A Chip and a Chair

(All of the other family members had already folded thus not in this-video) Videos with them in a future blog post.

My son wrote this powerful essay "A Chip and a Chair" his senior year in highschool. I gave a speech at Ms Fitness USA "With A Chip and A Chair you always have a chance." This was a moment in time that will forever stand in our minds and hearts. I hope it brings something to you today.

A Chip and a Chair - 

The sound of poker chips tumbling dominated the small hospital lounge. In the middle sat a mountainous pile of my family members’ vast previous winnings, now put to a final test. My grandfather topped it all off with his only two remaining chips; a surprising happening, considering he was almost a master at Texas Holdem Poker. But under his circumstances it was understandable. Everyone overturned their cards for the moment of truth. Eyes darted back and forth as everyone checked their hands. It turned out that the high rollers had not won this match, but the silent underdog. My grandfather, age 86 and in the hold of cancer's grasp, won the game with a spectacular finish. Following this, my grandfather’s final poker game, he said to us all, "Right in the last hand, everyone should go all in."

Five years later, his words still echo in my mind. Everyday I look up to these words framed above my bed, to remind myself to give my all each and every second that I live; that this life is a short one and every moment is precious; and to make every day last. These reminders help me maintain a strong work ethic, motivational drive, and a guideline of hard work.

I hope that when I reach my grandfather’s age, I will be able to look back and say I went “all in”. But I realize on many occurrences I have strayed from this path. I may feel overwhelmed or stressed from the overload of tasks and goals I set for myself , and sometimes break under the weight. I may fall into slumps that last more than a week. But, nobody’s perfect; sometimes we all just need a break. Sometimes we need to have that lazy day or be that couch potato. Humans aren't frictionless machines, and just need a little "oil" once in a while. In the end I just say to myself, “It'll all be okay.” And I know it will.

Every once in a while when I feel I'm in a rut or can’t find inspiration, I watch the video containing my grandfather’s many wise words and relive the moments I had with him. He will always be in my heart and memories as my inspiration and my role model. I know this quote will carry me far in life and help me stay focused in all my endeavours. Now, it is time for me to ask you a question: Will you go all in? 

Jake Mitchell

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Linda Mitchell

Linda Mitchell is more than qualified to help women reach a point of empowerment . As an Institute of Integrative Nutrition graduate, an award-winning fitness competitor, and elite obstacle racer. she collaborated on the fitness portion of the book “Fat Flush for Life” with mentor and New York Times Best Selling author Ann Louise Gittleman. This book was listed in Time magazine as one of the top ten diet books for 2009. As a former columnist for 12 years for Ms. Fitness magazine, Linda decided to put everything into a book and it really evolved and became “The Sisterhood of S.W.E.A.T.”.  Her book and the studio are all about helping women build confidence and self-esteem and learning to feel 100% great about themselves.    

Mitchell launched The Chickfit Studio in 2013. She says “At Chickfit, our priority is building women’s self-confidence. Our belief is that their newfound self-love will transfer into giving support and love to one another. Self-improvement equals empowerment.”

Mitchell was inspired to open The Chickfit Studio after she found that deep down in her heart she wanted to do something that was worthwhile and made real, lasting changes in people’s lives. She opened The Chickfit Studio after working as a group fitness director and personal trainer for about 25 years.