My story begins with how I arrived at the Summer 60day. I am a Firefighter, was an endurance athlete competing in cycling, swimming, running, triathlon and adventure racing. All that changed on Dec. 19, 2017. I was involved in a major car accident which I was extremely lucky to initially walk away from. Less than 2 weeks later I was bed ridden and diagnosed with a severe Traumatic Brain injury that was overlooked by the doctors in the beginning. This has forever changed my life. I have been on a leave of absence for 1 ½ years due to the brain injury and have been fighting to regain everything I was.
This injury changed every part of my being. I was unable to get out of bed for 3 weeks, pounding headaches and extreme dizziness. Gradually as the swelling in my brain subsided, I was given a plan that seemed undoable. I was told in the next year or so I would find out what function I would regain with no promises of a full recovery. Having always been active, I became sedentary and appetite increased. Eating foods I normally wouldn’t was a side effect the doctors said was normal. After 18 months of demanding cognitive brain therapy I am able to function. I struggle daily with mental exhaustion, headaches, coordination and balance issues, basic problem solving and busy public settings. The atmosphere of the gym is sometimes daunting for me. I wear earplugs to dampen the loud noises and am self conscious because of the feelings that people will notice I have deficiencies and my communication skills aren’t fully returned to where I feel I can express myself.
I was challenged by my Husband who had completed the spring 60day, he signed us both up for the summer program. I was initially worried that trying to fit in working out and cooking would be overwhelming. With three days a week for cognitive brain therapy at 6 hours a session, I was panicking just at the thought of fitting this all in. The trainer he had used prior was a perfect fit for me. Christa Mills understood my challenges and helped with both nutrition and a training plan around my therapy to reach my goals successfully. Each week with the 60day program I was able to try new and exciting classes that challenged me both physically and mentally to get through each workout. Our Recovery Zone was an added benefit to work out soreness each day. This program not only allowed me to lose the weight I had gained, it has helped me regain mental fitness. I was amazed by following the eating program provided and through swimming, Life Time Cycle, and the support system through the 60day, I was regaining some of the deficits in cognitive problem solving. Life Time staff at the Fort Worth facility have been nothing short of amazing during this journey. Christa provided continuous support and suggestions of exercises to help with balance and strengthening my body and mind. Our Outdoor Cycling coordinator, Ryan Tibball worked with me on ways to enjoy the group rides and suggestions for my bike setup to help with some diminished motor skills. Leslie Dixon and I had in depth conversations and suggestions in repairing cognitive brain issues with her studies in that field. I couldn’t be more happy with being part of the Life Time family and can’t tell enough people what this community/gym has done for me. This program has allowed me to focus on my recovery and one day be back not only to where I was physically, but able to get back on the Firetruck again and serve my community.
When I started the 60day I was at 170.7 pounds and BF% of 26.2. At my final weigh in I was astounded with my success weighing in at 146.4 with a BF% of 16.7. Thank you again for the Life Time 60day. It has given me motivation to know I am back on the right track and working to be fully recovered.