Colleen's willingness to share her fitness journey publicly is inspiring, as it allows others to see that despite her living with chronic physical pain, it is still possible to prioritize and work towards improving one's health and well-being.
Her story resonates with many, offering hope and motivation to those facing similar challenges.
Heading into her 40's, Colleen realized she needed to push herself physically to stay in shape. Even though she had always been fairly active, she wanted to challenge herself and continue growing.
She started incorporating new and more intense activities into her routine, such as high-intensity interval training. Colleen found fulfillment in pushing her limits and was starting to see results.
During a workout Colleen experienced a sharp pain in her back for the second time. Like the first injury, she decided to rest her back by taking a break from exercise. Eventually she found herself consulting her doctor to address unresolved pain.
After receiving confirmation from her doctor, it became evident her back pain was not a temporary ailment - but a chronic condition. The doctor explained that her injury had been triggered by an ongoing issue, resulting in heightened pain and inflammation.
The chronic diagnosis led to additional interventions such as more time off, physical therapy, and holistic approaches. The primary goals being reducing pain and preventing further immobility.
Colleen experienced not only the physical pain and limitations of her injury but also the emotional toll it took on her.
The side effects of her injury, such as chronic pain and mobility issues, added an extra layer of difficulty to her daily life.
In addition to limited mobility, there were other physical side effects, including weight gain and loss of strength and endurance.
Despite the improvement in her mobility through physical therapy, these additional issues significantly impacted her overall quality of life.
It became a constant struggle for her to manage both the physical and emotional aspects of her condition, with each affecting the other.
Overtime, her confidence was not where it should be. She noticed she just didn't feel good about where she was in life in general.
Yes, her back injury was significant, but the spiral effect it was having on her life needed to come to an end.
"Combining my injury with COVID lockdowns made things much worse. I put on a ton of weight. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and I was desperate for help." Colleen shared when reflecting on the circumstances she had once found herself in.
However, despite the weight gain, she had legitimate concerns about exercising alone. With her doctors approval she sought our professional help. She knew she needed to prioritize exercise and nutrition for her well-being, and decided to take the necessary steps to exercise safely.
Ask For Help
"I had experienced some significant injuries. I needed help finding a way to workout safely so that I wouldn’t keep injuring myself" Colleen shared.
As she researched trainers in her area, she came across a specialty that intrigued her; Exercise Therapy.
Exercise Therapy is a growing field where coaches are trained to help people transition from physical therapy, to full gym / life activities. We highlighted this specialized therapy in our recent blog Exercise Therapy & Living With Chronic Conditions.
She knew right away this was the type of experienced trainer she needed to work with, and found one at Pro Push Fitness.
"I had met with several different trainers when I was making my decision. But when I met Kristina, my decision was made very clear. Her kind and caring personality blew me away. She listened to what I was saying and my concerns about my injuries.... As I listed all my excuses on why I got to the weight I was, she continued to listened with no judgement. When I was done she just said “I can help you” as simple as that. It was her kindness and attention that instantly let me know I was where I was meant to be".
Colleen's program was expertly tailored to meet her individual needs and goals, taking into account both her wants and her specific requirements.
We focused on 1) enhancing her core strength to support her back properly and 2) mobility through functional training. Adapting to her progress, we have constantly upgraded and adjusted her program for optimal results.
"My whole program has been build around my personal goals and takes into account my injuries. I used to have chronic back pain, pain in my knees and shoulder. But since I have been working this custom program, I have had little to no pain at all".
Some emphasis we consider when working with individuals suffering from chronic back conditions are:
Teaching proper form
Exercises that will strengthen without causing more harm
Endurance training for stamina and energy
Proper weight load and range of motion
Nutrition - and the balancing of energy in vs energy out
Incorporating more movement throughout the day
"Having the courage to move forward changed my life forever. During this journey I have felt supported. Surrounding myself with likeminded people pushed me beyond what I thought I could do".
Congratulations to Colleen for achieving such impressive results!
Losing 50 lbs. of body fat while increasing lean muscle mass by 10% is a remarkable accomplishment.
It's even more extraordinary that she was able to achieve this without experiencing any pain or injuries.
Colleen's decision to push past her fear and invest in her health shows her determination.
By seeking professional guidance, she hoped to find a balance between her goals and preventing any further injuries. Well done, Colleen! You did it!
"The only person who can make you a priority is you. You can’t take care of other things if you are not taking care of yourself". - Colleen