My personal journey on health and fitness is extremely difficult to talk about but here goes. It started with the birth of my son Thomas (Tommy) in 2004 who was born with an extreme physical and neurological condition that left him unable to move, eat, talk or do anything on his own. The doctors didn’t expect him to survive which was very traumatic for us and our kids to hear but through much prayer we were able to take him home. He was fitted with a G-tube to feed him and monitors to give him assistance to breathe. He required total care 24/7/365 which we gave totally on our own and most nights I would be up 4–6 times to watch over him and resolve any problems. As time went on his spine began to curve and he ended up with scoliosis which complicated things even more by compressing one of his lungs. Life was difficult and extremely painful at times because we were limited as a family with 4 other kids to what we could do or not do like vacations, sports.
Even through all the complications Tommy was always in good health until one day in the fall of 2012, at the age of 8, we noticed that he had difficulty breathing. He was admitted to the hospital and after several days we thought he was getting better. Then one day I went in to see him and as I walked in his room I was shocked to find the entire medical staff standing over him doing CPR, and all I could do is stand there in shock and hold his hand and stroke his head as he died in my arms.
There are no words that can describe the horror that no parent should have to go through. It sent our entire family into years of shock, disbelief and depression that something like that could happen.
But just like a caterpillar thinks it will always be one it goes into a cocoon and over time comes out as a beautiful butterfly. So after over 3 years of being depressed and hiding in my cocoon I finally decided to come out of it in 2016 realizing that there was life still going on. That’s when I decided to join Life Time to get back into shape and get my life back. When I first joined I was 178 pounds and 24 percent body fat. My eating habits were lousy eating junk food by the box and bag full. Very limited exercise and just plain out of shape. At that time, I met Andrew who was one of the trainers who assisted and worked with me on my strength issues, and without him or my boot camp groups knowing it they helped me break out of my cocoon and reshaped my life and body. When I first met Andrew, I asked him what a body builders fat percentage was and he replied 4–5 percent which to that I said, that’s my goal.
I finally decided it was time to see what I could do so I participated in the 60day. My goal was to meet or exceed the 4–5 percent body fat. To start with Andrew focused on my eating habits and what I should be eating to improve my overall body’s health and nutrition. It was a struggle at first because you’re always wanting to go back, but I was determined to make a lifestyle change and stayed focused. As part of my physical body workout he had me doing a combination of 3–4 boot camps per week, individual weight training on free weights or machines and yoga to help improve my stretching. The combination of improved nutrition and workouts has greatly improved my overall health and well-being. Little would I know that at the end of the 60day I would be at 3 percent and beat my goal.
I now plan on working out with Andrew and my boot camp groups 3–4 times per week, weight machines and yoga. What an exciting thing to be involved in and the fun as a group to work out with. I’ve met a lot of other people that are in the same health situation I was in, and hope that I am an encouragement to them as they are to me, to see them out there every day and week working out.
Even though we all go through hard times and feel like we hit rock bottom, you never know what someone is going through. The Lord can take that same tough and hard time to raise you up from the bottom to a level you never thought possible.
Now “I’m in the Best Shape, Best Health and Fitness I’ve ever been in at age 55.” Being the Best me I can be. How about you?