My health journey with Life Time started way back in 1994, when I first joined on a family founders membership with my wife and kids at the first Life Time club in Eagan, Minnesota. Through the years, I worked out regularly and developed a passion for racquetball. At my peak, I was a champion in my Life Time racquetball league.
Then everything changed for me in July 2015 when I suffered a massive stroke. I spent 7 days in ICU and three weeks in a rehabilitation hospital in Minneapolis. My movements were severely limited post-stroke and I had to start by learning how to walk and do other daily activities again Eventually I was able to learn how to drive again and was able to return to my job with restrictions. I was fortunate to survive, but recovery is a day-by-day process and my biggest struggle has been with my balance. My cerebellum was wiped out so I have to constantly try to strengthen myself and stay healthy in order to have a good quality of life every day. I have joint problems due to arthritis. After the stroke I was depressed and frustrated because I was not used to not being active and healthy.
My primary care doctor has said that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and doing therapy is critical to my recovery, so that’s when I finally decided to spend the time and money on the 60day late last year. I completed a second 60day in January, then a third and this one is now my fourth. I finally can tell you it’s not just about losing weight and body fat anymore, but overall it is about me trusting in God and doing it one step at a time. Positive attitude, dedication and executing the plan is necessary. With my restrictions, I am unable to use the treadmill or a lot of the other equipment at the gym so my doctor suggested that I start by using the swimming pool. At first I began by walking in the pool regularly, which was a big help to my balance. While I lost some weight during my first 60days, I wasn’t able to achieve my goals by going at it alone.
As a result, I decided to take on the 60day with a new approach and add a personal trainer so I met with Jesse Schmidt, the head swim coach at Life Time Lakeville, and he suggested that I try swimming lessons. I’ve been taking lessons with Jesse for a while and can swim and do workouts in the pool. Being forced to do swimming opened up a whole new world for me and I really enjoy it.
My original goal was to lose weight and body fat but after doing the 60days I realized that was a by-product of me staying focused and sticking to the plan that my trainers and I set up. Just look at the pictures and it tells the story—like they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you, Life Time. It’s getting easier for me to be more mobile. My legs are getting stronger, so I’m starting to walk for longer periods of time and I’m able to walk with less pain. Mentally and physically I feel stronger. I’m feeling better about myself and how I look and definitely living a new healthy way and lifestyle.
This has turned into a new lifestyle for me as I’ve also changed my eating habits—reducing the amount of processed foods I eat and sticking to mostly to lean protein and vegetables. I’ve also started using LifeGreens supplements in my protein shakes to get some extra nutrients. To maintain my changes, I plan to continue swimming and work towards increasing my flexibility so I can be a stronger swimmer. Jesse referred me to Karl Moberg and I started taking Pilates classes to improve my core strength and it made a huge difference in my training.
I want to say thank you to Dan Blustin, the manager at Life Time Lakeville, and Chet Haider, manager at Eagan and their respective staff. I also want to thank God, my wife, my children and their partners and thank you to my fellow Life Time members for their understanding and support in helping me along the journey. Thanks also to trainers Jesse and Karl.
I could not have met my goals without all of these wonderful people and my quality of living has improved dramatically since I first started the 60day. To all of the people out there who have been through a major medical event or have medical issues, I am here to tell you from experience that Life Time has the tools and resources to help you. It does involve spending money for personal trainers, but your health is well worth it. I used the D.TOX and GUT.FIX programs along with attending different classes and it was a tremendous and successful experience for me. You get out of it what you put into it so please check out your options at Life Time to help in your recovery no matter where you are in your health journey, you can start and take the first step today. I am glad I did and already set up my plan with my trainers moving forward.