I came into the MS Fitness Challenge program just days after I lost my balance and fell in a grocery store, injuring my back when I hit a display board on my way down.  My back was extremely sore and I thought about not starting the challenge, thinking that I couldn't possibly get the full effects when I was in pain.  I was feeling sorry for myself because one more time Multiple Sclerosis had taken a bite out of me.  For the last year I have been getting weaker, more fatigued, less sure of my balance and I had to start using a walker instead of the cane.  I knew I needed to give this program a try so I met my trainer Brian, told him of the fall.  Brian showed me how to do squats to strengthen my legs and core, which in turn helped a great deal with my back pain.  He showed me strengthening exercises using weights and machines.  I thought for sure I would be too sore to ever come back to the gym, but I did come back the next day and 3 more times before we met again the next week. 

I had been feeling sorry for myself because the symptoms of MS were increasing in my body; weakness in my extremities, balance issuers and fatigue, just to name a few.  But in the gym I felt power start to come back to me.  Every time I did the exercises Brian had shown me I felt like it was a victory for me.  He had encouraged me to do two sets of ten for each exercise.  I know that doesn't sound like much but it was all I could do at first and I did struggle to complete them. But each time at the gym I started getting a little stronger.

Every time I meet with Brian he has me  do a little more.  When I come back without him I do those exercises plus I've been adding more thanks to the other trainers, they always ask me how I'm feeling and if I need any assistance.  Nicki, Stephanie, Matt and Robin have all been a great help to me, especially Nicki, she has been there more than once when I had a question about a machine and she takes the time to show me how to get the most from it in the safest way possible and if it's even the right machine for me.

I feel stronger and more confidant in my mobility with the walker, and have been trying to use just the came at times.  My energy level is improving.  I was able to walk in the MS Walk in Denver last week...it was hard but I made it.  Brian kept telling me I could do it and he was right.  A year ago I would not have had the strength to walk in this event!

I am so thankful to Dave and Kendra for the opportunity to get strong again in spite of having Multiple Sclerosis.

Sincerely, JL  
Aurora, Co
MSFC Participant


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Visit msfocus.org





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