When I met Lina Miranda for an early morning coffee, she had just finished teaching a fitness class.
For the last seven years she has been a trainer and instructor at GoodLife, Canada’s largest chain of fitness clubs and gyms. She is also a spokesperson for Reebok’s #expressyourstrong campaign.
Her years committed to healthy living have paid off as she is in phenomenal shape. But her story doesn’t start there.
“I was living the life of a very typical 21 year old,” she said. “And then I got seriously ill.”
Lina was attending university, working part-time as a waitress, dating and what she described as “having a lot of fun.”
She was experiencing severe pain in her abdomen that was diagnosed at different medical assessments as heartburn, an ulcer, and Hepatitis C. There was even a question of her being a drug user, which could not have been further from the case.
A very large tumour was growing inside of her stomach. At the time she was given a 20% chance of surviving past five years.
She had surgery to remove the tumour as well as 6 months of radiation and chemotherapy treatment. At the start of her treatment she was a healthy 130 pounds and dropped to 90 pounds at the end.
Now at 39 years old, Lina says that, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me.” By getting sick, she was able to turn her attention to getting well and focussed on helping others to do the same.
She listed for me all of the things that her passion has done for her.
“Fitness keeps me sane, it makes me feel physically well, and I feel like a better person.”
She begins to cry when I ask her if she has shared her personal story with her classes.
“I have built such a sense of community with my members along with amazing friendships and bonds,” she says as she’s drying her tears.
From her scary experience, Lina wants people to learn from their own, understand that even though you can’t control some of the things that happen in your life, you can control the way you look at them.
To learn more about Lina Miranda and her book, DNA Moments, visit www.mylinamiranda.com