Every morning I wake up to two quotes from different apps – one from “yoga quotes” and the other from “quote of the day”. Sometimes I feel like they have nothing to do with my life, and probably never will. Today’s, however, fit in perfectly with a recent occurrence in my life – which inspired me to write about it.
“Not only can you not plan the impact you’re going to have, you often won’t recognize it when you’re having it.”
Last Tuesday, I received a Facebook message from a student who worked at the Rec Center at Rowan University. Although I was a G.A at the Student Center, I taught Zumba at the Rec Center and worked out there fairly often. I met so many awesome, driven, inspiring and motivating students, GAs, and professional staff there. I was lucky to be surrounded by such awesome people throughout Rowan.
This one student in particular was a huge motivator for me. CONFESSION: I was a cardio addict – teaching Zumba 5-6 times a week, running on occasion, obsessed with the elliptical … that was me. I barely touched weights and hardly dabbled in strength training. Truth be told – I was afraid of the weight room. I didn’t know how most of the stuff worked and I was terrified to try to use it all. This student was a trainer, and was CONSTANTLY motivating her clients … I would see her at the gym almost every morning between 6-7 am working with all different types of people … so I decided to reach out. Her personality was fun-loving, bubbly, inspiring and that of an all around driven trainer. She immediately offered to help me, and within weeks had me in the weight room, comfortable with majority of the machines and had a full program set up for me. Eventually, I wasn’t afraid to walk in the weight room on my own, and spend my entire workout strength training with the exception of a 5-10 minute warm-up. She was a student, she was younger than me and SHE HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON ME AND THE WAY I LIVED MY LIFE. This student went on to be offered and accept a Graduate Assistantship (which she is going to ROCK at).
I digress …
Last Tuesday, I received a FB a Facebook message from this student – part of which stated, “I know we didn’t get the chance to see each other before you or I had left, but I wanted to say thanks for everything. You’ve really been an inspiration to me. You’ve made me want to be a health advocate, GA, and positive person like you. The little things you do every day has made an impact on me and many others as well. I will continue to follow you on your journey and I hope that we can stay in touch!”
Needless to say, I was speechless (for those of you who know me, you know that doesn’t happen often). Here I was, so grateful for the inspiration, motivation and courage this student supplied me with – and there she was thanking ME for inspiring her. Never, in a million years, did I expect to be someone who made an impact on her. I was so focused on my gratitude for what she taught me that I didn’t pay attention to what my words or actions did for her.
Needless to say, this has all taught me a REALLY important life lesson. You have NO IDEA who you’re making an impact on (positive OR negative … lucky for me, this was positive). At any given point, no matter where your head is – other people are thinking about and focusing on something completely different. You may think that you’re walking through your day, without anyone noticing – but, in reality, you are leaving footprints wherever you go. It’s up to YOU if those footprints will be remembered positively or negatively – and regardless of what you think, someone WILL remember something.
One of the reasons I am looking forward to being a professional in higher education is because the people surrounding you, students especially, can teach YOU just as much as you can teach THEM – and this further proved that for me. Once again, this student has taught me an important lesson – and I could not be more grateful.
This is my life … In Progress.