We Are #OrlandoUnited

After the events at Pulse on Sunday, it has taken me a while to compose myself enough to gather my feelings and thoughts into a coherent statement. As a member of the Orlando/Central Florida family I feel as though I need to take a moment to talk about the tragedy that occurred on Sunday. I spent a lot of time going back and forth about whether or not I should say anything about what happened, I didn’t want to get too off-topic from the core of this blog but then I realized that I’m the core of the blog and I’m a member of the community affected. If you feel the need to unsubscribe from my blog or stop following my journey because of this, that’s fine but I wanted to share some of my feelings.

I have lived in Orlando for 7 years now and I rarely ever felt unsafe, but as many others did I made the incorrect assumption that bad things don’t happen in my community, they happen to other people. I am not a member of the LGBT community, but so many people close to me are and so the attack on their community hurts too. I have family and friends that very well could have been at Pulse on Saturday night and I am so thankful that none of them were there. For the 49 people who lost their lives and the additional 53 that are injured, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. They are the people we need to remember, not the one selfish person who decided to obtain weapons solely for the intention of killing and harming others. I prefer to think of the people who were taken from us senselessly, not the one who did the taking and thank reporters like Anderson Cooper for doing the same and not mentioning the shooter by name.

In this time of tragedy, I am so very proud of my community for standing together this week and committing to helping out. The amount of people who have gone out to donate blood is absolutely astounding, I plan on joining them later this week (once my doctor says I’m cleared) and to continue to have an ample supply of blood when needed. Seeing those who couldn’t donate making the decision to donate food and water to those waiting in line, or places like the Chick Fil A on University Blvd that opened on Sunday to send food to those people makes my heart burst with pride for our city. Or the amazing corporations, businesses, and people who have donated money to the fund to help the victims and our city, there’s really being progress made for the cause. Everyone has come together in the wake of this awful event and made a stand together.

I don’t want to take any sort of political stance here, as this is a blog about fitness and weight loss and overall well-being. It’s simply not my place. That being said, I hope that once the smoke clears from this horrific incident we are able to make changes to keep our country safer, to keep my community safer. There is going to be a lot of rebuilding ahead for my city and I hope it heads in the right direction for making real change. I look forward to being a part of the rebuilding and continue to make Orlando great. We are Orlando United, we are Orlando Strong.

For those in the Central Florida area, look here to help or get help.

For those elsewhere who want to help here’s a more general list.

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Karen Hallion, one of my favorite artists, drew this in the wake of the tragedy. I think everyone could use a hug. 

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