Styling kit from women-owed Machines for Freedom and hired Juliana DiLuca Photography for the shoot. Click on the image below to read why Machines for Freedom calls me ‘a hero’ in Why I Love Bike Commuting in Boston.
Can a fifty-something woman be as hungry to lose 70 pounds as she is compelled to continually improve her skills in a world that’s constantly evolving?
You bet she can.
In the midst of completing a 6-month role assisting in a Documentum migration for Dell EMC’s Online Support Services in 2016, my father was diagnosed with stage-4 kidney cancer. He had called, laid the news on me, disconnected, and left me uncontrollably sobbing in my cube.
Difficult news to deliver; difficult news to fathom.
He responded well to chemo despite the inoperable and ample tumor lodged on his kidney. He kept going about much of his daily routine, tenacious and brave, and I on the other hand in a mix of empathy and envisioning life without him, packed on the pounds.
When I began working in Dell EMC’s Services and IT Marketing in 2017, more than six months beyond the time the doctors surmised my father would last, I assumed my father’s gumption for life and dismissed the tenuous notion of his leaving us. I delved into my new role, ingesting bits and pieces of Big Data technology, and began riding the 12.3-mile commute to and from work on my bike. (Hopkinton, as I like to say, has a few of its own Heartbreak Hills.)
The physical effort afforded me what my dad had: endurance. Braving the traffic and heat? His courage. Being drawn to this new technology at my fingertips? His curiosity and passion to gain knowledge.
When the weather turned cold and my husband hoisted my bike up to the rafters in the garage, I had dropped 40 pounds and enrolled in a number of lunchtime exercise classes at work, ranging from yoga to step to body conditioning. Yoga! I had always wanted to try it but was intimidated by those sinewy, lithe bodies. The instructor, Nancy Galiardi, readily allayed my insecurity. And all through my first step class, I kept shouting ‘wow, this is great! I haven’t done Step since the 80’s!”
The benefits, too, of working out goes beyond my 70-pound weight loss. The endorphin-residual and feeling of well-being empowers my work, my knowledge, my abilities and my demeanor. It puts me in a position of ‘future-ready’- fit to assimilate new technology, new perspectives, new responsibilities.
I may not be invincible like my father was with his cancer, but he made me a survivor before he was even gone. Being fit is empowering. Taking advantage of the fitness amenities Dell offers continue to be a 360-something I can’t afford to leave behind.
What’s keeping you from getting fit and empowering yourself with the fortitude to survive 2020 and beyond?
To see all of Lisa’s published work, click here.
Lisa can be reached at lisa dot demasi at gmail dot com.