Making the impossible ‘Possible’
posted by Dave Dame
December 07, 2012
Making the impossible ‘Possible’ Six months ago I decided to retake control of my health. Over the last few years I let a busy life get in the way of taking care of my health. My weight was rising and my energy levels were lowering. Sound familiar?
I put my pants on just like everyone else, my helper puts them on me one leg at a time. Having Cerebral Palsy, I don’t have the luxury of being able to do up my own pants in privacy. Having to watch my helper struggle doing up my pants saying, “Suck it in’ and my response of ‘they must have shrunk in the wash’ was an everyday conversation. The risk of my buttons popping and causing injury was starting to make my home a work place hazard.
I tried going for longer strolls in my power wheelchair for exercise but surprisingly it wasn’t giving me the results I was looking for. It was time to make a lifestyle change.
I started doing cardio on a recumbent bike and I’m up to 90 minutes a day (45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes after work) and quit snacking on chips at night. Not snacking on chips at night also helped our dog lose weight. The dog is an opportunist; it knows my gimpy hands are bound to drop some en route from the bowl to my mouth.
After a while I wanted to incorporate more exercise in my routine. Ten years ago, I worked out out with an awesome personal trainer. I remained good friends with him over the years. I called him and explained my situation and he reached out to a close friend at The Athletic Club and they recommended Alex Carroll.
Alex and I met and I could tell that he was goal oriented like me. The fist couple of weeks he was trying to learn what my limitations were. As we continued to progress the limitations became a list that we would cross items off after we overcame them. These could be the second pair of running shoes I’ve ever worn out.
I’m doing squats, lungs, leg press (100 lbs), planks, walking, leg lifts to name a few…
When my journey started six months ago I was 178 lbs, today I’m 133 lbs. I went from 38’ waist pants with a defeated button to loose fitting 34’ waist pants.
Some people have asked me why I put in the investment of time, effort, and resources if you will always be limited with Cerebral Palsy. We all have limitations. Just because you can’t have it all does not mean you should not strive to be better. I always want to continue to strive to be the best me I can be.
This new lifestyle will not make me a professional athlete, it will not make me a big muscle guy, but it will improve my quality of life. Almost all my friends and family have non-accessible houses. How awesome to be able to walk more easily to visit more often to create more memories. Recently, while out of town for work, I went to a friend’s house for dinner. They had this steep incline (the closest thing this disabled person will come to climbing a mountain) to get to the entrance. Six months this might not have been possible. My house is not even wheelchair accessible, having 3 steps to get in. I know how disabled people drive their wheel chairs’, I’m not letting them scuff my walls!
A journey that started with weight loss but has taken me to places I didn't think was possible. And the journey continues on…stay tuned!
I might have Cerebral Palsy, but it does not have me.
I thank The Athletic Club and Alex for helping me along this journey.
I could not have done this without the support of my awesome wife.
How do I achieve my goals? One step at a time...
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