When Sharon hurt her back during a fall at age 16, she didn't realize the injury would haunt her decades later. But back pain, coupled with rheumatoid arthritis, kept her from exercising, leaving her feeling weak. At times she used a cane for balance while walking.
As a life coach who focuses on people over 50, Sharon was invited to give a workshop at Welcyon to talk about dealing with chronic pain. After touring the facility, she knew she wanted to join.
Since joining Welcyon, Sharon has tripled her back strength.
“I've had rheumatoid arthritis for so long it's kept me from doing physical things,” she says. “I couldn't go to your average workout club or health club. It's not geared toward me.” Like many of us, she had a hard time sticking with at-home fitness programs, and had even injured herself when doing so.
I've been going to Welcyon for three years now. Before that, I never followed through on any physical program for more than a month.
When she joined Welcyon in 2012, Sharon wanted to gain strength to support her spine and her joints, increase her flexibility and balance, and be more ambulatory in general.
In 2014, Sharon was diagnosed with a degenerative spine, and spent four months working out in a specialized rehab facility to strengthen her core. Upon returning to Welcyon, she worked with a coach to refine her exercise regimen, incorporating some practices she learned in physical therapy.
“Some days I go in and if my arthritis is bad, I'll lower the weights—but I still do it. Or I may do range of motion, if my knees hurt, instead of strong weights. I always manage to do all the machines, maybe differently, depending on my situation on that particular day.” Since joining Welcyon, her back strength has improved 300 percent. “It's incredible, really,” she says.
These days, she works out at Welcyon twice a week, and only uses a cane if her rheumatoid arthritis flares up. “I really feel like it saved my life,” she says. “As long as it's there and I'm able, I'm going to keep going.”