had to tell myself over and over again that I was the right person to take this project on. I have the determination to help people and I needed their help also. (Secretly I also kept reminding myself of successful people who have failed at their own business adventures. That helped!)

Tick. Tick. Tick. Pop the champagne! The loan came through. Now what? Time to spend some money. So here we go! The continued blessing of the Physique Fitness crew/staff is almost indescribable. They were right there waiting to go to work and see this vision through with me. Rather quickly with many long days and late nights working and designing at Physique Fitness, we approached our Grand Opening, July 17th, 2014. The response from the community was simply magical. Very special people in my life where there that night and I will never forget it.

Unfortunately, that same night I was reminded of why I needed Physique Fitness to flourish. I had to survive. Mascara on my pillow case, sheets soaked in sweat, the forbidden normalcy of life and the guilt all had to go. It had to cease to exist so I could exist. IT. WAS. KILLING. ME. Emotionally and physically I was testing the limits of my strength.

Eight months went by and I decided to make the best damn cup of coffee for my husband. I slid it across the table and told him that it was time for him to go. He crossed his legs, smiled and said “okay.”

Photo:  Joe Combs

Photo: Joe Combs

Mission: “Get you and your child healthy” was officially in motion. I would be able to see my family again and slowly let the fog lift from my eyes and my heart. Many people are very confused when I say things like this and understandably so. The details of my past relationship really do not matter, but what does matter is that I knew what was going on. And it wasn’t right in any way. So many sleepless nights of watching my little boy sleep, contemplating HIS future…Writing a book about “all of this” one day is on my bucket list!

As I went through a large transition of moving, getting a divorce (14 years), taking care of my son, deaths in the family, fighting PTSD, running a business, finances, a shattered ring finger, major back surgery and the fun one, trying to like myself again…what I noticed was so amazing to me. What I noticed is that when I teach group fitness to these AMAZING woman and men the list of things mentioned above simply slides away. My focus changes to helping people. I see it in their eyes that they need me just as much as I need them. And somehow-someway I was blessed with this opportunity. What people say about the instructors/crew at Physique Fitness is that they are real people with a real passion. We don’t judge at Physique Fitness (“FITNESS FOR ALL” is our tag line and that is why!) because our goal is to make life a little better, a little sweeter for those who walk through our doors. And it is truly happening. Clients have spoken some of the kindest words to myself and to the crew whether it be about their relationship with their significant other, weight loss, confidence, acceptance, inspiration, spirituality and the list goes on. The point is though that they SEE, they see that they are stronger and valued more than they ever realized. And BOOM, we get to be a part of that.

Photo:  Joe Combs

Photo: Joe Combs

There is so much to say about how I got to where I am today and about where I would like to go. (Again book=bucket list!) I grew up listening to 70’s rock riding around in my dad’s truck and booty poppin music with my brother and sister. Sports, theatre and my 1988 firebird about sum up my high school years. Then I was married and shut up for many years. As stated before, I knew I had to find a way out. My gift for helping and inspiring people could not be squelched any more. I became a client at a fitness studio abut 6 years ago. Shortly after becoming a member at that fitness studio, the owner approached me about teaching. I knew NOTHING about group fitness. But! Unbeknownst to me, my love for music, people and health where essential to teaching group fitness. I started studying as much as I could while at the same time traveling to job sites around the Mid-west as an iron worker. Yes, I was an actual iron worker! I enjoyed the time with my father, learning the trade and the prevailing wage so much!

There was so much I didn’t know getting started and so much that I still don’t know. I didn’t realize I would slowly become a plumber, photographer, electrician, DJ, party planner, counselor, traveler, social media nut, janitor…on top of being a group fitness instructor! When something has to be taken care of, I do it. If I don’t know how to do it, I have to find out how to do it. It really is that simple. It’s not fun to be overwhelmed, scared and nervous. When duty calls though, I am the girl for the job. I guess that’s why the business loan finally went through…because I was given a chance to show that I can do it. And I am graciously learning every day.

What or who inspires me is such a tricky topic of discussion…blue skies with my child smiling, thunderstorms with everyone safe, sunsets with my love, hearing my mom’s voice, watching Bey’ videos with my besties, people truly helping other people and the ability of this beautiful world are a few of the things that inspire me. I love to give. Giving is natural and beautiful to me. I care so much despite what dark clouds may come and go.

-Darby

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April Nelson