For most of my adult life, I have been inspired by the benefits of fitness, feeling good and happy as a direct result of exercise and eating healthy. Fitness, health and food were a big part of my husband's and my life and relationship - we had fun with making fitness and healthy eating a family affair, sometimes to our kids and friends dismay, but with the end result teaching our kids healthy lifestyle choices by our own examples of daily living activities (DLA).
My husband Trent was not only one of the most physically strong and fit (and best-looking!) men that I've ever known, but he genuinely tried to do all the right things, especially with his health......along with a love for beer which we put into the 20% category of our ongoing attempt of the 80-20 approach - eat clean & healthy 80% of the day/week. We discovered many new things about nutrition, what's really in the food we eat, "good and bad" foods, how to not be mislead by nutrition labels, new sports and exercises and the benefits we could create for a long, healthy life together for ourselves and our kids. Our passion for learning about health and fitness continued to grow the more we applied what we learned and experienced the results of how we felt physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually as a couple and as individuals. Trent's mantra, and Twitter Profile, was "Squat For Life, or Pay The Price". A Philosophy he learned after discovering a new sport and workout in 2009 called CrossFit. More on CrossFit later.
The last weekend of October 2012, we spent a long weekend in Nashville, TN to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We loved country music and exploring new cities and locally-owned eateries together. The mornings after fun, late evenings spent at "Country Music Row", we still got up to workout at the hotel gym and did our best to have a healthy balance on vacation.
Three days after we returned home, Trent's heart stopped and he died unexpectedly from a blood clot that had traveled to his lung. He had just turned 46 three weeks prior and was excited about his work, his life and our family's future. As I write this, it still doesn't seem real even though I am moving forward one day at a time as best as I can for the kids - Matt, Joe and Sophie, to honor his memory and my own life. Although Trent was physically strong, fit and appeared to be very healthy, he had a pre-existing condition of DVT - Deep Vein Thrombosis, not only hereditary, but if ignored the blood clot can travel to the lung or heart and be fatal. http://usatodayhss.com/2012/high-school-football-memory-of-father-inspires-fishers-matt-van-hoosen-to-play-in-his-honor
A month and one day after Trent's shocking passing, I had just sent my daughter on the school bus and I realized I could barely walk or put one foot in front of the other. I was emotionally and physically weak. Losing Trent took me down to my knees, a month later, as it still does sometimes today. My body hurt and my heart ached, but I knew I had to make a change. The only thing I knew how to do and what always gave me energy, happiness, clarity, positive perspective, hope and strength in the past was exercise. So, I went downstairs to our basement and put myself through a pretty intense workout, after no physical exercise, let alone much movement in 31 days. It was the first day I didn't cry..............when I finished my workout, I felt a huge sense of relief, awakening, hope and strength, and it was the first moment when I thought, "I'll be okay and I can get through this whether I want to or not". I chose to take charge and regain control of my life in my weakened state of mind, body and soul to get strong and healthy again....One day at a time and one workout at a time.
I was and continue to be INSPIRED BY FITNESS to be strong, healthy and happy....not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually and intellectually. In my own journey of healing and awakening, what I know for sure is that my desire to help others heal and feel good & confident, get strong, fit and healthy and live their best lives, is why I am here and is the only work I can do now, after 20+ years in Corporate America. INSPIRED By Fitness evolved from a need to heal myself to my new (new normal) life to a new career to help others through health and overall fitness.
So, what's up with the Elephant? One of Trent's favorite sayings when faced with a difficult challenge or life changing event was "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." This also sums up the philosophy of INSPIRED By Fitness - whether you need to lose weight, get stronger/bigger, tone up and build muscle, increase energy and feel better, get and look more fit, remember, it's one bite at a time, one day at a time, one workout at a time, one healthy choice at a time! He also loved to say, "Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels". I love that one!
Meet Sophie the Elephant, age 46 - one of the Indianapolis Zoo's elephants. I received this photo in the mail from a friend who works at the Zoo, the day after I told another girlfriend that I needed to start researching photos and images of elephants to figure out how in the heck I could incorporate an elephant (not exactly a small, fit animal) in my logo design for INSPIRED By Fitness. Notice the strong physique & beautiful curves of the elephant, the trunk pointing up signifying happiness and the inspirational waterfall, which to me is heavenly. Did I mention that my daughter's name is also Sophie and that Trent was 46? I thank Trent and God for sending me this beautiful photo and sign.....along with Robin at the Indianapolis Zoo! Meet Sophi
Update Dec. 31st, 2014 - Wow, I am honored to be featured in the Fishers Community Newsletter Magazine that came out today! Looking forward to continuing to serve others in 2015 through Health & Fitness to help others live their best life!
Update June 2015: Habitat For Humanity All Women's Build Team Inspired By Fitness, in honor of Trent's passion for Habitat for Humanity, Earns Top/First Place in Fundraising out of 20 Teams and Susan Van Hoosen named top fundraiser, raising the most money out of 300 women builders!