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The Gift

Sometimes in life you meet someone who shows up unexpectedly and gives you a gift that they had no idea they were giving you. Their intent was just to get to know you and show you something beautiful. However within the journey to see the vast beauty, was a gift so great it had the power to shift your heart.

This happened to me recently….

If you have been reading my blog you know that I had gastric bypass surgery in March 2011. Prior to that at my heaviest I was 302 pounds. Currently I am still over weight but over 100 pounds less. I always tried to have a positive mindset, to feel like weight couldn’t hold me back, that I could do anything but I couldn’t.

I realized that on two specific occasions that I will never forget. I felt embarrassed, humiliated and defeated. Even in those two moments I had remained calm and kept a cool demeanor it wasn’t until later when I was home alone that I let my tears flow. That was when I contemplated with myself what to do… How to live… How to carry on when I could barley carry myself… Those were the moments I knew something had to change and I couldn’t do this without help. I had already tried every diet, exercise and advice out there. Heck I was even raw vegan for awhile.

What were those moments you might ask…

I was chaperoning a school trip for my daughter and thought I could be the cool parent and join the kids on the roller coaster… I had never noticed those big signs that say “If you are too fat, this ride is not for you.” Ok that is not exactly what it says but AFTER you realize there is a need for those signs and AFTER you realize YOU have to look for them before going on a ride, that’s what it feels like they say. I didn’t see the sign and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t have thought it was meant for me. I was maybe about 265 pounds at the time. So I walked on and sat in the seat, that my hips couldn’t fit in comfortable. I squished in sort of sideways but the belt would not fit around me so I was asked to leave. I awkwardly smiled and told the kids I would meet them at the exit. Then made excuses for the rest of the day as to why I wasn’t going on any rides. I felt humiliated, embarrassed and dejected. To this day I still have not been back.

The second moment I realized my body size limited my ability no matter what my mindset was… I was with my best friend Georges and we had decided we were going to join a local hiking group so we could enjoy nature and the trails and get fit. Off we went. Georges had been doing a lot of running so he had no problem keeping up. I slowed us down therefore we were lagging behind but we could still see the group so we just followed at a distance and we didn’t let the light rain that was coming down stop us. This was our first time out so it was perfectly OK that we couldn’t quite keep up to the regular hikers.

Then… came the hill I had it set in my mind that I could do it. I could march right up that hill. I wasn’t going let the fact that I was fat stop me! I could do this! I couldn’t. I wanted to burst into tears right there. I didn’t. I held on to them and I held on to Georges who did his best to help me try to reach the tiny summit… My legs felt like solid, 1000 pound poles of iron and I couldn’t lift them any more… I fell into a puddle of mud and slid down the hill. Nothing was hurt except my pride, my heart, my ego, my expectations, my drive. So we took a different route down and off the trail and I didn’t try hiking again. I was defeated. {Thank you Georges for sticking with me!}


A week and a half ago. I met a wonderful man who in his quest to get to know me paid attention when I said I didn’t want to be a couch potato and that I needed to get away from the city to nature to ground and recharge myself. Or maybe he just wanted to show me something pretty, to share with me a place that was important to him. Either way he had no idea how he was about to take one of the worst moments of my life and turn it into one of the best.

He told me to wear hiking boots. HA!!! That would imply I actually hiked. I don’t even have the right clothes for hiking, heck I don’t even know what the right clothes are. So I tossed my hair in a pony tail, put on yoga pants and running shoes and waited for him to arrive. My heart was already beating fast and he wasn’t even with me yet. I was terrified… I had only met him once before and we had some amazing conversations in between. I was beginning to really like this man and here I was going on this journey with him. The challenge of facing one of my worst experiences ever with a man I barely knew. With a man I wanted to know and wanted to impress.

What if I couldn’t do it… what if I failed again… what if I was defeated by the trail, by myself, by the mountain he wanted me to climb. What if I couldn’t do it. I would be humiliated yet again, visions of my last hike swarmed in my head. What if I couldn’t do it? He is an active man he probably wouldn’t want to be with a woman who couldn’t hack it. What if I couldn’t do it… What if I fell.. what if I got hurt… what if I couldn’t do it!!! My mind was not as confident in the possibility that I actually could, like it had been at the start of the last hike, when I couldn’t.

There we were walking through the woods, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the beauty that surrounded us when he pointed up to the mountain peak. “That’s where we are going.” I gasped flashing back once again… what if I couldn’t do it. Up we went slowly and steadily. What if I couldn’t do it. I had to stop a couple times to catch my breath I could feel my heart racing. I was doing it.. I wanted to cry but this time they would have been happy tears. I breathed deeply and kept going. Some places were quite steep and he reached out his hand to help me. I was doing it! I was really doing it. Up we climbed. Up. up up. Yep I was doing it! It wasn’t easy but I didn’t give up, my body didn’t fail me we kept going. I did it!

There we were at the summit!! I had done it! I had climbed that little mountain and slayed a demon that had resided in me for about 5 years. This man who hardly knew me had given a gift greater than any money could ever buy, greater than I could ever fully explain (even though I tried here somewhat). I did it. With his kindness, support and patience, I did it! The amazing view took what remaining breath I had away. I was in awe. I was elated. I was confident again. I did it! I felt so many things… Relief, joy, exhilaration, success, love. I did it!

So to that special man thank you for coming into my life and giving me a gift far greater than I could have ever expected. Thank you for being who you are and for being at the right place at the right time to find me and pluck me out of my hidden misery. You are fantastic.

Rayvin Nyte


This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. cathy

    You truly are an amazing woman I look up too you for all you have accomplished, I love you to the moon and back

  2. Brittany Hoover

    You are so amazing! I know sometimes those mountains in our lives seem so huge and imposing, but the fact is, it takes one step at a time, and YOU DID IT!! The hardest thing we have to get over is that little naysayer in our heads, telling us it’s impossible. You have proven that little sucker wrong!!

    1. Rayvin Nyte

      Thank you Brittany.I have met some other goals this year as well but now have new ones… Gotta keep on keeping on!

  3. David Thompson

    It is important not to care what other people think. It is important what you think of yourself. Your story is inspiring and know that you have courage within you to to do whatever you want.

    1. Rayvin Nyte

      Oh yes that was a feat I wanted to succeed for myself.

  4. Alex Bender

    Sounds like you found an awesome guy!
    Great story & thanks for sharing

    1. Rayvin Nyte

      I did find an awesome man. No idea where or if we will go anywhere but I will always be grateful for his gift.

      1. Rob

        I’m sorry, rayvin. I’m here

  5. Nestor Nidome

    Amazing story Rayvin! So strange to read your story, as when I met you in person you are such a positive and motivational individual! I knew your story a bit, but not at this level. You always find more ways to inspire me and I thank you for that!

    1. Rayvin Nyte

      Thanks Nestor, hoping to revisit your group once things settle down for me.

  6. Ken Sandstrom

    Awesome story Rayvin! So glad to see you made it to the top, and got your man!! Sounds like a great guy, and evidently he inspires you to conquer your own expectations! I believe that one accomplishment is the starting point of your mindset shift to do whatever you want and realize there are no limits.. EVER! COngrats! Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Rayvin Nyte

      Thank Ken. I have been meeting a lot of my goals lately.

  7. Steve Krivda

    Great message and accomplishment. love the picture!!

  8. Lorraine Menza

    Improving oneself and how one thinks is definitely an inside job! You got to work on the inside to get the results you want on the outside!

  9. Suzanne Sobers

    Sharing this story is really a gift you have given Rayvin! Truly inspirational and amazing!

  10. Dan

    You are an amazing woman that can conquer any obstacles. I’m proud to say I got your back . Top of the mountain. .. next step the stars.

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