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“When things change drastically, we see things from a new perspective”

Updated: May 17, 2022

“When things change drastically, we see things from a new perspective,” I heard this quote this morning in church from Pastor Brian Knorr.

It’s been over a year since the last time I wrote anything in my blog. I had high hopes for 2020. I was still recovering from back surgery that I had in October of 19′ and could not work out without intense pain, but I was ready to get back to work. Little did I know the world would go crazy!

Let me rewind a little…

My back issues started at the end of 2018 when I was prepping for my second competition. My training was going well, and my physique was in a good spot for my February show. In December of 18,’ my lower back pain started, and I found out that I have issues with a few discs, and I need to be careful. I was cautious but continued with my training. Then there was another setback in my prep; I contracted flu A & B in January of 19′. This setback had me withdraw from my February and March shows. I set my new goals for April and May. April would be my warm-up, and May would be my primary show. My prep went downhill from there. My body stopped responding and stopped leaning out. My coach and I tried so many things, but my body said no. During all of this, the pain in my back became worse. Posing practice was brutal. I did the April show knowing I wasn’t ready, but I just wanted to get up on the stage. The show was a huge disappointment, and I was heartbroken. I decided to call it a year and canceled my May show. I was tired, in pain, and hungry. My back finally “snapped” in July of 19′ and I found out that one of my discs fragmented and was pressing on my sciatic nerve, and surgery was the only answer. I was rebounding terribly from my competition, and now I can’t work out. Depression hit me like a ton of bricks. The surgery was set for October 19th, and the time before my surgery was spent resting with ice or heat. It was awful! The surgery was a success, but recovery was long. From October to December, I was immobile! For the first time in years, I was not working out and not teaching. I’ve always thought about going back to school, and with the encouragement from Jason, I decided to register for school to complete my master’s in Exercise Science and Nutrition Wellness. Classes started in January of 2020. During that time, I started teaching classes again at Danko’s and training clients. Things were looking up, and I was feeling great!! I was happy, started losing the weight I had gained due to being immobile for so long. Then COVID put that all to an end. I don’t have to go into how I felt because most of us probably felt the same way. I was very anxious, and when my anxiety is high, I need to work out! I still was unable to work out due to other disc injuries, so I turned to my old habits. I turned to food. I was sad; I lost the job that I love so much, and I am now trapped in my home with my kids. I thought I would have a quiet home to do my studies, but now I had to share my time with my daughter, who’s distraught about missing her senior year, and my son, who refuses to do his work. I am feeling depressed, anxious, and sad. I am in school and have a ton of work to do while this craziness was going on in the world. I wanted to quit so many times. The more time that had passed, school was a blessing, but at the same time, it gave me stress too. I’m trying to work out during this time, but I’m in so much pain I just quit. I finally decided to see a pain management doctor, and he recommended epidural injections. I had two epidural injections within the next few months, but they did not help the pain. It is now October 2020, 1 year after my surgery. I’m still in a lot of pain, but I need to have another surgery. I need to have my implants removed and exchanged due to the recall. I was supposed to have this surgery in October of 2019 but had to postpone due to my back surgery. (Double Mastectomy on 6/14 – implants were recalled 5/19)

This would be the 9th surgery of my lifetime. The surgery was in October 2020, and I was back to recovering, resting, and not working out. Before my latest surgery, pain management wanted to try a different injection to help with my lower back pain. In December of 2020, I had facet injections in L3 L4, L4 L5, and L5 S1. Yes, 3 injections at the same time! So far, I am feeling a difference. I can now walk with no pain. A few months ago, walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes would put me on the couch with a heating pad for days.

So here I am…. It’s 2021! I finished my master’s degree in a year due to COVID! I’m ready to take on clients, and maybe hopefully, one day, I’ll be teaching again.

Am I lean like the picture on the right?… no. I’ve gained weight; I’m human! In the past, I was mean to the “me” on the left, and I feel like I owe her an apology. I said, ” I never wanted to see her again.” Well, hello, she’s me, and I can’t escape who I am. My old “me” deserves more respect and not criticized for her appearance. She had two babies, fought breast cancer, and endured many surgeries.

During my 47 years on earth, I’ve been heavy, I’ve been thin, and somewhere in between. My weight doesn’t define me. My views on nutrition and exercise have also changed since completing my degree. It’s not about being skinny or lean; it’s about being healthy. As a personal trainer, I can promise you that I will show you understanding because I know what it feels like to be on the other side. But I can promise you that I won’t let it be your excuse either. You need to give me 100%, and I will show you the way

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