This Inspirational Moment brought to you by Zita Berger, Los Angeles, CA
What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to go through in your life?
I had a second back surgery in 2008. (My first was in 2001) I was in a lot of pain, where I couldn’t move without pain or sleep and it was incredibly draining emotionally and physically. I also didn’t have health insurance as I was in between jobs, nor could I get it because of the pre-existing condition. It was an extremely bleak time and I wanted to give up on a daily basis and I had no idea how I was going to ever recover on all of those many levels.
What did you learn from it that you could pass on to someone else?
That it’s okay to ask for help and be helped. I had to have others tie my shoes, do my laundry, drive me to doctors appointments, etc. I am fiercely independent and do not ask others for anything. This taught me that people want to help and it’s alright to need help. It’s also the only way to recover when you’re drowning.
What has been the Happiest Moment of your life?
Oh boy, that’s tough. I can’t point to one single event in time. Happiness is a continuum of moments, in my opinion. I can tell you that I’m happiest when I’m in the pool or when I see my great-nephew’s smile when I’m laughing with friends at dinner, sharing music with someone I love, or even holding my family close as we grieve my father’s passing.
What is your Passion?
I love swimming. More than anything else I’ve ever done. More than singing. Yep, even more than singing. That’s surprising even to me. That was another lesson that came out of recovering in 2008. The only thing I could do that didn’t induce pain was to swim. It was pure, healing joy. Not to say it wasn’t a challenge as well, but it was a joy. The water absolutely saved me and continues to. So I’m passionate about it for myself and now teaching it to others.
What inspires you?
Nature. Hearing the waves crash on the shore, or the wind through the trees in the mountains reminds me that the world is bigger than me and it’s calming.
What is your favorite Inspirational Quote?
“The expert in anything was once a beginner.” – Helen Hayes. But I have to say that my mantra these days has been “We can do hard things.” – Glennon Doyle Melton
How do you try to inspire others?
It really relates back to both of those quotes. I often get positive feedback from my swim friends or other people at the pool when I least expect it. It’s really nice to hear ‘you make it look easy’ but I always let them know that it took a lot of practice and work and there’s still room for improvement! And I spend a lot of time encouraging them to do the same: commit, show up, put in the time and it will eventually be second nature; You can do hard things! It’s true in swimming and in the rest of life.
One non-profit you support?
A Place Called Home. I volunteered here a couple of years ago and it was very impactful to see how much they help and educate the youth of my own city.
What is one easy thing you can do to change the world for good in the next 24 hours?
Pick up litter!
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This picture makes me feel HAPPY!
This picture makes me feel BEAUTIFUL!