In October 2010, having survived a panic attack and an overnight stay in a hospital Cardiac Unit, I made the decision to make some serious changes and take back control of my life.
After prepping, training and an approximate 50 lb. weight loss, Dr. David Altchek and Dr. Keith Williamson of HSS performed a bilateral knee replacement in March 2011. The preparation for the surgery paid off huge dividends as I was released from Burke’s Rehab Hospital one week ahead of schedule. In the fall, I was able to achieve my goal of participating in a full Cancer Walk with little effort.
Taking full advantage of my now pain-free mobility, I hit the gym hard and continued losing weight and getting stronger. Enthusiasm did get the better of me and I ended up tearing my rotator cuff; and thus another surgery with Drs. Altchek and Williamson in April of 2012.
Rehabbing at HSS is like hitting the lottery. The facility is an all-in-one center staffed by All-Stars. Their communication with your surgeon(s) give patients a feeling of extreme comfort; knowing an entire team is monitoring their progress.
Kristen Flynn worked tirelessly with me to restore the strength in my shoulder. At the end of my rehab, I saw something else going on at the other end of the room.
I was introduced to my athletic trainer and learned of HSS’s venture into personal training. Watching her employ a motivating, supportive, no-nonsense style of circuit training was something I knew would bring me to the next level.
After an evaluation and discussion of my goals, we started a program which not only challenged my body, but more importantly, changed the way I thought about exercise and personal limits. She continually raised the bar and suggested other ways to put myself to the test. Spinning, rowing and hiking all became a part of who I am because of the supervised confidence she instilled in me.
In 2013, I trained and rode in the NYC Century Ride. My goal was to complete the 50 mile route. Her positive reinforcement training allowed me to exceed that plan and conquer the 75 mile course with the idea of doing my first century the following year.
She and I continued to work together; becoming something of a staple on Monday mornings at the Rehab facility. One year later, on September 7, 2014, I completed the full 100 mile NYC Century Ride in 11 ½ hours. “Separate your mind from your engine”. She taught me those words. Anything and everything is possible. This year, the plan is to better my time, participate in more rides and continue to push my envelope.
HSS put me back together again. The positive atmosphere greets you at the admitting desk and remains throughout your stay. They changed my mindset and I am taking full advantage of the restored, painless freedom I had thought was long gone. Thank you.