By JaNa Hines
I have been working out with Walter since 2006. And while I worked out in 6:30am and 7am classes 3 days, I never loved getting up early, running or sweating my hair out. On the up side, I had toned up, reduced body fat, lost weight and increased my stamina. However, in March, 2013 I had a brain tumor removed. The surgery left me paralyzed on the entire left side of my body and I’m left-handed. Thereafter, I spent several weeks in the hospital and in a rehabilitation hospital. I had to undergo intense physical therapy.
Everything was so hard, I couldn’t walk, write or talk clearly. I was even on a liquid diet, somehow that didn’t make me lose much weight, I had probably lost more weight and looked better from one of Walter’s weightloss challenges. Surprisingly, many of the exercises in had done with Walter were similar to the exercises I needed to do to rebuild to my strength. For instance, in Walter’s class you do this balance on one leg, bend over and raise the weight. In therapy, I worked on raising an arm or a leg and practiced gaining some balance; I did realize how the exercises we did in Bootcamp class really build up our bodies.
In Bootcamp we did lots of sweat inducing core exercises and here I was in physical therapy sweating like a pig doing more core exercises, just at a less advanced level. Unknowingly, the core strength I already had really helped me get the use of my limbs back. In the past, I ran races and trained for a half marathon with Walter, so I knew my body was capable of relearning. My past physical accomplishments, which I had only done because of being in Walter’s classes, motivated me to believe that if I had been successful in those things, I could relearn to walk, eventually run and do any other activity. I started back to Bootcamp class in October and coming back to class was hard. I used to be closer to the front of the class and now I couldn’t hardly do anything. Walter encouraged me to buy lighter weights and adjust my expectations to match my current abilities. He showed exercises that were tailored to what I could do. Throughout this whole ordeal, Walter has given me valuable instruction and provided me with helpful advice, while still making me take a lap. I’m not at the level I was before. I still have the worst balance ever and I’m not as strong, but I am much before then when I started. So I now I get up, do the exercises I can, modify the others and run around with curlers in my hair, even though I still don’t love that.