I knew when I was eighteen years old that I wanted to open a gym one day, because I loved fitness. My late boyfriend, Jorge, was a major influence.
When I was eighteen, my boyfriend at that time played baseball with my father and brother. Watching them play was where I saw Jorge for the first time. Jorge’s looks and athletic ability took my breath away. He had a wife and son that came to the games, and although I had a boyfriend, I enjoyed watching Jorge play. I found out that he owned and operated a gym, which I thought was so cool. I had been with my boyfriend since I was fifteen. We had a great relationship that continued until I was twenty-three and went away to college. We then we drifted apart.
I transferred from three different colleges until I ended up back in Florida, my home state, and graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in psychology and a minor in exercise physiology. During my time at the University of Florida, my major was exercise science, where I studied the human body. Although I enjoyed this very much, I also found psychology very intriguing because I loved to study the human mind. I have the gift of listening to and advising people to help them heal, so I decided to switch my major because I wanted to learn more about the mind-body connection. Knowing that at a very young age I wanted to open a wellness center one day, my dad gave me an assignment: to learn and get as much experience as I could before he would help me open my very own center.
My father, who was a very successful businessman, knew exactly what it took to open my own business. He told me I needed to start from the bottom and learn every aspect and detail possible before I would be ready to open my own center. He gave me a timeline of ten years to learn what I needed to before he would financially help me. I knew he was right because he had done it himself.
When I was twenty-two, I graduated from college and decided to work for my dad’s business and teach fitness on the side. However, my dad and I did not see eye to eye when it came to his business. My heart was not into auto parts; it was into health and wellness. I also did not want to be under my dad’s wing and needed to branch out on my own where my passion lay. This was when I took the leap and went into fitness full time.
I drove down to South Beach one day to try to locate an old friend who had opened a gym. I had no idea what the name was, but when I stopped to get a protein shake, I saw a guy with a T-shirt from a local gym. It happened to be my friend’s. This is how every aspect of my life played out. I would send out a request, and the universe would respond, just like that.
I was so happy to have found the gym. My friend gave me a job, and that started my new path in the fitness business. I later ended up leasing his gym for a year to learn more and be ready to open my own in the future.
I lived in South Beach for seven years. During this time, I ran into Jorge everywhere. I bumped into him in restaurants, movie theaters, and even elevators, until one night, we met at a dance club. The stars were aligned because he had just gotten divorced and I had broken up with my boyfriend. We started dating and had an on-again, off-again relationship for about three years. It was not a healthy relationship. It was more like an addiction, a certain connection that is indescribable. We did have great communication and great times when we were together though. We shared our dreams, goals, and desires and could talk for hours. We laughed a lot and had so much fun together. It was just that we would break up every three months or so, which was pure heartache.
Jorge taught me about spiritual signs and connections. He had lost his mother to breast cancer when he was twenty-eight years old. He taught me about the number 11:11, which he felt was a sign from her. Also, he would find pennies everywhere and tell me it was her way of connecting with him. I loved hearing this because I have always been a big believer in life after death and that our loved ones are always with us even after they pass on.
My great grandmother was clairvoyant. She would see things happen before they actually did. My mother is also very much in touch with her spiritual side. She has had visits from her father after he passed. One night, when she was going through a very difficult time, she woke up and saw her father sitting at the side of her bed. He told her that everything would be okay. She knew this was a visit because she was wide-awake.
I experienced the same thing one night while on a ski trip with Jorge and my family. Jorge’s mother appeared to me in a dream and told me how happy she was that I was in his life. We talked for a while, and I remembered it as if it had really happened. I had never met her, but I described to Jorge what she looked like in detail. He was so happy. I had never seen a picture of her before the dream, and it was definitely her. Even more amazing about this experience was that I dreamed of her on January 5, the night I was due to be born. My mom told me that they had induced me because of complications, which was why I was born in December. Jorge was so shocked and told me that January 5 was the anniversary of his mother’s death. The day I was supposed to be born, the day she died, and the night I had the dream all were January 5. I knew this was a definite connection, but I had no idea how strong the connections would become in the near future.
Jorge died suddenly in 1999. I was twenty-eight years old, the age he was when his mother had died. He died at thirty-four years old from an inexplicable reason for which we will never have answers. The day he died, I was doing a breast cancer walk with my very close friend. I remember saying a minute before the race began that I should get a sign, write the name of Jorge’s mom on my chest, and dedicate the walk to her. At that exact moment, the loudest gunshot went off, signaling that the race had begun. Startled, we began to walk. Little did I know that Jorge had just died from a gunshot wound to his chest. It was if his mom were sending me a signal.