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Cyndi Bester – Survivor, Business Woman, Concert Pianist (with a Master’s Degree in Music), and #Fitmom with an INSPIRING story… This is DEFINITELY worth reading!

“This is a journey that has had its ups and downs. And I’m not referring to my moment on stage.

Many people ask me why I would start competing past the age of 40. I want to share a little piece of my story.

I have had a challenging chronic illness for 30 years. An illness that has no cure. The news of this disease, floating through my body, came when I was 13.

At that age I had the belief that I could beat it and come out victorious. However, each year brought me to the hospital “resort” for at least 1 month of the year.

In my late teens and early 20’s I would joke about how my New Year’s Eve dancing partner was my IV pole. It never failed. Christmas would come and go and then I would get to make new friends at the resort.

I would have a spring, fall and winter retreat.

People always asked me why and how I stayed so positive. I would reply “I have a purpose on this earth.”

Then the big one hit. I was told I had 6 months to live. There I was in bed – 22 years old – central line running through my chest and a pain pump to manage moments of pain that were overwhelming.

Then the most amazing man walked through my door. A doctor assigned to my case. He looked at me and said “you are that girl…the girl who plays the piano in the air.”

At first I thought “Oh my Heavens! How is this guy going to help me?”

He could tell I was at a bit of a loss with his words and proceeded to tell me that he watched me on a flight from Calgary to Kelowna “practise” the piano – the entire flight.

I started to laugh. I knew the exact flight he was talking about and the reason I was practising. I had a very important recital coming up and was using every moment I could to practise.

He then did the usual head to toe routine and outlined some of my options.

Before he finished he asked me where my piano music was …”why aren’t you practising. It would help with your pain control.”

My mom brought in my music that night and within a month I was able to leave the hospital.

My music healed me.

I continued to have some ups and downs throughout my 20’s and early 30’s, but I learned to work “life” around my resort schedule.

Then the year I turned 35, I ended up at the resort early. In November. And it felt like I was 22 again. The same threat of not leaving the hospital was suggested.

This time I had a different male visitor. My 4 year old son.

He came to my bedside and held my hand and asked me. “Mom. Are you going to die?”

Nothing shoots faster through your heart than a question like that from your child.

I couldn’t lie to him.

What I did say was that I would do everything within my power to get healthy and come home.

On December 24th I checked myself out of the hospital and went home to be with my boys for Christmas.

That was the year I knew I had to combine my positive mental attitude with a positive physical attitude.

I searched out some assistance and turned towards a friend of mine who was very active in the fitness community. We started slowly, working with a healthy diet and simple weight training.

My stamina had taken a beating and I was happy when I could finally reach the 20 minute mark on the treadmill.

The next couple of years I was able to cut my resort stays down to 2 weeks a year and extend my treadmill time to 45 minutes. I went from being able to dead lift 30 pounds to 110 pounds.

I reached the entrance of my fourth decade and was feeling strong on the inside and looking stronger on the outside.

I now faced a new challenge – the loss of my sixteen year marriage. My body and mind went into shock and I could feel my gains slip away.

I still had my piano to turn towards, but the weights felt heavy again. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and knowing that I must press forward.

My fingers could not be the only thing getting exercise on my body. I could not let my body shut down again. I had my boys to raise.

I started to work with Impact Nutrition. The style of training and discipline was exactly what I needed. I have always been competitive in nature and decided to push myself forward and prepare for a competition.

Under the supervision of my doctor and my trainer, I first competed in May 2014, and placed 5th in Master’s Bikini with NPAA. Not bad for a first timer.

That Fall, I planned on hitting the stage again. I had pushed my body to limits it had not experienced and I was tired. The morning of the competition I hit with a couple of stumbling blocks. I received a message asking me not to walk on stage because I would “embarrass” myself if I did. Negatives words about something I had worked very hard to accomplish.

On top of this personal shut down, my hips felt like they were going to fall off. My pain management was not as under control as I would have liked.

I did the morning show and trembled my way through. My coach, Justin, encouraged me and reminded me how far I had come.

By the evening show, I was able to tune out the negative message, listen to the piano music in my head, and walk off stage with 2nd place in Masters.

This past year, I have only had a one night stay at the resort.

I was not able to avoid time with my IV pole dancing partner, but I was able to avoid a central line and surgery.

Now, two years after my first competition, I have now qualified to compete at the Canadian Bodybuilding Federation – CBBF!

With a body, mind and spirit that is strong.

My doctor believes bringing resistance training into my daily routine has helped me build a stronger inside. A body that has hit a stage of remission.

My positive mental attitude has kept my spirits high throughout this journey. The challenge was linking positive energy from my conscious to my subconscious and connecting mental and physical strength.

I couldn’t just conceive it. I had to believe that I was going to get better and live out my purpose.

If you want to make an Impact with your body you have to have a team that believes in making an Impact in your life. That is what Justin Wilson and his team does. Gen Hofman thank you for your weekly support, and Brittany Warner thank you for helping me bring it on in the last couple of weeks.”

Cyndi Bester


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