My college advisor warned me before I once submitted a paper to the internet, “Don’t submit this unless you know the conversation you are entering.” I often remember that comment when I am debating whether to express my opinions openly to strangers, acquaintances and even sometimes close friends worrying that I may not know enough about the topic to expand the conversation – not because we might disagree, that is the inevitable. What if I just really don’t know the conversation I am entering? Well, maybe I don’t always – maybe none of us do. I do understand that expertise in any field comes with time, mistakes, disagreement, other people’s dynamics and even agreement with invitational depth – all something I hope to get by entering these conversations – starting now (by expressing it to the whole planet online! Here we go!)
As the Founder of Health Possible Inc., I have been truly scared, to say the least, to publicly own what Health Possible Inc. morally stands for so we remain open to the masses. However, I am now in more belief than not that Health Possible Inc.’s culture will become no less than a magnetic force because I express its founding motive. I’m writing today to take that leap and completely own the culture of my 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation, Health Possible Inc.
Let’s simply start with what it is. Health Possible Inc. is a Support Group and Financial Aid for ‘obesity prevention training and education.’ The organization is an administrative office that, again, financially aids and then case manages general public clients and Physician referrals in three core components of preventive physical healthcare: 1. Fitness, 2. Nutrition and 3. Mental Health.
How it operates. Someone who is severely over-weight and/or at risk for his/her weight becoming severe undergoes the HPI application process, then their application goes to the Admissions Committee, Admissions will determine how much financial aid the person will qualify for, the Health Recruiter will determine which divisions of care and how much of each the individual needs, assigns the [now qualified] client to specific providers best fit for him/her (our providers are already established brands/professionals around the city within those three divisions), and then the client is assigned an HPI Case Manager and progress is tracked for our 3 month program duration. Upon official client enrollment, the client is additionally now a part of Support Group, which is currently led by a volunteer licensed Counselor and meets two times per month. This Support Group is ongoing and open to the public so that people seeking the same type of support that Health Possible Inc. offers do not have to be an official client to find that support. This is both a place to educate the public about at-home health practices as well as a channel for our prospective applicants to fully engage in the program.
Qualifications for the Health Possible Inc. program can be summarized as (1) ages 6+, (2) someone in the immediate household must be currently employed and (3) the client and employed individual must be a legal U.S. citizen (typically we hope this is the same individual).
The various dynamics of the model are (1) a nonprofit support and financial aid source for expensive, year 2000’s-necessary types of healthcare; (2) a for-revenue business for consulting the not struggling general public with our same providers not at modified rates; (3) it’s likeness to [an unidentified form of] health insurance and it’s ability to become a form of policy or a formula within policy; and (4) it’s direct service of care being a Physician’s preference over some pharmaceutical drug prescriptions, Health Possible Inc. is a lot of things registered as a Charity, but a hand out to the public is not one of them.
Until I state otherwise, these upcoming paragraphs are completely unrelated to Health Possible Inc. in any way, shape or form, although they are, however, related to me as a person.
I attended the 2018 Southeastern Pediatric Nutrition Conference for two days recently (11/8 – 11/9/18) and a hot topic arose about policies during one of the Doctor’s presentations. While I do not want to try to re-word the majority of what she said (this is me treading lightly) I will focus on the discussion between our other Health Possible representative and I at our table during the discussion.
The woman was advocating for feeding all people of America no matter what, but her target debate was for children. The only verbatim point I can attest to that she made was the plethora of food in America and, “We have no excuse.” I turned to my rep and said, “I think I might be the only disagreeing in the room but, I do not agree with this.” She laughed a little to welcome my opinion but, with maybe 100 other people in the room she said, “No you are definitely not the only one who disagrees in here.” The man who stood up with the microphone to debate the presenter proved my rep right. She and I both continued whispering and overall, this is an issue to me that so many are willing to give instead of teach.
I could agree or disagree with the presenter and explained to my representative that at the end of the day, should you feed the child – I think so – but should it be implemented to the child that the food is still being worked for by someone else through the chain of mankind? And that things cannot just be given to you throughout your whole life to avoid the sometimes inevitable – that children, too, will someday be adults and may spend their life waiting to be fed? Where is the parents lesson in this as well? While many places may go out of their way to do this, a lot still don’t! Lastly, feeding the child is also, in a way, feeding the parent whether that is literally by sending the food home with the child for sharing or allowing the parent to not find a way to provide for the child (because someone else is feeding their child!) especially in the scenarios that they are completely capable. My hope through these charities doing amazing justices for these children and even many adults, who are, acceptably, not the brightest collared employees, is that a child can see that their food is not coming from their own household and that this is hopefully different than most of the other kids around them – that something is wrong with that picture, thus that child grows up to understanding the realities of his/her upbringing and does choose to work to earn his/her own living… be independent. As often as we have those who really cannot do – who most people, myself included, go to the depths of hell to assist – it is undeniable that people make excuses for the ones who can do so that we charitable souls can give to them and surely for lots of other reasons that I do not know yet.
Is giving still giving if you are giving with one hand and using the other to take some of their ability to stand in that laborious circle of life?
The grand scheme of my entire thought if you remain open to two sides is that America could either (A) move toward a perpetual mass production of food using robotics, not being advantageous of the hard working food laborers (or farmers) out there, and feed all people of America no matter what – and likely still face some sort of economical consequence (you cannot do good without creating or meeting bad and we have not done this at a 100% scale to learn that yet) or (B) allow some families to suffer by eating less or not eating at all because they are simply not providing for themselves. I wish so badly that that we could just add on to B before technology does take over, measure intangible things, and say that we are only feeding the people who are 110% physically or mentally incapable of providing for themselves or their families. Because really, who in any political party would just try to force completely capable people to stay home so we can give our own food to them? That does not mean people don’t voluntarily stay home on their own will out of laziness or advantageous avenues on that end of our system, but would even you cross your street and beg your currently employed neighbors to stop going to work because you can handle it for the block? Sounds like the consequence of some past presidential candidates’ agendas, but it also sounds like a rockstar of a CEO somewhere who would never let people do an unsatisfactory job! Again, my thought remains open whether we go forward with a mass production and the untested forms of suffrage or backward with household suffrages we have lived with for hundreds of years. It is my own belief that there would have to be a proper time in America, not an era, but a single moment, that our way of living shifts and that moment heavily relies on the number of people still working versus the number of robotics working for us.
Now that I have shown you the complete nudity of my indecisive opinions while I somehow still manage to intuitively lean, here is why Health Possible Inc. targets a culture of hard-working clients and does not qualify just any individual applying for our funding.
The rest of this is about Health Possible Inc.
I used to be a Certified Personal Trainer and then while training I also became a certified Youth Exercise Specialist. I have had the poorest of clients and the richest of clients. I have had clients so poor that I gave them free training and they didn’t show up (not a transportation problem)… I have also had clients so poor that I gave them free training and they cried [and succeeded]. These are different kinds of poverty. I have had clients so rich that I gave them free training and they paid me anyway. I have also had clients so rich that I never gave them free training because they did not show up to half of the ones that they were paying for (again, not a transportation problem). These are different kinds of wealth.
My impoverished clients who would cry were, in their character and integrity, just like my wealthy clients who would pay me for free training. They both also worked hard (with me and at their jobs) and they both appreciated what I was doing for them. Both people understood the value of anyone’s dollar.
My impoverished clients who did not show up were, in their character and integrity, just like my wealthy clients who paid for their sessions and did not show up. Neither of them cared about my time and neither of them appreciated what I was trying to do for them.
Health Possible Inc. is for the people who cried and showed up, and although I did not build a charity for the wealthier class of America, I did build it for the severely struggling middle classes of America who pay you anyway for something you tried to give them for free. To be completely honest, I built Health Possible for the exact kinds of people my parents are, the most inspiring people in my whole life.
Our standards for qualifications are that of these people. We do not mandate that someone be employed because we don’t want to help the people who cannot work. Hell, maybe some people cannot work because they are so physically and mentally incapable and that is something we specialize in! I am not blind to this, or any of the other things you are probably brewing in your mind right now. I do not sleep most nights trying to determine how to expand these horizons in greater time… grants, reserved funding… whatever else I can come up with each day. Moving forward, we mandate that someone be employed because of what employment represents on an independence level and familiarize yourself now that Independent Health is the number one core value of Health Possible Inc. Employment represents current time effort, the providing for yourself and/or others around you, your contribution to the circle of first world living, a person’s literal effort to having any financial means, and most importantly, it signifies a commitment elsewhere – a gauge that we require as a financial aid service in order to appropriately distribute your donations to the people you hope that they would be for. Are there an exhausting number of ways to gauge commitment? Yes! Sports, arts, employment, satisfied family members, the care of animals, I could go on forever!
So why, might you ask, do we narrow it down to the one and only circumstance of having a job? Well, in order to best compare the value of a dollar, if our providers are working, we ask that the applicant is too. In other words, the playing field is even. Even if the applicant is not working directly for the sake of our providers like the provider is for the applicant, that does not matter. It is still contributing to the same circle of first world living and they are all connected. If the applicant works, it is the most accurate way to say they understand the value of our time and the value of that dollar. We anticipate ambition, appreciation and diligence.
We request that the applicant work or that the applicant has the example of someone immediately present working for their cause because each one of our providers time is very valuable, especially when he/she is a partner with Health Possible Inc. at a modified rate when the professional could be getting, say, $50 - $150 per hour during that same session with some other client, but they’re not because they want to help someone who has a history of working hard that can’t get there without Health Possible Inc.! As a former Personal Trainer, I knew in every ‘sale’ for partnership that our providers want to help those people, because we both know that those people actually want our provider’s help and to LEARN!
No matter who is reading this (A donor, a member, a client, a provider, a stranger):
Health Possible Inc. is not here to take your money and Health Possible Inc. is not here to hand anything out. We are here to vet the honesty that a person does not make enough money to afford what we professionals all entered our careers to do – change mankind.
Through our support, we will teach you Independent Health
Commitment is our culture.
I was in the 9th grade. I was crying on Mrs. Boyuka’s math test. Not the kind where you are sitting upright at your desk crying, I literally had my head down in my arms on the desk soaking the piece of paper. I’ve been memorizing numbers like a computer coding system for as long as I can remember but understanding them is just something that is not a part of me. I picked up my head finally, with my hood up, and every time a student walked in front of me – sitting front row and center trying to be a good learner – to hand in their paper I just cried more in shock and shame wondering, “How are they doing this? How do you know all of these answers? How are you done so fast?” And I don’t think I knew a single answer to that entire test. I remember handing it in completely blank.
I don’t remember Mrs. Boyuka saying much to me that day but she sure as hell said something to my Mom who was teaching slightly disabled students down the hall because there I was, in the doctor’s office after school that same day.
I don’t remember many precise moments of anxiety throughout my life but I have a weird history of throwing up a lot all four years of high school. It actually became the common joke amongst my two best friends and I, that if just about anything would happen, I would probably vomit. I also don’t remember ever sharing those things with my parents either. It happened at weird times when they weren’t around.
“She has anxiety,” said Dr. Cadet, “I can give her something if you want.” None taken, we went home.
I played a lot of sports – at least one per season. It didn’t matter what the sport was: soccer, track, softball, volleyball, boxing, I would sweat in the car on my way there or walking to it. I always had butterflies in my stomach and the few parts about crippling anxiety I do remember are all the times I idiotically used every last drop of my adrenaline in one sprint. I would learn to control that later in college. In high school, I hit a wall within maybe ten seconds of any initial gunshot or whistle in sports. When I say wall, I mean every minor to major muscle in my body turned into concrete, the skin on my face had the same sensations as people I hear about on ecstasy, my chest physically moved outward abrasively to accommodate the harshness of breath, and it made me lose a lot. In track, I accepted not being very good and losing a lot of races under the subconscious thought, “This is who I am, I have a body of concrete adrenaline.”
We got home from the doctor’s office and my mom hadn’t decided if she thought we should medicate my anxiety. She wanted to talk to my Dad about it. This is the same visit that caused me to become labeled learning disabled, inclusive of time and a half and separate location whenever I wanted it. Those accommodations followed me into college where I decided otherwise for myself after year one and dropped all of those documents, offerings and assumptions out of my life. I would need nobody, nothing, no help from anyone. I would control my life.
My Dad came home. The man that never took medicine on broken legs, a broken skull, stitches, body part removals, lost teeth, insomnia, any illness, all until the age of 68 when he suffered three month long pneumonia and finally swallowed some antibiotics. “Len,” said my mom, “Sara has anxiety. She can’t function at school, she cries in class, I think we should get her medicine for it.” Regardless of what I wanted, which was unknown after a traumatic day at school, uproar is what happened next. Instead of responding to my poor mom, which was completely disregarded all together, my Dad stood up from the kitchen table, looked at me, and asked determined, “What are you so worried about?” My answer didn’t matter. He pointed his finger at me, his voice rose, and he said, “SARA! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!” He moved his finger aim from me to his own brain and continued, “YOU HAVE – TO LEARN – HOW TO CONTROL YOUR MIND!” I teared up, I knew he was right but I didn’t know how to do that. To be honest, I never even tried that. My Mom got frustrated, she knew he just did not believe in 99% of all medicine or the jumping to conclusions that we need medicine at any given time. She began an argument, he yelled again, “SHE’S NOT TAKING ANY MEDICINE! FORGET THE DOCTOR! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH HER!” My mom stopped, left the room. My Dad sat down in the only chair I’ve ever seen him sit in in my entire life at the kitchen table. It was between the short side of the table and our long bay window and wall. He sat with his legs facing next to the table – they only went underneath it when we were eating – and he rested one tired hand on his head, the other arm around the back of the chair and watched the birds eat from his hand made feeder out the window.
I left the room. My anxiety, medicine and that day never came up with my parents again.
I hated adrenaline at the time. It made me lose so many things and I wanted to be good at everything. It even made me a mediocre student. Without realizing it back then, anxiety is what caused my adrenaline. There is a lot of power to be had when one feels the exact moments of that physical transition: From anxiety to adrenaline. With a lot of other given circumstances in high school, anxiety pretty much ruled me. Back then, I could not control the transitions. They happened whenever they wanted and they were exerted by me jumping at them. I was a puppet. I remained a puppet from the 9th grade until my sophomore year of college when things started changing, I felt sparks go off in my brain a few memorable times. Each spark was like a slap from a sergeant, and I would not be the person I was before it again. Ideas from education and life began racing through my head so often, writing them, talking about them and developing them was like a race. If I don’t execute fast enough and the next one comes I miss it, and then I miss that one and then I miss more and I had so many things to do and accomplish. I had a slap in study hall once, I had to tell my teacher my thought. I had a slap while I was driving on Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, NY and I had to call my mom and tell her we were going to be financially okay forever, I had a slap while I was on the treadmill once and I would control my level of exhaustion from then on, they just kept happening.
My sophomore year of college was a lot of electric inside me. The beginning of the year, we were in preseason at soccer practice and I was still hitting my concrete, spider-crawling-face walls. It was the day of the fitness test, and thinking I was ready for that one mile exam, I was so amped up before the whistle that my arms and hands were visibly trembling and my future captain actually said, “I can’t even run next to you or I am going to throw up.” And she moved backward. I was like a disease, so nervous that I even made other people nervous. I thought I was going to do well.
Then, it happened again. I thought I had gained some control of my concrete body over the summer – running alone, training alone – and there I was… losing to over 20 girls running. I should have placed fourth that year. In college, you shouldn’t even make the team at an 8:20 mile. But, my coach knew better about me, my abilities in general, and an 8:20 mile called for an office visit immediately after practice that day. Coach was shocked, I was and I wasn’t. Shame was all I felt, I let anxiety win again.
I left the athletics complex, walked back to my room, and I could just see my Dad’s face from that day almost five years ago. “THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR MIND! YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR MIND!”
Junior year, I didn’t play for the team for a multitude of reasons, but I did play more than ever, alone again. I would train myself to break a 6:30 mile and run for up to ten miles at a time sometimes. I would run so long that during the run all I could do was try to control my mind like a psychologically gifted person from the movies trains their mind to move and levitate things without touching them. I would do this with anxiety, I would play with it.
I could think things that brought it on and when I got it to come on I could either quit or I could wage war and make a decision. I would make anxiety come on so many times in one run that I had trial and errors. I would go through one mile of my muscular concrete and just not stop running, anything to remain in even a trot, and then I would make it come on again and again and I would notice my facial sensations and I would push them down like rain inside me and push it into my chest and my legs. I would get electrical-feeling-shocks in my chest, not like a chest pain but like a shock that escalated my heart immediately to five or six extra beats per minute. Then I would get through another mile and make myself nervous and anxious again and then I could move the sensations in my face to electrically shock my heart and decide I was happy, not scared, and then something morphed. Then, I had adrenaline, not anxiety. The heat came back to my face, it filled my arms perfectly from my shoulders to my fingertips. Anxiety became the puppet. Now, I was in charge.
Another mile. I did it again. Nervous, stiff and tingling, then control, then the concrete softened, my heart could operate around 190 to 210 bpm for longer durations, I was amazing, not ashamed, and I could run faster longer. Finally, I went on a run where I remembered I use to run one mile in 8:20 under pressure and now I could run six miles at a 7:14 pace and no one was going to tell me I couldn’t do something. I began to control my mind, which thus led to controlling parts of my body.
My senior year I went back to the team. We had a new head coach and the fitness test was slightly different but equated to over a mile. I placed second and I could still break a flat 6:30 mile at around 6:27. My senior year I graduated the season as the “Minute Leader on the Field” playing all 90 minutes of every single game all season with the exception of sitting, I think, 49 minutes between the very first 2 games. While I attribute most of that to our head coach who was previously our assistant coach and favored my work ethic significantly, I would never have lived out his expectations had I not learned how to run for 90 controlled minutes without needing a break. I can recall times my entire line would get subbed out, or the entire team over the course of a full game, and it was never my turn. My brother use to scream on the sideline, “No break for you number 2!” I would be hunched, hands on my knees trying to recover, and he would finish with, “GET UP!” or “YOU’RE NOT DONE!”
Decision time. The game would go on and I would bring on my anxiety for the adrenaline all over again. It’s weird to be able to egg-on your own problem, tease the problem and then bully it. I did it exhausted moment after exhausted moment until each game was over. It was the only way I would last. Literally, anxiety became my toy. I would need it to survive in athletics from then on.
I use it often even at the age of 25. I still exercise at least 60 minutes per day and though I can go through phases where I lose control of anxiety every now and then, get into funks or something “bad” happens, it does not control me ever – even the times I lose control. Now, sometimes we both just go in spirals together, play off of each other, but I have never let it over come all of me ever again, never let it decide for me that I will or won’t win. I can still run under a 7 minute mile and though I haven’t run 16mph in quite a few years I am positive I could again if I decided it was time.
I live in the mindset that I do not need anybody, though I know I cannot accomplish a plethora of things alone. I believe that I can do anything that I set my mind to, truly, and I believe that all things are a decision or the outcome of one. I believe there is a God and a science that made me this way. I firmly believe that if I medicated my anxiety all those years ago, that I would have suppressed a gift.
I can learn and I can do. To medicate a personality is to silence a gift.
I have been employed in some way since the ripe age of 12 or 13 as a babysitter. On May 21, 2009 I landed my first legal job at Subway in Windsor, NY and then in 2010 moved to Long Island [only] during the summer to earn larger income as a waitress living with my sister - a living and working pattern I continued for 3 summers (on the Island). In 2015, I graduated from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY with a Bachelor's in Communications & Media, where I was an NCAA DIII women's soccer player. With the support of my family and scholarships, I worked my way through college as a nanny, bartender and waitress, and a housekeeper. After becoming a first generation college graduate in my family, I moved to Wilmington, NC to become an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer (ACE CPT) and National Academy of Sports Medicine Youth Exercise Specialist (NASM YES) for O2 Fitness until 2017. On February 13, 2017, Health Possible Inc. was awarded it's Articles of Incorporation and then it's 501(c)(3) status and by July of 2017, I quit my CPT position and was conditionally accepted into East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine for a Masters in Public Health, which I sorrowfully deferred for my finances and the well-being of my relationship. I was quickly recruited to work in private education administration where I currently am the Upper School Office Manager and the Director of Student Activities (leading community service and internship programs) while I am still focused on Health Possible Inc.'s self-sufficiency and success.