Thirty-six years ago, performer Lynne Jordan had a dream. A big dream. But over the years, her weight inched up and her strength declined so much that the reality of executing that dream didn’t just dwindle—it fully evaporated.
Lynne wanted to write and perform an autobiographical one-woman musical show. But after decades of inactivity and 130 extra pounds she could barely even walk, let alone stand up to sing during her regular performances.
Then in 2014 she got on the StrongPath.
“What I learned is to keep moving. My tendency was to rest, especially when I was in pain,” Lynne said. “Four years ago I had to turn down work because I couldn’t physically do it. Looking back, I can’t believe I lived like that, dragging myself out of bed to go to gigs, performing while sitting down, and then getting back in bed as soon as I got home.”
Stamina & Strength
The life-changing benefits of choosing the StrongPath have continued to multiply for this Chicago-based songstress. She definitely sees a connection between her current professional renaissance and the increased stamina and strength—not to mention motivation—she now has as a result of the last three years on her fitness regimen. In the last year especially, she has seen each professional achievement lead to an even greater one.
For the first time in many years, last spring and summer, she booked a long stretch of back-to-back solo shows.
To get ready for that busy concert tour, her trainer Jeremy had her train “like a fighter” to increase her stamina, though he was careful to work around her ongoing knee pain, which she knows will eventually need surgery to alleviate. She kicked up her four weekly workouts to an intensified but effective regimen of five weekly 90-minute training sessions.
Jeremy increased the amount of Lynne’s cardio, but since she can’t do a lot of jumping or lunging, they stuck to low-impact exercises, like throwing a medicine ball in the air, using the heavy battle rope, quickly dragging a punching bag across the floor, and riding the recumbent bike and other resistance machines. Much of that work had the added benefit of building up her arm and chest strength, which she’d also need for her performances.
The woman who once thought of herself as the “diva with no energy” was suddenly prepping to perform multiple, high-profile shows over the course of several months.
That work clearly paid off. During her gigs, she was not only able to stand and sing, but also dance, which, she said as a sidebar, is a great calorie burner. She got out on that stage again, and suddenly her old reputation for being fun and energetic was revived. That led to even more bookings and other interesting performing opportunities…including making that 36-years-in-the-making-dream a reality.
A Dream Come True
In the fall of 2017, the pieces around her long-stalled project quickly began to fall into place. Since she was more visible and able to say yes to new opportunities, during one of them, she caught the attention of a producer who connected her to a writer. With their help, she was able to write her highly personal one-woman show, aptly named, A Great Big Diva, in just three months. In December, she performed a staged reading of it to a sold-out crowd (sold out in one afternoon!).
“It was scary but once I got up there it was great!” Lynne said proudly.
Not only was this undertaking a creative success, it was also a physical one that had required tons of energy and stamina: 90 minutes (daily!) of just her on stage, acting through a series of monologues, and singing with a three-piece band.
And now 2018 is shaping up to be banner year for this “diva.” Since she’s already planning to take the play to the next level by turning it into a theatrical production, (meaning with multiple runs!), she’s aware of how important it is that she stays in good shape and keeps up her healthy routine.
“I’m not worried about having the stamina to do it night after night. I know I can as long as I keep up the physical work,” Lynne explains. “Doing the play was all part of this journey. Maybe it’s a coincidence that this is finally happening now, but probably not.”
From all the physical strength she’s gotten from the StrongPath, she’s also been amazed by the boost it has given to her confidence and sense of empowerment to do what she wants to do. And her life, not just her health, gets better every day.
Wear Clothes You Feel Good In
So how does she stay motivated?
“This may sound silly but I put on workout clothes that I really like. I have cute shirts that say things like, ‘You Go Girl!’ and fun, colorful sneakers. They motivate me.” Once she’s in the outfit, she goes to the gym. “My whole thing is: Whatever works!” she says with a laugh.
After a fall season filled with rehearsals for her own show as well as a play for which she was part of an ensemble cast, she’s now back on her regular workout schedule, which consists of 90-minute sessions with her trainer at the gym four days per week. On non-trainer days, she tries to work out at home, either on her own machines or walking every morning.
Stretching Is Key
She’s also learned how important it is to include stretching as part of every workout, because it really helps alleviate her knee pain, especially before a show. As part of her stretching routine, she uses a trigger point roller and firm ball to release tight muscles and deep tissue.
As part of her Always Keep It Moving credo, when she’s at home, this strength training success story lifts up her knees and marches to get from room to room. She also has discs under her desk so she can stretch her legs even while sitting and writing.
“I don’t want to give in to the pain and tightness ever again,” she says. “For years I was going down, down, down. Now I’m going up, up, up…and it’s all because of StrongPath.”