My Comeback Story!
Everyone loves a comeback story, right?! Seeing how people crawl back from the brink of death with explosions erupting in the background and peril looming over, but not reaching our hero! Somedays I feel like that's my life.
After many years dealing with autoimmune disease that had me nearly immobilized I found my way back to not only LIFE, but an abundant and healthy one! Things were so bad back in the 1990's that one day I woke up on the living room couch one spring afternoon to find a TOTAL STRANGER cleaning my house. I acknowledged her and went back to sleep, too tired to cry tears of gratitude or panic at having a stranger in my home. The church next door had sent her. We had 5 kids between us and I just never seemed to recover from the pneumonia I had in 1994. After years of working on my health, doctors, shots, etc... We moved out of our moldy house and I started to improve. But I gained SO MUCH WEIGHT. I was so out of shape, I could barely hold a slightly tilted stance while taking a picture. I couldn't pick up my 1yr old granddaughter and that was the last straw.
I started with a personal trainer in 2009 and began the uphill journey back to health and strength. This journey included becoming a kickboxing, weight training instructor.. then on to become a personal trainer and eventually have my own gym!
I became the owner of Center-Fit, LLC in 2015 at my fittest and strongest! Running my new business was challenging and rewarding and SO MUCH FUN!
It was also SO MUCH STRESS. In 2016 I developed breast cancer. Finishing radiation therapy mid-May, I was confident I was on the upswing! I started boxing again, I felt strong as I led trainings again and life looked SO GOOD. It was a mere annoyance, a blip in time that had passed.
After my BEST boxing session in a long time I had a massage with my favorite in-house LMT who noted "Beth, your back feels really hot." I was sure it was just that I had worked really hard and although I could barely roll over on the table, I assumed all was fine and went home. The next day, feeling really tired, I went to take a nap. I rolled to my side to alleviate some low back soreness and then SOBBED until my husband got home and called the ambulance. I was stuck. The pain debilitating and I could not move. Sure, we tried. We even fashioned an escape sheet that we tied to the bed post so I could eventually lower myself to the floor (THANK GOD I was strong!) and wait foe the EMT guys to come get me.
Osteomyelitis: Infection of the bone (spine and surrounding tissues). My MRI looked like angel wings (the angel of DEATH!). The path of infection across the entire low back area was causing spasming so intense I could barely stand it. It was also eating the bone and disc in its path. After 18 days in the ICU, 2 emergency surgeries (the 2nd of which was interrupted by me NOT BREATHING, so they had to flip me and re-intubate) I was sent home with a pic line, a messed up spine that we hoped would fuse on its own and the intention to be on antibiotics for the next 4 months. I am allergic to antibiotics, so that included 200mg Benedryl per day. I was down hard for a good 2 months, learning to walk.
I had volunteer staff teaching and running the gym during the time it took me to learn to walk again and function well enough to write workout programs (that weren't gobblety-gook). THE hardest thing I have ever done. But I did it. I am back ... from this:
This is surgery no. 1. Another, unexpected surgery would follow less than 48 hrs later!
So, what now? Now I understand the ups and downs of recovery. I understand what it is to come back from the brink of death with a new attitude about 'fitness' and self care. I can combine my 10 years of Personal Training experience with the additional anatomy and enhanced physiology training of a Licensed Massage Therapist to provide you with GOOD information. I used to believe that "better, faster, stronger" was the way. Now? Well, now I realize that "better, faster, stronger" is often in lieu of educated and systematic growth. My functional strength certification takes on a whole new meaning. I understand compensatory behaviors, how they come about and how to address them in a training setting. It really is true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
Thanks to COVID-19 "shelter-in-place" order, I am providing training exclusively online. It's been AMAZING. Clients are in their homes using their phones or laptops to access their one on one and group trainings live! I love having the ability to record a session or take a snapshot and send it back to the client for review.
I want to help you take what you THINK is gonna bring you down and use it to LIFT YOU UP! I am the comeback queen and I want to help you COME BACK to your best self, your best most mobile, strongest self. You can do it. I did.
Here's a video talking about this time and how it makes me uniquely qualified to help you on your fitness journey: