What finally motivated Stormy Fields to make big changes in her life was a blunt question from a doctor and her strong desire to do everything she could for her children. The youngest of Stormy’s three children, Sid, has epilepsy, and a few years ago Sid had several serious episodes that required multiple hospitalizations.
“During a follow-up with Sid’s neurologist, he asked her what her favorite summertime hobby was and Sid answered, ‘swimming,’” Stormy said. “The doctor then asked me, ‘If she has a seizure, how are you going to get her out of the pool?’ At that moment, I knew I would be physically unable to do so. I was unhealthy and a smoker. During these weeks of trips to the hospital, I realized it was a necessary that I change my life.”
The desire to be the best parent you can be is a common motivator for many adults to begin leading healthier lifestyles. But Stormy faced more challenges than most of us could possibly imagine.
“I had a benign brain tumor removed in January of 2010 and that’s what changed my life forever,” Stormy said. “It took me three months to regain my balance and walk decently. It was still extremely difficult to drive at that point. A year later is when Sid had a horrible few months of recurrent seizures. I kept getting concerned calls from the staff at Anytime Fitness in Aurora, IN and it helped me realize I needed to get back to the gym.”
Stormy’s son, and her personal trainer, Clifton Lucius, helped Stormy quit smoking. Clifton’s workouts with Stormy also dramatically boosted her energy.
“The exercise relieved my ‘blues’ and made my self-confidence fly sky-high,” Stormy said. “I became the happiest I’d been in years. When you feel good and glow, it rubs off on others. Some of my classmates [in nursing school] started working out. Some of my friends joined the gym. I have received messages from friends stating how my positive outlook has influenced their lives and how it motivates them to try their best or how it’s changed them for the better. I love that I affected them in some way or another and altruism is a big deal for me.”
Stormy’s new-found confidence has helped her excel in nursing school (she expects to graduate with an associate’s degree in December), while staff at the gym say she brightens everyone’s day each time she walks through the door.
“I am amazed at how deep she keeps digging to keep going forward and accomplishing all that she does,” said Billy Stephens, manager of the Anytime Fitness gym in Aurora. “Truthfully, more impressive to me than her drive is how positive she is. She is always giving out hugs and telling everyone else how awesome they are. She encourages the staff and the members. Everyone loves seeing her in here because she is so positive. She never gives up and she makes the time here fun.”
“All three of my kids know how much I love them,” Stormy said. “I know I’ve been crazy at times because of school and other stuff, but I’ve shown them that most anything is possible if you stick with it. You just keep on keeping on. I want ‘healthy’ to be my lifestyle. I want to live a long time and take care of Sid if she needs me. We as parents have to take care of ourselves in order to care and provide for our children.”
In addition to being a better parent, Stormy says exercise has improved virtually every facet of her life.
“I am that mom that’s stronger than hell and can pick up her baby girl and take her anywhere,” Stormy said. “I have become so strong and so confident that I feel like ‘me.’ I feel completely sexy and motivated. I can run longer than I have in decades. I feel better. And being able to keep up with the kids and not say, ‘I’m too tired’ makes me feel outstanding.”