Hello to all of my beautiful and amazing Oulakins! My name is Rochelle and I’m beyond excited and honored to have been encouraged to contribute my thoughts to this blog about our latest affirmation 'I Am Unstoppable!'
For those of you who don’t know me. I am originally from Wisconsin, but I moved to the Twin Cities, Minnesota from Arkansas in October 2019. I was first introduced to Oula at a Zumbathon in February 2020 at the local YMCA, before the coronavirus pandemic hit hard. When I first came to class, I was not really a 'fitness' person. I was coming off a bad break up and felt broken, ugly, and worthless when I went to my first class with the amazing Robyn. After that, I was hooked and wanted more! I kept coming back until the class sadly ended. I found new instructors to dance with and eventually was encouraged to go through Empowerment Weekend where I certified as an Oula instructor as of May of 2022.
Not to brag, but I’ve been unstoppable my whole life! When I was 18 months old, doctors discovered that I had a brain tumor. After it was successfully removed and a few extra tests were done, my parents were told that I wouldn’t be able to memorize anything. Yet after my fourth surgery, I became a multi-year champion in a multi-state speech competition. With one working hand, I earned a spot on the flag line team at my high school. Even with a foot drop, visual field cuts to the left of both eyes, a hip lift, and no fine motor movement in my left hand, I don’t let anything stop me. I have broken, and will continue to break, the norms that people and society have of me as a person with a disability.
Oula creates a space where I feel safe enough to look at myself through different lenses and get to a place where I can fully accept myself, disability and all. I had not been able to do that in the past. Oula has finally allowed me to see the true fighter within me and reinforces the fact that my disability only makes me stronger. Going to a variety of Oula classes and events helps me block out and prove wrong all the stereotypes that I am surrounded with, like how our society thinks a person with a disability 'should' look or act. I just get to be free to be my goofy, sassy, and sarcastic self.
Through my time in Oula, I have healed and grown stronger than ever! As a person with a physical disability, I don’t always feel strong or in control of anything in my life. Oula has helped me regain some of that control and feel unstoppable, if only for that hour.
I would like to leave you with a quote that I live by. I think it is perfect for this affirmation. It’s by John Wooden, legendary basketball player and coach, who always inspired his players to be the best they could.
“Never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
In other words, be unstoppable! Anytime I am feeling low or like I can’t do anything right, this quote always lifts me up and I hope it does the same for you!
I love all of you so much and am forever grateful to be a part of this amazing community and family!
With all the Oula love and enthusiasm I possess,
xo, Rochelle Laumer
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