When God gave me the vision of Club Hope and Survivor 2.0, I had no doubt it would help so many people find HOPE when they found themselves in dark places and all alone. However, in my wildest imagination, I never knew that one day, that person was going to be me…
I have been led down a road I never envisioned being on EVER in my life. One so similar to the survivors that we help through Survivor 2.0. One day, you receive heartbreaking news of illness or death, or realize you found yourself in a situation that is no longer sustainable. That one day or one moment changes the course of your life forever. The one day so many wish never happened, but had no choice but to allow it to take over their life.
What follows that one day, is a series of traumatic events, the feelings of complete helplessness, sometimes rejection and a loss of so many relationships and people who were once your support system. Whether it is their intention or not, friends and families often times change the relationship they had prior to that moment which only increases the darkness and loneliness one will suffer. Many don’t know what to say, so they say nothing; others don’t understand the situation fully and make comments or judgement by things said by others that creates additional stress and trauma to the person who is just trying to survive.
That is where Club Hope comes in. Club Hope is not just about getting fit, it is about being a part of a community that truly cares about each person in their workout group or class. Whether you are in our cancer survivor program or a regular Joe just wanting to stay fit, the first time you walk in the door, I guarantee you will be welcomed by everyone in the group. Why would they do that, because they already know the value of the friendship and community that exist at the Club, they have experienced it for themselves.
Having new connections outside your every day life and family only enhances a person’s support system. You see that is the gift of the Club, you can share anything that needs to be shared on any given day, and no judgement will be placed on you. In fact, you will most likely receive a hug and some uplifting words to encourage you. Often, the people we are most connected with, our family and friends, we try to protect as we walk these dark paths. We cannot always share what we are truly feeling, it would hurt them too much. In my own current situation, that has caused confusion and strained relationships. In time, I pray they will heal, but I have to protect those I love from the true pain I experience at times and protect myself from those who do not have my best interest at heart, or simply do not know how to handle the situation. I can do that, because I have an endless list of people I can meet for lunch, go for a walk or workout with at the Club. I can share all the feelings that I need to get out freely and cause no additional pain. And every time I have done this, I have received zero judgement and an overwhelming amount of care and concern from my community.
So, if you are looking for a place to support your journey in life, whether it is smooth sailing or you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. I encourage you to come visit us at Club Hope and see what the magic is all about. Because it truly is magical. During my walk through darkness, it has been my relationships I have gained through Club Hope that have continued to guide me down that path and kept me from succumbing to the loneliness that this journey would have taken me on otherwise.
Yes, Club Hope was created for me – who knew. I will forever be grateful to the Club and the community that has lifted me up in my darkest hour. I am starting to see a small glimmer of light at the end of my dark tunnel…