The days prior to my procedure I was nervous - the most nervous I would ever be in my life - yet I knew this was the most meaningful turning point that would occur for me. For years, I would be in constant pain. Even on daily walks, I would have to crouch down because my spine's overgrowth was too powerful for my body to handle. This is why I was nervous, yet excited on the day of this procedure. Afterwards, it was a time of renewal and healing. A year post-op, I was still in pain. However, this time it was due to the hardware in my body and the lack of muscle mass to support it. After two years post-op, I began to look for ideas where I would become more active. It wasn't until 2012 where I began to study fitness. Firstly, I started doing cardio. I became a licensed Fitness Instructor and began to teach. This coupled with light weights had my body feeling better in the course of one year. After, I began to really enjoy fitness and furthered my education. I began studying bodybuilding as the muscle I wanted would have to be packed on in other ways. A full fusion prohibits certain movements that are "main-muscle builders". I dedicated time and still do to researching every muscle fiber possible and techniques to make them GROW. I am a visible example that with patience and dedication, your physical wishes can be achieved. Will it be easy? NO. However, it really is mind over matter. I thank Dr. Widmann and Hospital for Special Surgery. This place will always hold a special place in my heart and life journey.