These women never cease to amaze me!
This weekend, like all of the WidowU weekends, has opened my eyes that much more and showed me what the strength of one’s soul can do.
I caught myself multiple times thinking, “Dang, this chick is such a bad a** and she has no idea! If she could see what I see there would be no stopping her!”. I don’t think any of these women realize what a positive impact they have on my life. That for me, is what I want to show them. I want every single widow to feel proud, supported, loved, and safe. There is something so special seeing a widow leave these WidowU weekends with a new self-confidence about them that radiates out of their pores. Everyone needs to know that the Health & Fitness course isn’t just for people who need to lose weight. Yes, there is a lot of physical stuff we do because we are trying to show you diversity and that you don’t always just have to go to a gym, but it’s also dealing with you, your inner issues that you (including myself) seem to push to the back burner and neglect. One special lady with one of the coolest names, Whitney Huston (told you it was a great name!!) wrote an amazing account of her weekend with us:
“I was extremely nervous, but excited, to attend my first WidowU course. It’s always a challenge to attempt new things, especially with new people, in a new city. It was totally out of my normal comfort zone just to attend the weekend course. However, I have come to realize in my widowhood how quickly new women become old friends. I will never be able to fully explain the bond between military widows, but every military widow knows what I’m talking about. What the WidowU course does is use that bond to strengthen us, collectively and individually. With the women I met at the Health & Fitness course I tried things I never would have before, ranging from simple food choices to baring my soul to, technically, complete strangers. Overall, attending WidowU was the best decision I have made this year.
The WidowU courses are an answer to the dreaded “Now what?” question each widow has or probably will ask herself. I know I did. I had made it past the devastating grief phase and I was functioning relatively normal from day to day. But there was still that emptiness inside left over from my husband’s death. So now what, I asked myself? Well, I attended my first course to find out. What I discovered from the Health & Fitness weekend was life changing. Health isn’t just about being skinny, lean, or looking good physically. Health is spiritual, mental, intellectual, and physical. I can work out as much as I want, but if I neglect the internal part of my being I’m still lacking and robbing myself of a full and happy life.
The WidowU course did a phenomenal job at reiterating this fact. What I took away from the course is how much I need to work on my spiritual self. I admit, I lost that part of me when my husband died. I buried it so far down inside myself that I didn’t think I needed it anymore. I realized I didn’t want to be just a physical being; I want to have a spiritual side whether it is through practicing yoga or finding it through nature. ￼
I know its cliché to say every part of the weekend was my favorite, but it’s true. I loved paddle boarding down an Austin river, starting my morning off with yoga in a zen garden, receiving great advice from nutrition experts, have a gourmet meal cooked for me, and even working through the personal workbooks. I loved the bonds I made and the conversations I had with the most amazing women. I felt so rejuvenated after attending the Health & Fitness WidowU course. My body, mind, and soul were at peace and I was actually dreading going back to my life in Florida. But I knew if I kept up the habits I learned and developed over the weekend, I could continue that sense of peace in my daily life. The one lesson that stands out most in my mind from the weekend is that it’s ok to take care of me. It’s acceptable to thrive after the death of my husband; it’s ok to be happy. And that’s a lesson I hope every widow has the opportunity to learn.” -Whitney
Whitney blew my mind when I read this! It gave me chills and made my heart smile!
You aren’t going to leave these weekends cured, healed or never having self doubt issues ever again… because we aren’t perfect! But you leave with the resources, support of a new family and the realization that you are strong enough to live life with your head held high!
Love and Hope- Erin