February 2015 Inspiration of the Month: Rachael Rebujio
For a majority of my adult life, I have battled chronic health issues. Although I’ve become a pro at concealing it, there is no doubt that it affects my daily life. Sometimes I feel weak, tired, and unmotivated; although I wanted to incorporate fitness into my daily routine, it was hard for me to stay consistent. Then one day I stumbled on a Groupon offer that led me to SC Fitness. Never having tried Zumba, I was hesitant to let go at first but Sandy’s class was SO much fun! It was hard, but her energy dazzled me. She made me feel welcomed since my first class and the community vibe I experienced kept me coming back. When I started coming to class regularly in the summer of 2013, I was also in the midst of applying to graduate programs. In a lot of ways, I like to think that my journey in allowing fitness to become an important part of my life parallels my personal journey of managing my health issues and pursuing my professional goals. When I started taking classes, I was self-conscious because I couldn’t master the routines in Zumba, I could hardly finish a Cardio Tone class without having to step out for a few minutes to take a break, and I veered toward using the lightest weights possible in Sculpt. Overall, I was scared to challenge myself, let myself make mistakes, and see changes happen. Ironically, the same happened with my applications to physician assistant (PA) programs last year; I was fortunate to score a few interviews in the last application cycle but deep down I felt like I was weak in certain areas of my application and I believed I was not a great candidate. You know those phrases Sandy repeats in classes a lot? “Believe and receive”, “Your body responds to your thoughts”, “Don’t cheat yourself”? Those became my mantras over the last year as I decided to take time to take care of myself and reapply to PA school.
In the last year, coming to class has allowed me to take better care of myself. Although I have known for several years that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine–a profession that prides itself on teaching others how to take better care of themselves–I had yet to really do it myself. Taking time each day to sweat it out in Zumba and reset in Sculpt has helped me feel better in terms of my health. Although I cannot control many aspects of it, taking care of my body is something I can control and it has helped me immensely. I feel confident in the studio and for the first time, I feel strong! My whole life I’ve been called petite, small, and little. I always felt that when people called me that they also thought I was weak. When I met Sandy and Fran, they were both petite like me but they were also strong! It has been such a phenomenal experience for me to develop that strength both inside and out. The confidence I gained in the studio extended to other aspects of my life; I took the steps to become a stronger PA school applicant, reapplied to programs and totally kicked ass! Sandy tells us to envision the changes we want to see in our bodies but she has also helped me to visualize the goals I hope to achieve in my life. Not only did I get into my first choice program but I had the opportunity to travel and interview at many distinguished programs across the country. I’m so excited to say that I will be attending USC this summer and in a few years I’ll be a physician assistant! Yay! I can’t stop smiling about it smile emoticon
Looking back at the last year, it has certainly had its highs and lows, but this journey was so worth the ride. I want to thank my family, friends, and boyfriend, Louie, for their unwavering support, for coming to class with me to dance with Lucia in Zumba and to have fun in Sculpt with Sandy. Thank you to all the amazing people of the SC Fitness community, you are my role models! Lastly, thank you to both Sandy and Fran. A big part of who I have become over the last year is because of the positive impact you have had on me. Thank you for encouraging me to face my fears, to embrace change even if it’s not what we expect it to be, and to never cheat myself from fulfilling my goals. Thank you for inspiring me, for being both my mentors and my friends.
My dear, sweet Rachael,
I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it has been to watch your journey this year. You have accomplished so much and set up the right path to what you really want from life. I love the strength you’ve gained, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Starting as the quiet girl in the back of class, you’ve since blossomed into a strong woman who’s not afraid to receive all that she deserves! And you’ve just scratched the surface, my dear!
I’m so proud that you were accepted to several of the best programs across the country, but I have to say, I’m ecstatic that you chose USC where you will still be close! Know that however busy your life becomes during your studies, SC Fitness will always be your home! We will love and support you through all your endeavours.