I was in the shower on Tuesday night and could hear my phone blowing up with notifications. I thought to myself, sweeeeet! I bet it’s Bootcamp planning another girls night!(Because this is what happened the last time there was a girls night and I‘m always down for a good time!) So I go to check my phone and opened the facebook app and there was a pic of me with the headlines reading ‘spotlight boot camper‘. My first thought was, waaaait this isn’t right…I’m so confused. So I read it again reeeally slow. And then I said, OH NO. No no no no no…Noooooooooooo! Ummm, for those that know me, I do not like being any where near a spotlight unless we are fishing somewhere in the dark or camping gear is involved. After talking with some sweet sweet boot camp friends, I feel a bit more at ease with this very humbling spotlight honor. I could try to argue with Channel and kick and fight her about this, but I still think she would win J!
I guess I will begin this story in my hometown of Nashville, TN. I am first born Asian American of Chinese and Vietnamese descent. Growing up, my mom was a stay at home mother(3 kids total) and seamstress and my dad worked 2-3 jobs to support us. We did not have a whole lot of money and I wasn’t aware of club sports until junior high school. Most of my young days were spent on the playground, which was conveniently located next to our apartment building, hanging from the monkey bars, playing marbles in the dirt, hide and seek, freeze tag, and all those old skool games. It wasn’t until about 7th grade that I was introduced to soccer and tennis. For the next 5 years, I lived and breathed both of these sports, with the addition of track and cheerleading. Playing sports was difficult because of my mom. Being the traditional and controlling Asian mother that she was, athletics were frowned upon and I should only focus on my grades in school. My dad would take me out to the tennis courts to get away from the crazy Asian lady at the house lol. No matter what hour of the day or night, we could and would spend hours out on the tennis courts. My dad found solitude in being outdoors, whether it be fishing, camping, or playing sports, therefore raised us kids the same way. Being outdoors is still my escape! My dad drove me to school every morning and picked me up from practice every afternoon. He was the one who took me to buy new cleats and supported my needs to play sports in high school. He taught me that practice does not make you perfect, it makes you better…and anything a boy can do, you can do, and possibly even better. While I did not understand my moms style of hard love, I felt my dads love and I still feel him in my heart everyday. My dad was your spitting image of healthy and never got sick, ever. Well, he got sick and was sick with a ‘cold’ for two weeks so my mom scheduled him an appointment with the doctor. He was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 40. For 12 long years, he battled, off and on, this awful disease. He did not want to fight it because he felt it was his time to go. The treatments of chemo and radiation were wearing down his body. I could see it in his eyes that he was tired. I know the only reason he fought for so long, was for us. One of the last conversations I had with my dad, I was telling him how I thought this was disease was crap and so unfair. He said to me, “I have lived a full life and I am okay if I don’t wake up tomorrow. It is the children and babies that have cancer that I don’t understand. They haven’t lived yet. They are just babies and should be playing”. I am writing this as tears roll down my face. This is and was my dad. He helped me to see things in a different light…in a more selfless and beautiful light. When my father passed a few years ago, I felt like I had lost the only person that ever believed in me. That was really scary and often times, still makes me angry and sad. I hate hearing the word cancer…Nonetheless, I do see a beautiful light that shines over boot camp. You all are so selfless and amazingly kind and sweet people who believe in each other!!! Love this!
My daughter Kaeden was born in 2006 and wowzers did having a baby really change my body. I found some hiking trails and would backpack with her to get outdoors and try to get some sort of exercise. We moved out to the Spring Branch/Bulverde area 1 1/2 years ago because I wanted to get out of San Antonio and find a better school district for Kaeden. Well I’d say we both won because Kaeden loves her school and I found aMazen Bootcamp. I was perfectly placed in the house directly behind boot camp. When I first moved in to my new pad, Caparelli’s Italian Restaurant was still open in Faithville Village. So one afternoon, I picked up a large supreme pizza with a side of wings and when I made it home, I remember I could hear music through my windows. Curious, I took a peek outside(while chomping down on some yummy bread and cheesy deliciousness) and saw all these people working out. They were doing exercises I had never seen before and it looked exhausting and not fun at all!!!! I said I would/could not ever be able to do any of that! After about a month of seeing large groups of people show up everyday to workout to near collapsing, I thought I might give it a try lol. My house wasn’t far and I could crawl home if I needed to J My first class was with Sara coaching and I was hooked!!!! I soon met Channel and while coaching a class she told me she wouldn’t be able to remember my first name and asked me for my last name. I smiled and replied, Ho. She shouted out that she loved it and demanded that I come to the Saturday class because she has another client with the last name Hooker and she could have a Ho too! Lol! LOVE HER!!! I knew I was home. I love receiving the daily emails, the fellowship, the great sense of community, and the genuine enthusiasm and encouragement for one another. To this day, it still amazes me so much how everyone supports each other. I love that about boot camp and that is why I keep coming back. It is the people! You all have been such a blessing to me in so many ways. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you…For your smiles, hugs, hi-fives, and words of encouragement. Thank you. I only hope that I am able to give that back in return! Boot camp and all that it encompasses is just so beautiful. Crazy and beautiful! Love you guys!!!
Tracy Ma 2:14pm
Duyen.... Alright girl!!!! You in the spotlight = good stuff. T'was a matter of time. Everyone seemed to know that but you ;) Which is part of your charm ... you don't seem to know how strong you are nor how deserving you are. You suit up and show up on a regular basis...you are strong and always go the extra round, pushing yourself and those around to give it all. Plus, your face is one I look forward to seeing when I walk through the door at boot camp. It just makes my heart smile <3 :) you always seem happy and have a smile to give. I suspect many people feel that way. You are like my own little personal ray of sunshine. I just luv ya....and I really like when we WOD together. You inspire me to be my best....always. You're so open to both getting and giving encouragement. A true joy to be around. Keep spreading your light (and smile). And don't under-estimate what it does for others, and don't underestimate yourself. .
Can't wait to do your WOD. 4:30 class on Wed for me. **loved reading your story
MY HO!!!!! 😜 You have no idea how happy I get when I see your smiley face walk into the building!! You are always so positive and fun! You ABSOLUTELY deserve the spotlight!! I'm so excited to continue coaching and woding by your side...your strength and attitude are what AMAZEn bootcamp is all about! Much love to you my 1980 friend 😉
Shanna D 6:52pm
WooHoo!!! You are the perfect person to be our spotlight bootcamper! I love working out with you. You always seem to push me when I need it most. I know your WOD will be tons of fun!
Love you girl,
Karen S 7:46am
Congrats to you! I love working out with you. I love watching your strength and determination. You put 110% and then some into your workout. You are a beautiful woman!
Sheri K 8:19am
HO!!! My sweet HO!!! You are the perfect example of what a spotlight boot camper should be. And I told Miss Channel that! I remember your first days...whining all the while...I can't do that...I not ready for this. Me telling you...'come on girl, you are younger than me by a mile! You can so do the C WOD! ' No, No No I can't. Then you became a regular in our 6:30 pm group. (yes the best group ever!), and finally I convinced you into doing a C WOD with me...and the rest is history. Next thing I know you are rocking the D most of the time and looking stronger every day. Now you say you want to conquer pull ups and double unders! , and now YOU you are the one encouraging me, and the rest of us with that million dollar smile and hard work ethic. I am so proud of you. I admire you, I love you and I am proud to call you my friend and fellow Bootcamper!
Love ya - Mamma K
Monique P 10:11am
I love you! ! I love seeing you when I walk into power house! You are always so fun to talk to and be around. You are awesome at the WODS and always encourage me to keep doing C even though I chicken out a lot more lately. It's so good knowing more about you through your testimony. PUGH.
Congrats Duyen, my 6:30pm workout pal! What an amazing story you shared with all of us. Hopefully, you can inspire your sweet daughter to get into soccer and/or tennis so you can have a chance to enjoy those special moments with her just like you and your dad shared. I'm sure your father is watching over you with great pride as you work so hard at class, school and parenting. It's been a joy to become your bootcamp pal. You always finish strong and do have that constant smile on your face :)