January 1, 2013 was a long anticipated day for me. This day meant much more to me than just another challenge to add to my list. The weekend before Steve passed away he was making phone calls to friends and family members to try to get everyone he knew to sign up for Commitment Day. This wasn’t just an ordinary event to Steve and I, but rather a true and tenacious decision to change our lives for the better and to drag everyone with us if we had to.
This day took on even greater meaning for me after Steve passed away. I knew what the goal was when he was here, and I knew that the goal would continue to be the same after he passed. We were going to crush every single category of this event nationwide and leave all the other Lifetime Fitness clubs in the country scratching their heads, wondering how in the world Lakeville won AGAIN. You see, Lakeville Lifetime, AKA “Lakeshow”, as Steve and his trainers would call it, is notorious for putting up ridiculous numbers. Steve was always a big dreamer; setting the most outlandish goals. He and his team always seemed to attain them.
This inaugural Commitment Day was no different. Here are the stats:
Steve Toms: 779
Lakeville Life Time: 1,509
When I was doing the planning for Steve’s funeral, I had asked Dan Blustin (Lakeville Lifetime’s GM) if we could set up a Commitment Day table at the fellowship time following the funeral. Dan told me that there were already major plans in the works to promote Commitment Day as “Steve Toms Commitment Day.” We were going to carry on his legacy not only with this event, but with many events to follow for years to come. Just the thought of throwing this big party in honor of Steve made me overwhelmingly joyful. This event was going to be as big as Steve had imagined, but maybe even bigger as it was our turn to “knock his socks off.”
Plans were made to design the first ever “Steve Toms Commitment Day” blaze orange hat. These hats were given to all Lakeville Commitment Day registrants to wear in honor of Steve. I too had planned to show up at Commitment Day in blaze orange in true Steve Toms fashion. I remember walking into Mall of America Field hoping and praying that we had as big of a turnout as anticipated. I arrived and went to the Lakeville section and I couldn’t believe what I saw. A sea of blaze orange hats in honor of my husband; the leader, mentor, go-getter, and fearless follower of Christ still leading the charge! Immediately Matthew 5:14-16 came to mind: 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Even though Steve had passed, he was still lighting a flame in all of us that day and every day. I thought to myself, this is exactly what Steve would have wanted. I would’ve loved to see my “meathead” run in the cold! I had to laugh because who in the world wants to run outside in single digit temps? Steve was still convincing people to do things they didn’t want to do! Tears of joy streamed down my face. I never imagined I’d be doing Commitment Day without him, but I knew this was a day he’d be proud of. I am so grateful for the overwhelming support from my family, Life Time family, friends, students, and co-workers. There is no doubt in my mind that Steve had his squinty-eyed sassy grin on his face as he watched all of us tough it out in the cold, in honor of him.
Being part of Commitment Day has continued to propel me forward to living a life of vitality and teaching others to do the same. Regardless of what I’m doing, I always feel Steve pushing me to take on new challenges, to continue to be the light, and to be strong and courageous in all that I do. In fact, that is exactly what God commands us to do. Joshua 1:9 9”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” When God has our back, we can do more than we ever thought or imagined. The beauty of it is, He always has our back. His grace does not change, his love for us never changes. He is the one constant in this life.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4
Enjoy the day you’ve been blessed with.