One Tribe + Big Ripple

Well, here is an inspirational story we just had to share!  It demonstrates how making decisions about your health, fitness and lifestyle really can be easy!  

I know!  I can see the look on your face now!  Easy??  Most of us are juggling a tremendous amount.  You’re living the #momlife and/or a busy professional trying to balance it all…  maintaining a family and a household, those crazy kiddos (don’t forget their schedule on top of your own), finances, mounds of laundry, the next big deadline.  Most of you are doing the best you can and the thought of a “healthy lifestyle” or even the thought of making it to the gym is an overwhelming thought, in and of itself.

I have been there!  I know some of you!  I know where you are!  Maybe you’re at a point in your life where you find yourself saying, “enough is enough”, or you have that feeling in your gut telling you something has to change.  Yet, you find yourself paralyzed with this sense of overwhelm with all the decisions you have to make about your health and fitness.  Just because all these fitness experts and bloggers make it look perfect and seamless, doesn’t mean it is and will always work for you.

Q:  So what really makes for a successful story? 

A:  Find a tribe that inspires, empowers, uplifts, energizes you and side by side you transform, together.  

Meet Laurie!  She totally found her tribe!  She will now always be a part of our IO Family, even from afar (South Carolina, that is!)!  Laurie is the daughter of one of our own (Deb M) and over the summer was counting down the days to visit her family for a short stay. 

Being excited that her mom arranged for her to visit Iron Orchid during her stay, wasn’t exactly the first thing that came to mind as a good time.  She was simply looking to catch a break.  Just having the extra hand with kids, the ability to breathe and feel free of the pressures from trying to balance everything and everyone else around her.  In addition to everything we call “life”… she found herself trying to understand some emotional and behavioral challenges, as well as medical concerns both of her children were facing.  I remember when Laurie walked into the studio that first day and after asking her how she had been, I could tell it took everything in her to hold back her tears!  I know exactly where she has been, I knew her story, and it took everything in me not to cry right along with her!

What she didn’t realize was that she was welcomed into a community of support, a place without judgement and she certainly couldn’t foresee that everything was about to change for her.  She embraced her first day!  It was her time!  An hour to herself! 

It was also that summer that Iron Orchid decided to kick off a modified version of its IO Healthy+Fit Project, where many clients and most of the coaches participated in a guided nutrition and accountability group.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.  The mother/daughter duo jumped right in. 

Immediately, Laurie began to notice differences in herself and in her confidence.  Her visits to Iron Orchid left her empowered as she grew to value her strength and began to celebrate every moment of what was only the beginning of her journey.  While Laurie’s stay wasn’t long, she continued her journey even from afar, found what worked for her, and left equipped with the tools to sustain her new lifestyle. 

The key for Laurie was undoubtedly having a community of support and a level of accountability to get her started. 

We shared recipes, triumphs, tribulations, and in the end, success.  She seriously left town with a whole new family she could connect and celebrate with.  As a result, she quickly began to realize the impact her new lifestyle could have on her family. What seemed like an overwhelming transition initially, quickly became a priority and non-negotiable.   

What IO taught me was to take time for myself and to force myself to be more of a priority in what was one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I left that summer motivated for a change of lifestyle for mind, body and soul - they did that for me - when they could have treated me as a temporary visitor they embraced me as family.

Her journey didn’t stop and yet, still continues.  Laurie’s journey lead her to losing 38 pounds, regaining her energy and reclaiming her life.  Her influence has now impacted many, including her husband and her children. 

Fast forward to Christmas ‘16…  Laurie is BACK for a holiday visit!  We were equally as excited as she was for her visit back to Iron Orchid.  Her physical transformation was obvious, but the confidence that radiated from her was even more inspirational.  Her own mother was amazed to see a glowing and healthier version of her daughter and couldn’t believe the radical outward change in her grandchildren.  During her visit, Laurie’s entire family became inspired by the transformation in Laurie, her husband and children.

And so the ripple effect began…  Laurie’s own sister and family made a shift, having much of the same success.  And with the dedication to their new lifestyle, together…  a change of heart occurred in their own father, they never thought they’d see.  A man who struggled with long-term obesity, now leads a much healthier life.  A true transformation for an entire family!  Between all of them, there has been a 125 pounds weightloss as a result of healthier lifestyles altogether.

The Ripple Effect that began at Iron Orchid.  A  journey that was molded and took shape.  It’s one of our proudest moments to know we were a part of Laurie’s journey, and as a result of her dedication, she has now been an inspiration to her entire family. 

Choose YOU, find your tribe, write your own story, and understand that your journey will always look different.  If you're looking for a place to start, looking for the accountability to get you started, and looking for the tools to help you sustain a new-found lifestyle that fits you... the official launch of our IO Healthy+Fit Project is here!  But not for long!  Experience it for yourself.  


About the Author:  Christal Laswell
Christal is a co-owner of Iron Orchid Studio and Flow Spin Studio, is a Certified Personal Trainer and fitness enthusiast.  She is mesmerized by the body and its capabilities and loves all things kettlebells.  She is passionate about helping others move better, get stronger and appreciating the journey along the way.