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Monday
May052014

Commit to Get Fit: Personal Progress

By Nancy Murray Young

A Weymouth Club welcomeDuring the first session of “my” Commit to Get Fit program, everyone in the group was asked to share their reasons for enrolling. The answers weren’t surprising: “to lose weight,” “to get fit,” “to feel better.” When it was my turn to respond, I thought I was going to say “all of the above.” Instead, I heard myself saying: "I just want to be able to move again."

As mentioned in the first episode of this saga, I'm no stranger to major weight loss efforts: in the past, regular exercise had been the key to my success—and not being able to exercise had been the greatest factor in my inability to maintain that healthy weight.

Every time I started to get back on track, something would happen. Stress fractures; bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia; slipping in a crushed gravel drive, cracking a rib and an ankle—every day, I felt like an accident waiting to happen.

Still, in the autumn of 2012, feeling optimistic, I started a “seniors” exercise class, featuring gentle aerobics and chair-based exercises. Sweet. My body was so ready to move! Every muscle remembered how glorious it felt to swing and flex and stretch. Visions of walking a 12.5-minute mile once again danced in my head.

Then, I fell and fractured my right wrist in six places. Three weeks later, I tripped in my living room, and broke my left shoulder. For most of the winter of 2013, I couldn’t use either arm (my husband deserves a medal).

By the time I was back on my feet, my knees and right hip started to act up. Evidently, I’d “busted” my right bursa during one of the earlier falls; severe arthritis and bone spurs were to blame for the knees. And my extra pounds only exacerbated the pain.

A couple of cortisone shots helped, but walking wasn’t easy; stairs were a major challenge. Throughout the icy winter and spring, I was fearful on my feet, even with the aid of my beautiful flowered aluminum cane.

And then, CBI Editor-in-chief Craig Waters sent me to The Weymouth Club.

Allison MulvaneyDeb QuigleyNow, eight weeks into the program, I can move again. Personal therapy and group aquatics sessions with Deb Quigley have helped me regain movement and relieve pain. Three weeks ago, instead of needing Deb’s help to haul myself out of the pool, I suddenly was able to (almost) bound up the stairs on my own. Both of us were so amazed; we actually yelped with joy and hugged each other!

And, thanks to the balance training I’m doing with Allison Mulvaney, I'm feeling stronger every day. (Hey, I even hung out on the TRX a few weeks ago!)

I've got a long way to go, but I'll get there—in my brand new, lightweight biomechanical footwear—with my Weymouth Club team supporting me every step of the way.

- Nancy Murray Young is the assistant editor of CBI and can be reached at n.young@fit-etc.com.

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