A Be Mobile Member Story - Valerie Comer

Jun 22, 2023 6:00am


Peaks and valleys

“Between peaks, there are always valleys. How you manage your valley determines how soon you will reach your next peak.”   
           Spencer Johnson

We all know life is filled with highs and lows, peaks and valleys. How you respond to being in the valleys determines how well you will live your life. Growing into a more resilient human is born of overcoming hardship.

Valerie, an inspirational Be Mobile member, is an example of just this. She summed it up to me by stating “I want to be as happy as I can, look for the good and keep a positive attitude. I know sometimes it doesn’t work that way, but luckily that’s not too often. I feel like every day is a blessing.”

Meet Valerie, or Val as we call her. She is an ‘inVALuable’ online member who we had the privilege of bringing into our community on July 18, 2020, when she signed up for her online 8 Week Fit and Strong Program. After 3 years she is still a bright spark in the Be Mobile Online Community and continues exercising every day.

I hope Val appreciates my little dad joke above, you see she sends us dad jokes all the time to include in our live shows. She loves a laugh and has enviable amounts of enthusiasm and positivity. When you read her story you will understand.

Despite the current peak which Val finds herself on, life has not always been this way. Valleys can be shallow but occasionally they run deep.


Born in Sheffield, England in 1955, Val at the age of 6, moved over to Australia and settled in Victoria. She had a wonderful childhood like so many of her generation. For Val, life was fun. Her uncles, aunties and cousins all lived nearby and so often they would pack up a picnic and venture to the countryside, taking in the beautiful surroundings and breathing in the fresh air.

As a child, Val was always outside playing ball, running, climbing and jumping off swings as she swung to the highest point. There was no wrapping in cotton wool in those days. Later in her teens and twenties, Val would “sometimes do aerobics along with the girls on TV early in the mornings, plus a little yoga with Swami Sarasvati also on TV. The rest of any kind of movement was regular visits to the discotheques.”

Her close knit, loving family and a childhood devoid of cotton wool, grounded Val and instilled positivity and confidence. She probably didn’t notice it at the time, as we almost never do, but this was moulding her attitude to life and preparing Val for the peaks and valleys that were laid out in the journey ahead. 



I think it is safe to say that Val is a creative soul, even a fashionista! The photos tell all.

Val’s career early on was successful. After working her way up to management positions in the retail industry, she travelled back to her birth place of Sheffield where she went on to manage a boutique for the Western Jean Company.

But for Val, management was just the beginning. After moving back to Australia, she opened up her own haberdashery shop, filled with beautiful handmade goods from her local community. The shop was her pride and joy and loved in the local community, inspiring many to go to her craft classes.

Like anything, that peak didn’t last. Unfortunately a larger shopping centre opened up nearby and after 10 wonderful years in business, the doors to Val’s business closed. For most people reflecting on this they may think it a tragedy but although disappointed, Val sees it as something that was “meant to be”. She tells me how,

“not long after, I had the privilege to have been able to care for my late mum who was suffering dementia. We had so much fun, mum and I going on short outings together, picnics by the sea watching the pelicans, while enjoying our talks of old times. That continued for many years, it was hard to watch her deteriorate but I feel blessed to have been able to care for her for about 12 years.”

It was a hard but rewarding time for us, mum was such a special person. It was sad losing mum, but she’d had a great life and at 91 it was to be expected.”

Val sees the silver lining in the dark clouds. She appreciates time spent with family and friends, endeavouring to always take value from these experiences.



Val’s optimistic life philosophy had prepared her well for the valleys she found herself in but just months after losing her mum, tragedy struck. After a long battle with depression her 33 year old son took his own life.

He was such a funny, life loving young man, but his underlying depression got the better of him. In his note, he asked me to always be happy. That was a hard call, but his daughter Taylor, (my granddaughter) looks so much like him. He lives on in her.”

In reading this you can’t help but feel a deep sense of loss and heartbreak but it is comforting to know that Val sees her son’s nature in her granddaughter. Despite the loss she suffered, Val moves forward and looks for the beauty in life. This should bring hope to anyone, knowing that the deepest valleys can be climbed out of.



Since turning 60 Val has realised she is ageing. Seeing her mum with arthritis and dementia has made her more aware of the importance of health and fitness, especially as we age. She knows ageing will have its own set of challenges but for now Val says, “I’ll view life on the bright side and try to remain happy, healthy, fit and positive.”

Val’s positivity shines through yet again. At 65 she was about to stop working, finding it hard to get up and down stairs, squat down to the ground and with a general feeling of less mobility. Challenging herself through resistance training changed that. Since starting with Be Mobile, Val says

“Resistance training has given me my life back. I’m now 68, I can run up and down stairs, squats are easy as, and I have no trouble bending. I’m so much more flexible, stronger, happier and more confident. My balance and sleep quality have improved dramatically, I have muscles I never knew existed. I can get down on the floor to play with our grandchildren, (and get up again!). I don’t need a trolley to take my shopping to the car.

I could go on and on. Now, having rheumatoid arthritis I’m so thankful that I started with you guys when I did. It’s going to be so important to keep as fit as I can to cope with this ongoing disease.”

During her time caring for her Mum she started a domestic cleaning business and she has since grown this to a handful of clients who have become good friends over the years. It keeps her moving and allows her to maintain relationships. She knows that the exercise she does, allows her to continue to work and do what is meaningful to her.

The greatest meaning however, does come from the time she spends with her grandchildren. She chooses the challenge of exercise to keep her fit and strong for those beautiful moments spent with them, whether it’s running around the backyard or simply holding them for a photo.



Val’s story reminds us to cherish what we have. She teaches us to keep smiling and laughing despite the valleys you have passed through and to prepare yourself for the valleys you might face in older age. Peaks are always around the corner, persisting and doing something rather than nothing will help you get there.

Val, thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it will inspire people to keep aiming for the peaks.

“You change your valley into a peak when you find and use the good that is hidden in the bad time.”     

         Spencer Johnson