If we say Cammie Lusk has a beach body, this column is going to sound an awful lot like a late-night infomercial.
Which is perfectly fine. Because the 40-year-old from Beatrice got her buff beach body from a late-night infomercial.
But she got so much more.
(And not just the $25,000 she won last weekend at the annual Beachbody Summit in Los Angeles.)
Her testimonial begins in April 2009.
She's home with her husband, Dan, an engineer for Union Pacific, and their three sons.
Dan and the boys are in front of the TV sweating to some hardcore new workout craze: P90X -- the DVD equivalent to bootcamp.
Cammie is cheering her husband on from her wheelchair.
Dan had spent so much of the decade taking care of her -- it was great to see him taking care of himself.
They'd been married just four years when her right leg went numb in the shower.
The next day, she stumbled into Dan when they were out walking.
A few days later, she fell.
And Cammie went from being a mom who chased after her boys and played tennis and did aerobics to a mom who walked with a cane.
And then two canes and, eventually, she was grounded in the wheelchair.
Doctors told her she had an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis and that eventually Dan would have to put her in a care home.
She was 28. She took pills to make her sleep, pills to pep her up, pills for the pain. Pills for the side effects caused by the other pills.
She gained weight.
Her mind felt as numb as her legs.
It felt like her life was over.
"It was horrible."
It was hard on Dan, too.
It was hard to see Cammie so depressed, hard to have her push him away.
"I always viewed Cammie as a gift from God," he says. "It felt like she was being taken from me."
But somehow they managed.
They had a third son.
Dan coached the older boys, football, baseball.
He pushed them to work hard. Run faster, he'd tell them.
But he couldn't run with them.
"I was a typical 'fat daddy.'"
A fat daddy who woke up on his 40th birthday with two trips to the ER for chest pain and 60 extra pounds under his belt.
Then one night, he was flipping channels. He saw an infomercial. And he ordered the P90X from Beachbody.
A little more than a year later, Dan is a new man.
He lost 55 pounds. He ran his first 5K.
And if you're looking for the gun show, just check out his biceps.
Which brings us back to Cammie, cheering on her husband in the living room last year.
"She would watch and I could just see it in her eyes. She wanted to do it, too."
She started with the arm movements.
She used armbands.
Dan got in touch with the P90X founder who helped modify the workouts.
Most of all, he encouraged Cammie when she got discouraged and wanted to quit.
Scale it back, he'd say. You can do this.
And she did.
She got stronger. She started standing up to do squats, started pedaling an exercise bike.
She got ripped, like Dan.
When she went to the doctor for monthly visits, they'd tease her about her biceps being too big for the blood pressure band.
She's lost 70 pounds and went from 35 percent body fat to 20 percent. (A size 6 for the first time ever!)
She's down to one medication, once a month.
Which brings us to L.A. and Cammie in a ballroom filled with people, one of four female finalists in the Beachbody Million Dollar Body Contest.
She already felt like a winner, she says Thursday.
Here she was. Healthy and happy. Her husband was healthy and happy ... her boys were healthy and happy.
And then she won.
And then 1,000 people stood up and clapped and she thanked everyone from Beachbody and P90X and Shakeology (watch the infomercial to learn more).
And then she went home to see her boys and pay off bills with her winnings.
Exercise people call P90X extreme home fitness.
Cammie just calls it amazing.
Reach Cindy Lange-Kubick at 402-473-7218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.