A Warrior Reborn: Power From Within

First off, let me say that Jodi was extremely brave to share this part of her story with the public.  The courage it takes to put yourself out there is powerful, but the impact it might have on somebody else going through the same thing might be even more so.  I knew the first time I met Jodi that she needed a community of people that would support her through the hard times and celebrate her small wins every step of the way.  

I am so thankful that we get to work with her and it's been absolutely incredible the transformation she has went through in just 17 short weeks!  She has obviously went through amazing physical changes, but now more than anything I see a bigger smile and a whole new confident person walking through the doors.  Jodi is proof that you can be reborn even from some of the darkest places you and I may never even contemplate.  Jodi is proof that the most powerful stuff is on the inside; waiting to be let out; waiting for that shot at victory.

(I made sure to ask her when I received her story, but Jodi is doing AMAZING now!)

This is Jodi Wawracz:

I checked myself into Fairview Southdale Hospital for suicidal ideation. 

That was back in late 2004. Fourteen months prior my life felt like it was on the ropes. I had experienced severe trauma and depression from great grief. I lost many primary family members, childhood friends, and a significant relationship all in 14 months. It is the closest to death I have come. 

I can recall my personal shame at my highest weight of 218 pounds. For one week I stayed in a mental health ward, followed up by a 33-week outpatient program for depression.

As I sit here today, I can confidently say that I am in much better place.  

My mind, body, and spirit have experience hardship no doubt, but my coping strategies are significantly more productive.  

Fast forward to April 2017.  I was scrolling on social media when Debbie Larson’s post inspired me to check out TFW South Metro! I was working a sedentary job; 25 pounds heavier; a frozen shoulder, and I could feel that sadness creeping in again. I decided to jump head first and join the “8 week challenge” in late April.

Of course I had some goals to lose some weight and fit into different clothes, but honestly I just wanted to feel better about myself! 

I remember when I first walked through those doors at TFW, I told Coach Reid that I was scared I would fall and not be able to catch myself due to my frozen shoulder.  He assured me they wouldn’t let that happen. True to his word, none of the coaches have guided me in a direction to fail - EVER!


Ecstatically, I will be starting my 17th week at TFW South Metro. There are still days when I feel uncomfortable and those old thoughts of “can I do this?” creep back into my head. I have realized that getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is part of this journey, and I am thankful for the challenges that have come!

It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been the best decision of my life! 

I am now surrounded by coaches and people who actually want me to succeed and want me to experience those wins in my life. I am slaying proverbial dragons, and succeeding. I measure small gains daily. I view food as something that helps me take the day on more confidently. I no longer look at exercise as a form of punishment, but rather a form of empowerment! I love the feeling of being strong!

At first, I definitely had some limitations due to my shoulder injury, but my workouts NEVER suffered! Just the other day I got my first real push-up! CRAZY AWESOME! I can’t remember the last time I’ve been that excited!

I’m starting to experience this “TFW Effect” and how it has this trickle-down effect into other parts of my life.

Jodi with her daughter Miya 

Jodi with her daughter Miya 

My daughter Miya recently joined TFW and having that push and support with each other is beyond words incredible!  This experience at TFW has totally changed the direction of my life for the better. It’s no longer a chore but a lifestyle. Because I know there will be tough points along the way, I still have to check myself mentally and physically everyday. 

Just like anything, there has to be balance, commitment, and personal accountability. 

This is not an overnight process. I will often say out loud that I am #notgivingup.


Thank you for sharing your story with us Jodi! We are so proud of what you have accomplished so far and we can’t wait to see your smile grow bigger each day!  You are a true warrior! #slayingdragons

If you want to re-write your own story, with people who actually care, consider applying for the upcoming Fall 8 Week Warrior Challenge.  Due to the popularity of this program, we are only accepting 9 new warriors to take this journey.  If you are ready to feel better about yourself, apply now!

Eric ParentComment