She also purchased several personal training sessions with lead Personal Trainer, Carissa Noriega to get me jump-started. At first, I was extremely apprehensive and concerned that perhaps I did not belong in a gym environment. I was worried that I wouldn’t know what to do or be able to do any type of workouts.

Before I started at the YMCA and began training with Carissa, I had injured my shoulder at work.

This was just shortly after having surgery to repair an umbilical hernia. My mobility was then limited and performing everyday tasks were extremely difficult. I had difficulty with basic skills due to my shoulder problems. Simple tasks such as washing and combing my hair and applying deodorant were painful. Driving a car and using a turning signal was painful and even potentially dangerous.

Looking back at where I was just a year ago, I was in really bad shape and my quality of life of was suffering. It was not only affecting myself but also my family. With all of my pain, I couldn’t enjoy even basic vacation activities.

When I first joined the gym, I was really starting at the beginning fitness level. Starting off, I couldn’t stay in a plank position for more than 2 seconds. When I was doing work out on the floor, Carissa had to make sure I had a chair available to get up off the floor, as I could not get up on my own. I couldn’t raise my left arm very far at all. A basic chest press seemed like torture. My core was very weak. The foot to arm ball pass was quite a sight to see. Slam ball started at my chest. I certainly couldn’t lift the weighted ball above my head. Wall sits were like a mid-evil punishment. Battle ropes were…………..ha-ha, impossible.

With Carissa’s development of a recovery plan, we started slowly and progressed through workouts that targeted my core, shoulders, legs, and arms. Carissa knew which machines and weighs would work with my limited range of motion. She always mixed it up by creating different challenges. Her use of new and different machines along with techniques has helped me to gain movement in my shoulder. Now I can actually complete a shoulder workout and get up off the floor without any help.

As a result of Carissa’s training and her unrelenting encouragement, I have regained much more use of my shoulder and my core is much improved. My golf game has improved and my overall quality of life is much better. I no longer feel limited in my activities. Along the way, I have dropped a shirt size and don’t mind having my picture taken.

I am convinced that because of my sessions with Carissa and her constant concern, I am now able to do things I would never have thought possible.