By Member of the Month
This month we are excited to share Janet’s journey with the LIVE WELL Community. Her experience shows us how both exercise and building healthy habits CAN make an impact in your life!
It used to be that I could barely walk three blocks due to severe knee and leg pain. Reading ads for the European Viking River Cruises, I would feel like crying because I thought I would never be able to enjoy any of the shore excursions that involved walking. Travelling for work was becoming increasingly difficult: I dreaded having to walk the long distances to the airport departure gate and had to ask for assistance. My husband was doing all of the grocery shopping and was dropping me off at the front door everywhere we went before going to park the car. Participating in family events involving the outdoors and walking was increasingly limited. Every day I was looking for the shortest walking distance for all of my activities. Living with the associated pain was exhausting. I was taking a lot of Tylenol arthritis and life had become very limited.
Then late in 2016, I saw a post for LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic on Facebook. I thought that maybe this program could help me build some supportive muscle and reduce the severe limiting pain in my knees and legs?
The glimmer of hope started with my introductory interview at LIVE WELL. Paul, the Clinical Exercise Physiologist said “yes – we can work with you!” I was amazed considering how stiff and immobile I was that first day.
In the past, I have been very poor at motivating myself to exercise at home. The atmosphere at LIVE WELL keeps me going. The staff are very welcoming and encouraging and I have met so many friendly people! One of the mottos: Inspiration. Education. Celebration. YES! - embodies everything they do and keeps the exercise sessions interesting. I’m never bored!
I have been very impressed that when I say that a specific exercise hurts, the staff will provide another way to work the same muscle without the pain. Due to a chronic pain condition I have to progress at a slower pace than some others. What a relief that the staff at LIVE WELL understands!
Surgery, having to travel for work and family situations could have discouraged my attendance. When I needed a month off due to surgery I was able to simply put my exercise program on hold for a small fee and when travel interferes with my regular days it is easy to go online and move my sessions to reschedule.
There are days when I feel so exhausted after work it is tempting to just go home and lay down, but I know and have experienced that I will feel better after I exercise. Also I know I will see friendly faces when I arrive and with the music and upbeat atmosphere it won’t be long before there will be a smile on my face!
There are some measurable improvements in only one year since starting at LIVE WELL. I have lost 10 pounds and most importantly my pain levels have dropped dramatically from at times 7-8 to 0-1. I no longer look for the handicap parking spots. I had a business trip in November and felt no dread heading to the airport and managed the long walk to the departure gate. We recently had a flat tire and I was able to walk back to a restaurant (4 blocks) without any pain, had lunch, and walked back to the van. My husband has noticed a big improvement in my mobility and I feel stronger! I also feel much more hopeful that I will be able to go on that river cruise and participate in the offshore excursions after all.
My Rheumatologist has recommended that I lose 30 pounds to take pressure off my knees. Now that the pain is under control and I am feeling stronger I am confident that this goal is reachable.
I am very grateful to the LIVE WELL staff in particular Stephanie and David who have set up my exercise programs and have smiled and encouraged me to success! I now have hope for an active future!
Thank you to Janet for sharing her motivating story. There is nothing we love more than reading the WINS shared by our members. To all of our LIVE WELLERS, keep finding the JOY and keep CELEBRATING your WINS.