One of the great pleasures of being a fitness pro in the fitness industry as long as I have been (over 20 years) I have met some real fitness personalities who live what they preach. One close friend that comes to mind is Karen Newman who has always had a passion for fitness and nutrition. She has been teaching spinning classes at my health club as long as we have offered it and we have developed a friendship that reaches beyond the gym and the locker room. So it was with shock and devastation that she discovered a lump in her breast last April and was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Myself and all of her friends and co-workers reeled mentally with the idea that someone who not only is a nutritionist and triathlete but a woman who has more athleticism and fitness in her little pinky finger than the rest of our gym staff combined. So the scary reality was that if this could happen to the queen of fitness, then none of us were immune from the devastion of a cancer diagnosis like she received.But over the past several months we friends have been the ones that have needed to keep our faith because Karen, true to her athletic fortitude, has been the one who has inspired us and made us believe that anything, truly anything is possible, if you put your attention on what you want and do your best to ignore where you are.She not only completed but actually placed third in her age division in a triathlon while finishing up her last rounds of chemotherapy. I see her almost daily, when I drive my dog out to our local beach and there she is, if not running or biking then at least walking and always, always smiling.For Karen, who is married with three children, ages 10 years to 16 years, 2008 ended with a kerthumph this  past December. As she began her radiation for breast cancer, she struggled with a bout of flu with a 104 degree fever that kept her in bed over Christmas.Nice.She, for one, was not be sad to see 2008 end!But it didn’t take much to talk her into seeing a movie on a night not long after this rough patch. We had to laugh after we shuffled out of the theater and a good looking man approached us at the exit and struck up a conversation with Karen as I spoke on my cell phone with my son.”Care for a glass of wine?”, he asked my almost bald, coughing, freshly radiated friend, who, obviously has fallen rock-bottom to a nine and a half in the looks department.We stifled our hoots as Karen offered a lame “I’m married but thanks anyway!”and we stumbled into the parking lot, laughing at how  her light still shines so brightly, even to strangers passing in the night.And to that I say:Thank You, Lord for small compliments at exactly the perfect moment. And thank you Karen, for the reminder that no tomorrow is promised and to live as if each breath were our last, not worrying about what we did wrong yesterday and having faith  that tomorrow will be taken care of upon arrival.