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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Be still my heart

I have a big mouth. Wanna know what's going on in my life? Just ask and I'll pretty much tell you -- would I be a blogger if I were tight-lipped? (Well, there are a few things that I keep close to the vest.) But, I've been sitting on a secret for a few weeks now.

No, I'm not pregnant.

In mid-October, I ran into a fellow school mom, Hether, at after school pick-up. Hether said, "Hey! I tore this out of the paper for you."

Go Red for women

It was an announcement that the local American Heart Association was looking for five women to participate in their Better U 12-week Heart Healthy Makeover. Anyone can go online and follow the program for themselves. But the AHA here wanted to find five women to put through the program with the help of cardiologists, dieticians, and personal trainers. The chosen women would be asked to blog about their experience and will be featured at the Go Red for Women luncheon in February.

The blogging component is what made Hether think of me. And serendipitously, we ran into each other at school, which doesn't happen often.

So I took the article home, sat down to write my 100-word statement about why I should be chosen (I think I fudged and used 107 words) and e-mailed it off. About 10 days later, I got a call saying I was a finalist! And I didn't utter a word here because I didn't want to jinx it.

I thought the interview went well. They asked me to tell them a little bit about myself, what I wanted out of the program, if I would be comfortable doing media interviews. And I had a good answer for every question, I thought. I left there feeling pretty good about my chances. They had received 120 applications and were interviewing 12 women to select the final five. So I didn't even have to be the best -- just better than seven others!

They said it would be a week or so before they announced the winners. But because I'm an impatient sort, I went to the local AHA website yesterday and saw this:

Go Red BetterU Heart Healthy Makeover
The American Heart Association selected five women who are ready to improve their health to participate in the Go Red BetterU Heart Healthy Makeover Challenge. As part of the Challenge, the women will receive free wellness screenings, consultations with a medical professional and ongoing coaching from a personal trainer and dietician.

Selected. As in already chosen. As in I didn't get a phone call. I was absolutely crushed. I'd really be counting on this opportunity to give me the shove toward better health that I need. Minorly hopeful, and a little irritated that I didn't at least get a "thanks but no thanks " e-mail, I sent a note to Kelly, one of the Heart Association women I'd interviewed with.

"I noticed on your website that the 5 women for the BetterU program have already been selected. Does that mean I should uncross my fingers?"

Then about 20 minutes later, after I had checked my e-mail about 47 times, I got a response from Kelly saying "We haven't made any public announcements. Can you send me the link where you saw that?"

So I sent her the link and one desperate, shameless plug for myself reminding her that I'm practically a cardiac catastrophe waiting to happen.

NOTHING. No response at all yesterday afternoon. None at 9pm. None at midnight. None at 7am this morning.

I was just sick and immediately transported back to my junior year in high school when I was so sure that I was a shoe-in for yearbook and I didn't get picked, which threw me headlong into a genuine depression. I just felt deflated and sick to my stomach and began second guessing my interview.

"Maybe I shouldn't have been so cheerful? Maybe I should have gone in teary and begging for rescue from my sorry self? No. I had been myself and did my best," I thought. "When they do make a public announcement about the five women, I won't be catty and petty and think how they should have picked me. I'll be a grown up about this. A grown up who is going to drown her sorrows in Maggie Moos ice cream."

And then the phone rang. It was Kelly from the American Heart Association. "You jumped the gun on me yesterday," she said. "I told you we hadn't made a public announcement, but I didn't tell you it was because we hadn't notified the five women yet."

Well, at least she was nice enough to call and tell me in person that I hadn't made the cut. Except she went on to say, "So I'm notifying you. We are really excited to have you as part of our Go Red for Women Better U Heart Healthy Makeover!"

WHAT?! WOOHOO!!! They picked me! They picked me! I thanked her and quickly assured her that I am not some kind of crazy, desperate, cardiac stalker.

So, over the next few weeks, I'll be setting up appointments with the cardiologists and whomever else they want me to meet with. Then in the first week of December, I'll get to meet the four other women at a kick-off breakfast. Then in January, my 12-week BetterU program gets underway. In February, the five of us will participate in the Go Red for Women luncheon and -- get this -- fashion show!

I really feel like this is my time to make a change in my life. If I were any good at singing, I'd belt out "This is My Now!" But since I'm not, I'll let Jordin Sparks do it for me:


Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you! First, you will be an awesome spokesperon who will present herself well in all the public areas that this will require. But the most important thing is that you took this step for yourself. I can't wait to follow along and see how it goes for you!

Nancy said...

Congrats! This so exciting for you, can't wait to read all about your experience!

Lori said...

As the child of two heart attack survivors who also deal with diabetes, high cholesterol and high BP, women's heart health is near and dear to my heart. I'm looking forward to your inspiration.

Nate's Mom said...

Amy, that is SO awesome. Congrats! I'm looking forward to following your journey. Wish I could find something like that here. I need THAT kind of accountability. You should issue issue challenges to your readers based on what you are learning.

I'm going to wear red tomorrow in honor of you!
Sheri in CA

Momza said...

jealous. just color me green.
Seriously, I am so stinkin happy for you I could just spit. lol
Congratulations!I'll be excited to read all about it! OH, I gave u an award on my blog today...and hey! that was even before I knew you were on the verge of greatness!! This must be your lucky day!

Marine Wife said...

Congrats! I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences!

Sharon said...

I am covered in goosebumps and just so excited for you!!!

I can't wait for the updates, photos...everything. You certainly deserve this.


Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you!! While this may be the vehicle for you to change your life, remember you've always had it in you to do...this is just the swift kick in the arse to make it happen!

You're right, this is YOUR time and you deserve to enjoy it!!!

Eternal Lizdom said...

I am SO SO SO SO excited for you!!! It's an awesome opportunity and you are going to do SO WELL!!

Michelle said...

I am so happy for you. I pray that this turns out to be just what you need. You will be an inspiration, just like the people we love to watch on TBL! Go Amy Go!!

Anonymous said...

Amy .. as always, I enjoyed reading your blog. I am so
excited for you.

Congratulations... do yourself proud. I know you will.

Please keep your team members over at BLAHC informed .. we care.


Joanie said...

Amy, I am so excited for you!! It's your time to shine!!! I can't wait to read your blog posts!

Lisa said...

WOOOO frickin' HOOOO!

I'm so excited, interested, curious, nervous, happy about this experience for you. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your Heart Healthy journey.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! That's wonderful news!

Toronto, ON

Maria said...

That is just awesome! And I wore red today, too....

Congrats and enjoy the process. Looking forward to the blogs!

Joanne said...

AMY!!!! That is AWESOME!!! You deserve it and I am so proud of you for following up and doing it. Can hardly wait to see your blog and share all the wonderful things with us.

Don't forget your friends *winks*

Twist said...

That's really cool! Have fun getting heart-healthy!

Shelley said...

Wow, Amy, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so proud of you!!!! You are, like, a celebrity!!!

I can hardly wait to read your official AHA blog posts to track your progress.

Melinda said...

Awesome, Amy!! Good for you! It will be fun to follow your journey! ;0)

Erin M. said...

That is sooooo great Amy!!! I can't wait to hear all about it. I just notified your brother of your accomplishment and he says congrats too! We love you.

Amy's Mom said...

Amy, we are SO-O-O happy for you and so proud of you. I am planning on reading the AHA program and try to follow it with you! I will use you as my inspiration!

stewbert said...

squeee! that's *very* exciting. good for you!

Amy said...

Thanks everyone for your support! The great thing is that anyone can do this right along with me. Click the BetterU box on the right-hand side of blog to learn more.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome and I'm heading over right now to check it out! Thanks!