"More than anything, I wanted to live my life pain-free following a career that took a heavy toll on my body and joints. This is exactly what I found at the DAHLC."
Listen in on how Fitness Essentials helped Jerry reduce pain, improve his bowling performance, and enhance his quality of life!
Can't listen? Read Jerry's inspiring story here:
What goal did you set out to achieve?
My career as full time firefighter for over thirty years left lasting impacts to my overall health and fitness. As a new retiree, I recognized that I needed to make a concerted effort towards fitness to improve my quality of life and sustain my ability to take part in the activities which I enjoy. As my wife and I moved to Rochester, I began to make a change. This began with changes to my diet and incorporating some exercise into my daily routine. However, I was not satisfied with the results. My goal was to find a program or facility that could facilitate my progression and motivate me to maintain a course towards improving my quality of life. I wanted to improve my flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular endurance. More than anything, I wanted to live my life pain-free following a career that took a heavy toll on my body and joints. This is exactly what I found in the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center (DAHLC).
What are some challenges you faced that elicited that change or that made you want to go for that goal?
Prior to joining DAHLC, I would find myself struggling to complete day-to-day tasks without pain. When I would exercise on my own, my recovery would often reach three days before I felt able to try again. I quickly realized that the exercises I did in my 20’s and 30’s were not conducive to life in my 60’s. Stubborn by nature, I continued tying to attack this challenge on my own, but it came to a breaking point when I struggled to complete simple tasks like cleaning the garage or shoveling snow outside of my home. Frustrated, there was a point where I stopped exercising completely and quickly saw all of the progress made disappear. I reverted back to poor eating habits and a relative sedentary lifestyle. My inability to sustain an active lifestyle was my biggest barrier, and by far, the most frustrating.
What are some factors that helped you make that change?
My wife has provided me with the strongest support to make a significant change. Coincidentally, it was her employment at the Mayo Clinic that exposed me to DAHLC, and put me back on the path to reaching my goals. When I first joined DAHLC I was hesitant to reach out for any help or support from the staff. I was not taking advantage of the many training resources, instead I would swim laps in the pool and use the steam room. At the time, I thought I was getting a pretty good workout, but then expanded to using other equipment in the facility. I started going up to the main floor and using the treadmill, cycling machine, elliptical, stepping machines, and also walking and trying to jog laps on the track. This was a step in the right direction, but it was not until I signed up for classes that I started making significant improvements.
The instructors ensured that I was using equipment properly and began to provide me professional guidance on creating a workout plan. Prior to the Fitness Essentials class, I conducted an evaluation to determine my balance, flexibility, strength, and current body composition. These baseline statistics were passed on to my instructors to customize my program to my age and abilities. The formal instruction provided tailored exercises that allowed me to sustain the program and improve in each session. I was exposed to proper techniques and a tremendous amount of new exercises that focused on muscle groups that I had neglected over the years.
What would you encourage someone with who is in your old shoes and doesn’t know where to start?
My biggest piece of advice would be to sign up for one of the many programs available at DAHLC. The staff and instructors treat you with utmost compassion and respect. In my situation, I was hesitant to lift weights or use the bigger, more intimidating machines. I was concerned about my safety and did not want to sustain an injury. With that said, the instructors keep safety at the forefront of your customized training, while still providing challenging workouts that produce significant results. By going to DAHLC I found inspiration in the tremendous diversity of its members and the overall positive climate of the facility.
I have found that that I have far more energy now and do not wake up sore in the mornings anymore. Day-to-day task have returned to pain-free events and my quality of life has significantly improved. As an avid bowler, I am most impressed with my increased stamina and flexibility. I am not longer hesitant to enter tournaments because I know that I can bowl six to eight games without hurting myself or waking up the next morning with extensive soreness.
How does the future look different than it did before?
I think my future is looking great, and I will continue to take classes to sustain and improve my muscle tone, flexibility, balance and posture. The Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center has changed my life and reopened the door to a pain-free lifestyle. I wholeheartedly thank the staff and instructors who provide a safe environment built on a clear foundation of compassion and respect for its members.