Hello everyone! I hope June is treating you well so far. With all this physical change in the air, I enjoy the warmth creeping into the Seattle area, even as it pushes back the ever-present rain for the summer. As long as I still get my once-in-awhile dose of drizzle, I’ll smile and use the sunshine for racking up easy steps!
As promised, I have photos and articles to share! These photos are from our professional photo shoot at the Pro Club back in March of this year. For those keeping score, that’s three months after the official end of the program. As of this post, the main photo continues to feature on the Pro Club’s large advertising boards several times per hour, and it accompanies condensed versions of the article we wrote in a few special publications. The other photos haven’t been used yet, to our knowledge. They might be in the future, but otherwise, they’re still here for our/your enjoyment! I’m extra glad to have them now that Erin has moved on.
We knew that we would be in the ProPulse magazine – our gym’s bi-monthly publication – but when we filled out our questionnaires for the article, they asked us to grant permission for our story to be shared with partners for advertising purposes. Specifically, Alaska Airlines. We shrugged; it seemed like a long shot that such a thing would ever happen. It’s one thing to be featured in a local publication, but a national one? No way.
Imagine my surprise when our usual gym check-in attendant stopped me on my way to my workout on Monday to let me know that she saw our article – in an in-flight magazine! I’m pleased to say I did a (mostly) good job of holding onto my jaw. Each time I flew to Tucson this year, I looked at the articles of other 20/20 alumni and assumed they were all distant graduates; folks that have gone on to lead exciting, healthy lives far away from such things. I didn’t recognize any of them, though it’s very possible that I’m just bad with names and faces that I don’t see every day. Knowing it MIGHT happen to us in no way prepared us for our real national debut!
It’s kind of comforting to have my story in front of the eyes of the world. One of my biggest worries about my social anxiety isn’t that folks will find out my “dark secret” – that I have a hard time getting comfortable with people I don’t know well. I’m afraid that new people will misinterpret my awkwardness as rudeness, disinterest, or disgust. I truly DO love most people, and it means the world to me when people DO come back, and DO give me a chance to get comfortable. Without that, I could never have made the friends I have during this program. The best folks are the ones that understand my circumstances, and yet still go out of their way to make sure I’m included and appreciated. I can understand why many folks get scared off instead, and someday I hope I won’t have to provoke that reaction in people – but that doesn’t change what I need in the meantime to succeed. It IS changing, and faster than I ever thought it could. One day at a time, right? One day, and one person, at a time.
For now, I will leave YOU lovely people with a bunch of links to our now-national success story. The first link is to the photo from the article, plus some of the extras that haven’t been used yet. (Keep an eye out for our riff on our favorite wedding photo!) The next two links go to the full versions of the questionnaires we filled out for the article. They’re both fairly long reads, but we hope you’ll enjoy hearing everything we had to say about our journey. The last three links will take you to the digital versions of the magazines we are in. Flip through them until you find the pages with our faces on them!
We do still have easy access to extra hard copies of the ProPulse magazine, should anyone find that preferable to viewing the digital version – just let us know and we’ll get one out to you! We are still figuring out the best way to get our hands on hard copies of Beyond and Horizon. Since I will be flying to Tucson again in the near future, it will be simple enough to get a single copy, at least! In the meantime, our friends at the Pro Club are doing everything they can to get us extras, because they’re awesome like that.
Last, but certainly not least… we met a fellow 20/20 client that is writing a book and running a podcast featuring success stories of all kinds; she interviews people who are trying to go out into the world and achieve their impossible dreams. It’s about helping others realize their dreams, but it’s also about giving her the encouragement and the support she needs to succeed along her own personal journey. She ran into us having dinner at the Pro Club’s restaurant and asked us to participate! Assuming this all goes well, we might find ourselves in the spotlight yet again! We won’t find out for a couple of weeks though, since I’ll be traveling next week, and July 4th will happen shortly after that.
It still beggars belief that we’ve become such well-known patrons of the Club, but here we are, this is our life now – and both of us are so very happy to do anything we can to support others making the kinds of changes that we have. This hasn’t been easy, and we’ve had to face down so many fears and insecurities and struggles to get here… but it’s helped us to become the best versions of ourselves that we could ever have asked for, and that’s worth more than I can even imagine. The program may be over now, but we’re still on the path to learning more about ourselves, each other, and how we can find new, healthy ways to live the lives that we want to.
I hope we can continue to do that in the company of others that are doing the exact same thing, one brave, slow step at a time.