For those of you who belong to the State of Fitness family, you have had the pleasure of coming in contact with Anna Zaske. For those of you who have not met Anna let me try to paint you a small picture of the type of person she is. Her attitude is always positive, her smile is contagious, and her work ethic is unparalleled. I have had the pleasure of training Anna over the past 6 months and she continues to surprise and inspire me with her attitude and kind heart. Here is a little bit of background on Anna for some context.
Anna has been afflicted with ataxia which is a disease that slowly shuts off muscle coordination due to a dysfunction in the cerebellum. The disease is progressive in that she started off being able to walk, then had to use a walker, and now is using a scooter. Any less of a person would have given up, but not Anna. She smiles and laughs as she is training with me, showing me that there is nothing in life that can get you down with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard for what you want.
Over the past six months I have been able to get to know Anna’s training and work ethic. We begin each session with a stretch and lacrosse ball roll of her legs to try to loosen them up. While we are stretching we talk about her week, what movies she has recently seen (she is an avid movie buff), and what meals she has eaten recently. We both enjoy a nice ab workout from the laughs we share throughout the work out as well as any antics George (her father) has to share with us. Then it is time to more to the strength portion of our exercise. Anna never complains, questions, or argues any exercises that I have planned for the day. She just smiles, nods her head, and takes each different work out as a new and exciting challenge.
The impact she has on the community here at State of Fitness goes beyond her inspirational work ethic and positive attitude. She genuinely cares for each person she comes into contact with, remembering previous conversations even if they were just in passing. Although I am training and teaching her how to become a fit and healthier individual, it pales in comparison to the life lessons I have learned from training her over these past few months. Take each day as a blessing and each relationship as a privilege and above all else, just smile.