2015 Spring Transformation Challenge Winner
*Results not typical
Life Time’s 2015 90-Day Challenge has changed my life forever!
Overly dramatic, you say… This is my story.
It was January 2000, my senior year of high school. Two young men were drag racing on the highway and, as fate would have it, I was on that highway too… As a result, I was involved in a near deadly car accident. At the hospital, my mom was informed that I would NOT make it through the night and she should prepare for the worst. Amazingly, though, I beat the odds by surviving the first night, but spending the next three days in a coma. Then it became scary. For the next two months, I didn’t know my name or anyone in my life. In the end, I had a severe concussion, two cracked ribs, nerve damage throughout my legs, and I couldn’t turn my neck or even walk. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t keep food down. During recovery, my doctors told me that I was lucky to be alive. However, they also told me that I would have memory loss and physical pain, and I would need Vicodin for the rest of my life.
In the 15 years since my accident, my weight has gone up and my self-confidence has gone down. I have daily pain and poor coordination, and to say I’m not good at sports would be a compliment.
Before the Challenge started, Ashley with Member Services encouraged me to participate. I thought, “It’s not expensive, so why not?” She persuaded me to get involved with “Try-It Tuesdays” and covered the group fitness classes. I knew she was right and decided to try a variety, from Spin to a special meditation class. She also connected me with Julia, a personal trainer, and signed me up for swimming lessons. I now had some direction.
When the Challenge started, I was shocked when I weighed in. My weight was 123.5 lb. and my body fat was 23.4%! I’m 5’0″ and people say I’m petite, so how can a quarter of me be fat? Now I was really motivated, so I went online and researched workout programs, diets and philosophies of those who have succeeded before me. Reading past winners’ stories and looking at their photos really motivated me. I felt if they could do it, I could do it too!
I started a strength-training regimen. I have to admit that, even having worked out with Julia, the weights and machines can be very intimidating. But I wasn’t going to let them beat me.
At two weeks in, it was actually starting to be fun; I was getting comfortable with the exercises and making gains. However, in week 3 I added new exercises and a new routine. I was out of my comfort zone, and I really felt like quitting. Add to this my crazy work schedule, some days working 16 hours, plus a two-hour work commute. Exercising eased some of my stress, but I was also asking myself, “Was it worth it?” One day, after a long day of work and a harder workout, I checked the Leaderboard. I was in the top 15% for the transformation category! That was exactly the boost I needed; I was re-energized.
I continued to push by getting four to five hours of sleep some nights and working out at all hours of the day. Thankfully, Life Time is open 24 hours! It was week 5; I was feeling good, but I worried that I was pushing my luck. With all the injuries associated with my car accident, I felt like something bad was about to happen. I was lifting heavier and heavier, especially in squats. Then I strained my lower back. But I didn’t want to stop. I was afraid if I took time off, I wouldn’t start again. Until one day, I was flat on my back with tears running down my face, thinking about the day two kids drag racing completely changed the quality of my life.
Fortunately, my trainer and a few others encouraged me to take it easy and explained the importance of stretching. I still had to take two weeks off and ease back a bit on my exercises. But I was still in the hunt!
As the Challenge comes to a close, I am happy to say that I am in the greatest shape of my life. And after taking classes like swimming, cardio dance, yoga, meditation, and nutrition, I feel that I am the most athletic I have ever been in my life!
Other than basic soreness from working out, I am extremely excited to announce that I have been pain-free and Vicodin-free for over a month!
I have to say though, while looking back, I loved the journey. It was tough, but now I’m not intimidated. I’m confident, and I love working out!