What motivates you to make a change? For many of our members, motivation begins with a medical challenge that forces them to rethink their lifestyle. Working towards increased activity and strength often brings improvement or relief of symptoms. That was the case for Jean, who works out at our Elk Grove club.
Jean was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 15 years ago. "I was getting progressively weaker--especially on my left side--and I was starting to fall frequently," she shares with us. "Getting out to run errands such as grocery shopping felt like a marathon." As Jean's condition progressed, her problems seemed to escalate. After an unexpected kidney infection, a trip to the ER, and a fall that Jean couldn't get up from without help, she became motivated to make drastic changes.
Those changes led Jean to Cal Fit Elk Grove, where she began working with a personal trainer, Henry Zheng. "My only goal at the beginning was to stay out of a wheelchair," Jean admitted. "I was using a cane and a walker at that point." Even though she had already been stretching and using a treadmill at home, that hadn't been enough to slow the progression of MS. At her complimentary initial evaluation, Henry assured Jean that she could regain muscle and significantly improve function, but it would take hard work and determination. "Henry has been invaluable to me," Jean told us. "He always pushed me to work just a little bit harder, or presented just the right exercise to overcome a particular obstacle."
As Jean worked with Henry, she began to notice that her health condition was changing--for the better! "I started feeling tingling and mild soreness in muscles I had forgotten I had," she laughs. "Actually seeing muscle movement in my left calf was thrilling!" Increased mobility soon followed, with Jean noting, "My walking ability is much improved and I no longer need assistive devices. I no longer dread leaving the house because I now have the strength to drive places and accomplish errands." Best of all, Jean says, "I'm much more optimistic about the future."
Part of Jean's story that really inspired us was the way she and Henry used the rock wall at her Cal Fit location. "Soon after I began making discernible progress, I began thinking that I might be able to one day climb the rock wall," Jean shared. "When I asked Henry if that was possible, he said, 'Yes!' We began working toward that goal, and so far I have made it halfway up the wall about six times." We think that's amazing, and we love that the rock wall became a fun part of Jean's experience, something she looks forward to as she continues to work towards her goals.
"MS is a formidable obstacle that I have to face every day," Jean said, "but staying fit and strong is my best defense. Thank you, Henry--and Cal Fit--for being my help and inspiration!" And thank you, Jean, for being our inspiration! We're so glad to have been part of your journey to increased health and independence.
To learn more about working with a Cal Fit trainer, click here.