Celebrate Life

Inspire Me

Up and Coming

Thanksgiving Schedules & Gratitudes

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Dear Friends,

Meet Michael Heilemann

If you look at the photo above, you will see a medal around Michael's neck from completing the Monterey Half Marathon a week ago on November 13th.  

Many of you know Danuta Heilemann, who was one of the very first Stop Drop and Dance students when I trialed the class at Marin Power Yoga over 8 years ago, and she has continued to dance with us still throughout the pandemic.  Michael is Danuta's husband.

Right after crossing the finish line, Michael felt dizzy, collapsed, and went into cardiac arrest.

Thankfully, there was a cardiologist named Steve Lome, who happened to be running right behind Michael.  Dr. Lome was able to start CPR immediately, and within 2 minutes, they were able to use a defibrillator to give him one shock and bring him back to life.

I mean, chills.

Michael was transferred to the Community Hospital of Monterey where it was confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack because of two undiagnosed blocked arteries.  He was able to receive a stent and went home a few days later.  

In the past few days, Michael and Danuta have been reconnected with Dr. Lome and to make a crazy story crazier, it turns out that at the same race, another runner had also collapsed earlier at mile 3, and Dr. Lome had already done CPR and used a defibrillator to save that runner's life!!!  

Two runners.
Both undiagnosed heart disease.
Both resuscitated out of the hospital.
Both made full recoveries.

Thank you so much to Danuta for giving permission to share Michael's "literally life-changing" story with us.  The timing of it happens right with Thanksgiving around the corner and may it be a powerful reminder to us all that we have so many big and so many little things to be thankful for.

In Danuta's words:

"Do not sweat the small stuff.
Today can be your last day.
Deal with whatever you can control, otherwise, move on.
People are kind and freaking amazing."

Let's be that, people.
Your Thanksgiving mantra this year:

(Click on the video below to see one of our favorite new feel-good dances!)

Thank you for voting!

I am SO thankful for your support for the Marin IJ Readers Choice Awards for 2023.  I know these types of submissions take time to complete, so I appreciate the extra effort to submit your votes!  In case you didn't get a chance to vote yet, and would like to, the deadline is November 30th.

  1. Go to https://www.marinijreaderschoice2023.com
  2. Click on the Category: Entertainment & Activities
  3. Scroll down to Dance Studio and type in "Stop Drop and Dance"
  4. Click on the Category: Personal Services
  5. Scroll down to Personal Fitness Instructor (and Business Name) and type in "Grace Yu (The Power With Grace)"
  6. Vote for at least 8 other categories/items (need a minimum of 10 votes for ballot to count!)
  7. Submit and you're done!

Thanksgiving Week Schedule

We have a FULL regular schedule planned this week, from Stop Drop and Dance to HIIT to Yoga, and YES, we are dancing even on Thanksgiving morning (Happy birthday Ariana Amini!).

Hope you can drop in-person and say hello (don't forget kids are always free with a participating parent!), or join us on Zoom!  This is a great opportunity for you to get your pre- and post- Thanksgiving exercise, and invite your family and friends who are visiting in town!

Classes are cancelled Tuesday, November 29th to Saturday, December 3rd!

40 of us are headed to Tulum for our much anticipated, first-ever, Power With Grace dance, fitness, and yoga retreat!  While we are traveling, all classes from this week will be recorded and available on-demand to workout from home until December 5th.

(Classes are available for purchase a-la-carte or become a member for unlimited access!)

Just say thank you

This morning I went for a run up on the trails by my house and when it became more challenging on the steeper hills, I practiced a meditation technique called a "Repeating Mantra."  All I did was say, "Thank you," over and over and over.  My only rule was to try to keep saying it nonstop like a broken record, and be open to whatever came up in my mind.

Thank you for my shoes that grip against the slippery rocks.
Thank you for the clear blue sky and sunshine high above.
Thank you for seeing the same strangers every week who have become familiar faces (and the familiar faces - Hi Suzanne!)
Thank you for the beautiful fall colors covering the trees.
Thank you for the airpod that allows me to listen to music that motivates me.
Thank you for the adorable dogs so happy to be out in nature.
Thank you for mountain bikes and kids already on vacation.
Thank you for living in a place where I feel safe to run alone.
Thank you for my leggings that have pockets to store my iphone.
Thank you for my body and health, allowing me to run right now.

On and on, I repeated this mantra and came up with the most random things to be grateful for, including many things that are usually considered insignificant and are unnoticeable.  But that's absolutely the point.

This meditation practice not only made my run easier, but also, it genuinely made me feel happier.

In the afternoon, while I drove my daughters to the library, we took turns round-robin style saying thank you to whatever we thought of, and it was fascinating to hear what they came up with.  

I encourage you to try this Repeating Mantra Meditation by saying, "Thank You," for a certain amount of time.  Start with 5 minutes and see what comes up.  See how you feel after.  See how it might affect the outlook for the rest of your day.  Ideally, this practice should become a habit that happens multiple times every single day, because that's how we should live our lives: with constant and never-ending thankfulness.

Thank you, friends, for reading these newsletters, being a part of this community, and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!