November 29, 2018

Member Success: Stacey

By Tom Jorgenson

As an Ironman triathlete, Stacey was always very fit, active, and competitive. After being diagnosed with a chronic medical issue resulting in not being able to walk, Stacey had to start back at square one. Listen in to her journey back to health, the challenges she faced mentally and physically, how she overcame them through our programs and services here at the DAHLC, and her advice to others as she shares her inspiring story.

Advice from Stacey: Change of perspective. Focus on what I can control, and continue to work from there. Breaking each goal down into small steps. For example, "I want to be able to run again. What does that look like? How do I get there?"

Step 1: Show up
Step 2: Walk around the track
Step 3: Celebrate that success
Step 4: Having a coach for accountability and support
Step 5: Continue to build off of that, one lap, one day at a time...

Thank you for sharing your success story with us, Stacey! We wish you nothing but the best through your bright journey ahead.

If you are not able to watch/listen to the video, you can read the interview here:

  1. What type of change did you make in your life? Or what goal did you set out to achieve?

When dealing with a chronic condition it's easy feel overwhelmed and grab packaged high fat food and also to not make exercise a priority.  My goals were to be able to run again, to understand my eating habits and make better food and nutrition choices which ideally would help with weight loss and stress management.

  1. What are some challenges you faced that elicited that change or that made you want to go for that goal? What barriers did you run into while pursuing your goal?  

In April 2017 I experienced vertigo for the first time, which became substantially worse in the following months. I'd been a relatively active person before, and suddenly was unable to function on a daily basis. Even taking a shower became an endurance event. Through PT and vestibular rehab, I was able to regain my confidence in walking using trekking poles. My goal was to be able to walk without assistance, and perhaps returning to running.

  1. What are some factors that helped you make that change or that helped you achieve your goal? List any specific services you used at the DAHLC.

Before the onset of my vertigo, I was involved in Revive and Thrive, which helped me get consistent exercise back into my weekly routine and was a form of accountability. I also started to better understand nutrition, which made ‘eating healthy’ seem less daunting.

I had just signed up for wellness coaching as a way to continue with what I was learning when my world started spinning.  My goals suddenly changed, yet wellness coaching offered a tremendous amount of accountability, establishing realistic goals along with modifying exercise and nutrition, and also incorporating gratitude and mindfulness.

  1. What would you tell or encourage someone with who is in your old shoes and doesn’t know where to start? Anything in particular that inspired you throughout your journey?

Start somewhere. Ask questions. Ask for help. Ask DAHLC staff who know about various programs. Ask staff on the floor how to use equipment or make modifications. Sign up for a free wellness consult. Continue to be open to learning and continue asking questions. Commit to one thing, and stay with it, even on the days you don't want to do something, show up and do it anyway.

  1. How does the future look different than it did before?

I'm in a place of gratefulness, although I may never return to some of the activities I did before vertigo, I am able to appreciate what my body is able to do, and to make smarter food and exercise choices. I've slowly gone from not being able to walk a lap around the track, to hopefully being able to complete a 5K in the next few months. I am truly thankful for all of the support I received through wellness coaching.

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