Updated: Dec 3, 2021
© Copyright 2021 Artwork by Cordi Neckermann
Honestly, meeting a real life super hero is not as obvious as you would think. I first met Francesca via zoom during all this covid mess. She started coming to my classes and I could immediately tell that she is super fun and upbeat even though she just filled a little square on my screen. Little did I know that she is a real life super hero. We soon figured out that we both had the same passion for dance fitness. Mine was more on the Bollywood side and hers more in the Zumba corner. But who cares, it all came down to our love for dancing and inspiring people to dance along. Over time we did a few Zumba and BollyX collaborations happily dancing alongside each other on Zoom. I always admired her energy and enthusiasm when she stepped up to teach. Sparks would fly right across the screen and straight into everyones living room.
One day in a casual conversation after class, obviously on Zoom, she told me more about her story and it left me completely speechless and rendering me speechless is not easy to do. It all started with Francesca telling me about Boris. Boris is Francesca’s colostomy bag which is part of her digestive system, now on the outside rather than the inside. It is a removable, disposable bag that attaches through an opening to the rest of her digestive system inside her body. In Francesca’s words “I don’t have to go to the toilet anymore, that’s how I poop”. My mouth was hanging open as she cheerfully continued to explain how she secures the bag with her hernia belt and how it all disappears underneath a loose Zumba T-shirt when she teaches. I honestly didn’t know if I should laugh or cry when she told me more about her abdominal surgery and how she had trained to be match ready before the surgery and how the amazing NHS staff saved her live.
At first I was shocked and sad that a sweet person like her had to go through so much pain and surgery in the bloom of her life and got stopped in her tracks on the way to becoming a Zumba instructor. But, and her comes the big super hero BUT. Francesca is nothing short of an amazing and shining super hero. She created this hallow of positivity and strength around herself that I can only describe as super powers. Not only has she fought her way back to continuing her journey as a Zumba instructor but she has made it her full time mission to inspire and motivate others to keep moving and dancing.
Dance Fitness is the best ways to fuel up on confidence and to fall in love with your body, creating a positive body image and feeling mentally and physically fit. Francesca is the best example for this. With her new company Dance Through The Ages she wants to share the joy of dance with every age group and especially others who live with a colostomy bag. Her longterm goal is to create a bespoke recovery program for anyone who had to go through abdominal surgery and also a training program that gets everyone match ready before their surgery.
Francesca let me in on some of her motivational mottos. My favourite one is “You can’t be what you can’t see”. It is so very true. When we find ourselves in a challenging position in life it can be a live safer to hear someone else’s story of overcoming the very same issue. Another one of Francesca’s power mottos is BELIEVE this being the acronym for Brave, Empower, Lead, Inspire, Empathy, Vision and Encourage. These are all words I would use to describe her.
I feel super lucky that I can call Francesca my friend and that this crazy pandemic brought us together. Life is full of obstacles big and small and staying positive, inspired and motivated is a challenge we all face every day. There are millions of stories of real life super heroes out there but knowing one personally is really special to me. I have to confess I tap into Francesca’s super powers here and there and let her story and strength inspire and motivate me. If you would like to meet Francesca and join one of her classes you can find more information here or connect with here directly here.
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