Farewell to My Hero… My Mom

I unexpectedly lost my hero and the inspiration behind the entire FM4L movement this weekend…

On Saturday, my mom passed away peacefully in the arms of our family as we sang worship songs to usher her into her eternal place in Heaven.

21 hours earlier, she suffered a massive stroke in her brain and the doctors did all they could to keep her on life support until we could all get there to see her.

Dusin-Mom
If I could sum up her life it was:
-love Jesus
-love dad
-love kids
-love friends
-serve others

While sitting in the ICU holding her hand, kissing her forehead and shedding a lot of tears, I decided I needed to write her a letter, which I want to share with you below.

I read it aloud to her and to everyone gathered around her bed. It took me a long time to get through all the tears but at the end I had made peace with whatever was going to happen next.

I share this intimate and personal letter with you in hopes of honoring the incredible human being my mom was.

“Mom, I can’t believe I am sitting here watching you lay motionless without the ability to do anything but pray and write out my thoughts.

For 32 years, you have been my rock, the woman I looked up to. I know life is like a vapor and I thank God everyday for breath and health for all our family but experiencing this firsthand, with no warning, is more painful and raw than I could have ever imagined.

You were the perfect mom, you had unlimited patience, kindness and compassion and love towards me and every person you came in contact with.

You were the rock of health, never having gone to the hospital except to deliver your 4 children. I can only remember one or two times in my life that you had more than a cold.

I know we made you proud because you would tell us almost everyday.

I have no regrets about our relationship. I am thankful for the nearly daily phone calls we would have in my 20s and early 30s, all the trips to and from Madison and telling you I loved you and you telling me the same.

You were the most amazing wife for dad. You have set a very high standard on who I will marry someday, that is probably why I am still single at 32.  =)

If this is your time to meet Jesus (I hope it is not quite yet), we will take care of dad and make sure he has everything he needs, maybe even a chef.  =)

I can’t change what is happening but I can step up my game and be a bigger man and extend your legacy here on earth.

You are the most spiritual woman I have ever met and showed Jesus’s love each and every day.

You inspired me to inspire others.

You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

I love you more than I have ever told you and you will be in my daily thoughts and prayers until the day we meet in Heaven.”

Your eldest son,
Dustin

While watching my mom quietly sleep, I kept asking the question how can her legacy continue on?  She believed so much in the Transformation Center and all of the Fit Moms for Life programs.

Dustin and mom fm4l gear
Then it hit me, let’s create the Joy “Fit Moms” Scholarship fund to help others who desperately want and need what the TC and FM4L have to offer.

You can check out this new fund here->-> http://www.gofundme.com/fitmoms

But more than anything else, you can honor my mom by doing whatever you need to do to take care of yourself and your family, and inspiring others to do the same.

You can live your best life, whether that is by working with FM4L or doing something else that challenges, inspires and motivates you. That is what she wanted for each and every one of us.

Keep loving,
Dustin Maher

Lessons Learned–100 Pull-Ups a Day for 100 Days

Even as a fitness professional, I struggle to stay consistent with my workouts. I know that may surprise you, but I’m human, just like you and I struggle with the same issues. I’ve learned that I need to create challenges every once in awhile to keep my motivation high.

Most recently, I decided to challenge myself to 100 pull-ups a day for 100 days—that’s 10,000 pull-ups in a little over 3 months.

I am proud to say I completed this with near perfection. The only slip up was one day I forgot and went to bed with 20 to go. Waking up the next morning I realized it and did those plus that day’s 100.

2015-07-06_1149
->-> Click here to watch my pull-up video on my personal Facebook page <-<- 

This in many ways was one of the toughest challenges I have ever put my body through. It was so tough because of the grind of 100 consecutive days. It didn’t matter if I was traveling, working 18 hours, had a nagging injury, or so on, I had to get it done. No excuses, I did it.

Why… Because I try my best to live up to my word and my commitment, both to myself and to you. I publicly put it out there to the world, which in turn gave me extra support and accountability.

On day 94, it was 9:30 at night and I was completely exhausted. I hadn’t done any pull-ups and had no desire to do so. Instead, I decided to take a 2 hour nap on the couch and wake up at 11:30 pm and do my 100.

I have had many trainers, clients and friends ask me how it was. I will give you a few pros and cons.

Cons:  

  • My lats (major pull-up muscles) became severely overtrained starting around day 25 and never really recovered. It became nearly impossible for me to raise my arms completely up because it felt like they were going to rip from the bone. The first 10 pull-ups each day made me want to cry it hurt so bad. This is why we trainers say to not lift similar muscle groups on consecutive days.
  • The daily grind of the challenge decreased my desire to lift and workout the rest of my body with weights. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I hardly lifted during the three months. I trained hard in stair climbing and biking, though, during this time.
  • I lost the joy of pull-ups because it became a chore and a burden.

Pros:

  • When starting the challenge I could do 14 pull-ups in a row at 190 lbs and 6’5. I can now do 29 straight pull-ups at the age of 32. A couple years ago, I trained hard in pull-ups and did 21, so I am blowing those numbers out of the water.
  • It forced me to be extremely disciplined each day regarding the pull-ups. I would have to seek it out and be very intentional. It became a non-negotiable in my life to go to bed having done 100 pull-ups. It became part of who I am.
  • My back, biceps and grip are extremely strong right now, and despite the fact that I didn’t lift much else, my body looks very fit and strong.
  • This experience has given me confidence that I can set a seemingly overwhelming goal for myself and achieve it.

Now it is your turn… What goal or challenge would you like to set for yourself?