It is common to read in the newspaper or to see on the television stories of people who have accomplished something extraordinary. Common people who, from a place of near hopelessness, have made a decision to stop doing something that has been tearing their life apart and start doing something they deem critical to themselves or others. They catch fire, burning with a new mission or goal.
Karen Daniel’s story is a great example of such spirit.
Karen’s journey has to do with weight, way too much of it, the kind of extra weight that steals your energy, isolates you, leads to ridicule, and can kill you .
I first heard about Karen two years ago at a private Gym named “Basic Training” owned and operated by William Crawford. I had been working out with Bill for a couple of years and knew most of the people who frequented the gym and had seen many people come and go. I could not help but wonder if Karen even belonged in a gym. Karen weighed 375 pounds and was 67 inches around. Here is how Jackie Adams from CNN described her:
“Karen Daniel was wider around than she was tall. Weighing 375 pounds, the 45-year-old wife and mother had high blood pressure; her knees hurt and she was always hot. She felt fatigued and could barely breathe at the slightest exertion. Even the simplest things became a chore — tying her shoes, crossing her legs, getting in and out of the car or trying to fit into a chair with arms.”
That was two years ago. Fast-forward to today and you see a woman who has completely transformed her life. Please read her story as I found it inspirational.
Last week I talked with Karen just after CNN had interviewed her. She looked and felt great, and it was an inspiration to see her again.
And, given my work helping people succeed, I became deeply curious.
I asked Karen, what had made the difference? She had tried hundreds of times to get unstuck. Why was she successful this time? Her answer was straightforward. Karen had become sick and tired of being sick and tired. She knew if she did not take action, she would continue to live a life of painful compromise. She wanted less pain, and she wanted more fun and pleasure.
Well, lots of us want less or more of something. Most have tried hundreds of times to get unstuck, yet real and lasting change can remain elusive.
So what was it that made the difference for Karen? Why was she able to trudge through two years of sweat and tears in support of her goals when many people cannot stay true to a new resolution for even one weekend? Do we really need to become sick to muster the will and energy to transform our lives? What motivates lasting change?
We will explore these types of questions in this Blog – questions that make a difference.