Can you be more fit after an accident than before it?

For today’s blog,  I’m sharing the story of  Tom Smith, a 63 year old patient who was referred to her in May 2010 by physical therapist Pascalle Fischer.  Tom has truly enjoyed training with me for the past year and a half.  

Here is an example of how personal training has improved Tom’s quality of life:

After having surgery and enduring physical therapy to repair damage to my shoulder after a skiing accident, one of my therapists, Pascalle, recommended that I work with a personal trainer to get back into better shape. During the two years leading up to my surgery, my physical condition had deteriorated due to inactivity because of the constant pain in my shoulder. My weight was up and generally I didn’t feel good. My 62 years were showing, and not well.

I started working with Regan Kust about a year and a half ago doing one hour sessions once a week. I spent the balance of each week on my own in the gym applying the exercise routines I had learned or in a Friday class directed by Andy. The strength and endurance gradually increased and inches and weight decreased.

My success with Regan motivated my wife to also enlist the services of a personal trainer. She has been working with Junius for almost a year now and has experienced improved balance, core strength and less back aches not to mention reduced weight.

All this improved physical condition showed its value this summer while on vacation. We visited Mammoth Cave near Bowling Green, KY. We took a guided tour into the cavern and prior to committing to this trek the rangers warned everyone that was on the tour that they would be required to make a 150 stair climb out of the cave at the end of the tour and make the walk back to the tour center (which was up a slight grade).

We felt confident that we would be able to handle this with little problem, along with all of the other participants which included small children, teens, young adults, and middle aged adults—all in varying degrees of fitness. No one decided to forgo the hike into the cave.

As we journeyed through the cave and experienced such places as “Fat Man’s Misery” and “Tall Man’s Agony,” our fitness level began to pay off for obvious reasons. We finally reached the lowest point that our tour would go: about 350 feet below the surface. After a short discussion at the bottom on the cave and a total darkness demonstration, we started the journey out of the abyss and up the 150 stairs. First flight was no problems. Second flight, the group started slowing. Third flight, people began to slow and stop. We were able to walk around the slowing and stopping hikers. Fortunately, a ranger was following behind to make sure no one was left behind.

When we reached the top, we weren’t even breathing hard. We had a good 8-10 minute wait for the stragglers to reach the top and then more time for them to recover. Those who had difficulty were of all ages and many appeared to be in “good shape”, but it was very obvious that appearances can be deceiving.

After the cave exploration, we enjoyed the scenic trail through the forest which was somewhat more strenuous route than the normal tourist ascent to the visitor’s center.

Thanks to Regan, Junius and Andy for their efforts and professionalism helping us improve physical condition, which allow us to enjoy our vacation completely.

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine’s experts will put you on top of your game. To start your customized training program, contact us at 920-288-5400.

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About Regan Kust

I am a personal trainer at AuroraBayCare in Green Bay Wisconsin. Go Packers!
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