Anya means “grace”, and nobody embodies Anya better than you do. As part of our #herbyAnya series, we chatted with three members of our community to find out what living gracefully means to them. From learning to accept themselves to wholeheartedly embracing an active lifestyle, these women have so many wonderful thoughts to share with us.
Meet Eunice (@i.m.eun), a financial consultant and mother to a cheeky 5-year-old girl. Growing up, Eunice was immersed in sports in school, even after she was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 12. Besides working out to maintain her spinal health, Eunice chooses to be physically active as a way of empowering herself.
No slowing down for scoliosis
“Whenever there was a sports game, I’d be there,” Eunice says of her secondary school days. Back then, she was on the school team for three sports—volleyball, netball, and badminton. “I just couldn’t sit still!”
Her spine curvature worsened during this time but luckily, her spine stopped shifting just before her condition became severe enough to need surgery. Although Eunice was forced to refrain from taking up certain activities, she has by no means stopped exercising—she just has to choose her workouts carefully.
“As scoliosis is a spinal issue, working out definitely helps to strengthen my core, which is important for the stability of my spine,” she says. Regular exercise also helps her relieve the pain associated with her condition.
Her experience with scoliosis has also led Eunice to another reason why she enjoys staying active:
“When I take good care of myself, I am empowered to take care of my loved ones.”
Falling in love with reformer pilates
But of course, no journey is without bumps, the same way that progress is hardly ever linear. After giving birth to her daughter, Eunice struggled to make time to exercise. During what she now calls her “inactive years”, her scoliosis worsened, yet she hesitated to return to her active lifestyle. After all, she spent all her time juggling work and taking care of her child—a situation that many of us are familiar with.
During an attempt to return to a regular fitness routine, Eunice tried a new workout that—she jokes—made her feel “like dying”.
“I even had thoughts that I am getting old and it’s too late for me to exercise again,” she says. “For someone who is feeling this way, it could be because of a lack of motivation or a companion to work out with. Or they haven’t found something that they enjoy doing.”
One day, a friend introduced Eunice to reformer pilates—a low-impact exercise performed on an apparatus called a reformer—and there was no looking back. “I fell very much in love with it and I threw ‘too late’ out of the window,” she shares.
“There are so many benefits to practising reformer pilates. It can improve your physical strength, flexibility and posture, as well as enhance your mental wellness. It also builds endurance and coordination. Slowly but surely, I know I’m getting stronger!”
Radiant role model
Today, Eunice always looks forward to her weekly workout sessions.
“It’s an opportunity for me to take my mind off everything—I can be quite the over-thinker! After a great workout, I feel ready to take on the world again.”
From our brief time together, we can tell that Eunice is a generous person who’s always looking out for others. She seems the most radiant when she’s talking about her family. We were heartened to learn that while she values inner strength, she also extends that generosity to herself.
“I’ve always believed that we should take good care of ourselves. If we don’t, who will?” Eunice shares. This aligns perfectly with what living gracefully means to her:
“It’s about having the ability to love ourselves, and the confidence to deal with the things that come our way. We need to age gracefully, too! It is our body, and we need to be responsible to ourselves first. Stepping into motherhood further reinforced my belief in this.”
“I want to be able to grow old healthily with my daughter, to witness all the milestones in her life. I also hope to be her role model by demonstrating the importance of staying active and being healthy.”
Do you have a story like Eunice’s to share? We’d love to hear it! Let us know in the comments or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.