Two years after suffering a stroke, Karen joined the Silver Sneakers class at Xperience Fitness with some of her friends. Originally motivated to join by a discounted fee and the weakness in her left side, Karen’s once-a-week fitness class soon evolved into so much more.
“My left side was very weak, and I couldn’t do a whole lot because of strength and balance. I would usually walk four to five miles, and after the stroke I could only walk about two. that’s when I knew I had to do something.”
Karen enjoyed the Silver Sneakers class and the Xperience facility so much, that she decided to ask about getting a personal trainer. She began working with Greg two years ago, and she’s never looked back.
“There were times I didn’t think I could do any of it, but Greg gave me a lot of confidence. I have rods and screws in my back, so everything kind of scared me because I was afraid I would re-injure something. Greg found a program that I could do and we went from there.”
When asked what kept her motivated, Karen had a powerful answer.
“It was the fact that I saw a change. My golf game improved, my tennis improved, I had strength, I was walking five to six miles again without being tired, that’s a huge motivating factor- thinking ‘what else can I do?’”
As it turns out, she can do a lot! In addition to walking longer distances, improving her balance, and building her strength, Karen can now lift 135lbs. She has also become more confident in her daily activities. When asked how working toward her goals has impacted other areas of her life, Karen responded,
“Oh gosh, there’s 100 ways! I think a big thing is the fear of doing things is eliminated. I used to always worry about things like vacuuming the house (and hurting my back) or maintaining my balance on a bike. It’s like going from night to day- the difference in living
While Karen’s hard work was the driving force behind her remarkable transformation, she does have a piece of advice for those looking to get started on their own health journey.
“I would tell anybody who has the same kind of fear about trying- don’t go into it alone. Because you might not be doing right. It would be really easy to give up, but with guidance you keep going back and you keep accomplishing more!”
Reflecting on the days it was hard to wake up and workout (we all have them), Karen recalled the importance of accountability.
“I truly think it is because of Greg. I didn’t want to disappoint him. He worked so hard to get a program going, and when I didn’t want to get out of bed I would think ‘nope, Greg is sitting there. He’s waiting.’ Greg has been a great trainer and has been such a mentally and physically that I didn’t want to let him down. He always asks me how I am, and I say ‘I’m here, I’m ready to go’”
We’re so grateful to Karen for sharing her story, and hope her determination, hard work, and positive attitude has inspired you as much as it’s inspired us. No matter where you’re starting from or what your goals are, Xperience Fitness is here here to work with you every step of the way. Keep up the good work, Karen!