This has been quite a week.  My life, though turbulent at times, is also blessed.  I have opened my heart to what has been handed to me, negative and positive, knowing that I must do so in order not to miss the lessons from these challenges.  This is how I learn to become a fully compassionate person. On the weekend just past, I did my first appearances since the news of June 7th at Toronto's CanFitPro.  Last year already I had been asked to speak but I had no idea what would transpire in the meantime.  I was quite nervous to "come out" at the show as it was the first time addressing all of you since that fateful day just 10 weeks ago.  I was uncertain of the reception I might receive, the words I would say and how it would feel.  I gathered support in the form of my daughters Rachel and Kiersten and their friends and I also received tremendous support from Rod MacDonald, the VP of CanFitPro and David Patchell-Evans founder of GoodLife Fitness.  I took courage in my heart and thought about what I needed to learn, not thinking about the fear.  With that I stepped on stage.

Looking back I can say with confidence there was no better place for me to break out.  Rod introduced me at the first speaking segment attended by Fitness Professionals and it just got better from there.  The reception I so dreaded was warm and genuine.  I am reminded repeatedly that speaking for me is what I love to do, but it is never about me, it is always about you and that you may think you are learning from me but that it is truly I who NEEDs to learn from you.  That is exactly what happened as I went from one speaking engagement to another.  You opened your hearts to me and with every word and story I felt healing energy fill me.

This positive tsunami of warmth and the celebration continued into Sunday where I was the keynote speaker for the Closing Ceremonies.  Over two thousand people filled the huge auditorium.  If you think about a number that big too long it can be quite distracting and nerve wracking.  I sat back stage quietly preparing myself.  As I did so, I asked myself what people out there most needed to hear.  I always think about reaching the people in the very back row, the quiet ones, the distracted ones.  My goal with every speaking engagement is to "leave a mark."  For me this means touching you emotionally with my story so that you become inspired to keep on keeping on filled with purpose.

I stepped out onto that stage filled with adrenaline and nervousness but also with incredible energy.  You were all on your feet clapping and cheering, bringing the house down.  My heart soared, filled with your positive energy.  After the first three words, which are always the most difficult, and which should always be memorized, I jumped in the air fist pumping it, loving the moment.  There was so much positive energy I could literally feel the place vibrating.  The thousands of us there laughed, cried, joked and learned together.  At the end, we all held hands and gave gratitude for this remarkable life, the moment, the joy of being in it together.

I am grateful for the experience you gave me.  I will never forget it.  My heart is full.  Thank you.

Tosca Reno