I remember being envious as I grew up of some of the neighbor & school kids that I was acquainted with. They had siblings and cousins. They’d come back from school/summer vacations with fun stories spent with their family. Even my husband has tons of hilarious stories that involves his brothers & cousins. Even though he chooses not to associate with any of them, there is still some comfort in those childhood stories and things that no matter what link them together & is a topic they could pick back up with at any point in time.
Growing up, I was never allowed to be involved in athletics or school events (High School Homecoming, games, dances or student government, etc.) I had friends, but never really belonged to a certain social circle. I pretty much hung out with everyone, trying to fit in, trying to find my place. I did the same thing in relationships. Trying to find some bond, to fill an empty spot in my life and soul.
I moved to Texas in 2001. I guess I just assumed that I’d instantly make friends. What I found was a town full of people who’d known each other since they were in the womb. They have memories dating as far back as preschool. People grow up and leave for college, some coming back to raise families others just to visit. And although I see tons of people who hang on to grudges that trace back to junior high school, I still see strong roots and relationships and lifetime friendships. (Luckily, after years of living here, I have found some quality, lifetime friendships with some amazing people who I truly value!)
I’ve always wondered why I don’t have that with many from my hometown, but then I realized it was because I was never allowed to really make memories with anyone I went to school with other than during the school day and even that was hard, because I remember so many times, my mother would “observe” other children and/or their upbringing and then tell me to “Stay away from them, they are bad associates.” You know the godly, Christian way to treat others.
I’ve always wondered why I – someone who has always been able to make new friends easily, has never been liked by any set of in-laws. (I’ve been married three times). It really messes with your head, when you cannot cultivate any family relationships, even tracing back to your own biological parents, from the moment of conception. I’ve been outcast & unaccepted by 3 sets of in-laws and for the life of me, cannot figure out why, since I was never really given a chance to begin with (luckily in-law #2 have been amazing ever since the divorce of me & their son – ironic, huh? But I cannot complain because they are kind to me & wonderful grandparents).
I’ve always searched for a place to belong. A group to be part of. A family to love me as their own. My best friends family have done a great job making me feel welcome and including me in their holiday events and for that I am grateful.
I have several friends who support what I do as a Beachbody Coach. They are proud of me & admire my efforts & how far I’ve come as a person. Some of them use Beachbody products, others don’t. My friendships are not based on whether or not you are on my team or a customer. What I think some people forget is that I can still have fun – I am not always stuck in Health & Fitness mode. It’s funny to me that some people seem to fear the “health freek”, afraid we are going to convert them to some healthy version of themselves. I never show up at a party or social event with Shakeology brochures or ready-made samples and never do I judge what someone is eating or drinking. If anything, it’s the exact opposite. I walk into a room and everyone starts feeling guilty for what they are currently eating or drinking or justifying what has kept them from making the leap to change their life. I’ve found that I hear of and see less of many people who used to be a big part of my life. Not because I am no longer available. I guess it’s because they think we have nothing in common, or because they are unsupportive of my life choices or God knows what.
I recently overheard that someone said “Mindy runs with a new pack of people now.” My response is – my group of friends that I frequently associate with has always changed from year to year. I spend time with those who make the effort with me. I’ve had plenty of people who only put effort in when it was convenient for them or when they needed something. Doesn’t mean I hate them, just means I no longer cling to those types of people or go out of my way to stay in contact.
I’ve planned a lot of events to help keep my team encouraged, motivated, inspired and connected to one another. I really try my hardest to build a family feel, as my coach has done for me. It’s the Law of Duplication. I love to have a close relationship with the coaches I’ve sponsored and those who are my customers because this is not just about me selling a product then abandoning you. This is not just about becoming strong or losing weight. This is about creating a lifestyle that makes you feel empowered and unstoppable because you are better today than you were yesterday!
I hosted a private dinner with Danielle Hinson in Brenham at the end of August. All of my team & several of my close local coach friends were invited to join. I know for some, the invitation was nerve racking, being put in a room of over 20, some being strangers, not knowing what to expect. But several showed up and ended up having a great time, not just because Danielle was with us, but because they met and connected with other people with enough similarities to make them feel comfortable, but also enough differences to keep the conversation interesting and flowing.
I will never forget what my close friend Jenny said towards the end, “ Now I know why you love being part of Beachbody so much. It’s like a family. And no one judges.”
And that right there is what fulfills my soul and makes my heart smile!
I finally have somewhere I feel that I belong and people who love me because they WANT to and CHOOSE to, not because they have to!