Love my new gym!
Thursday, March 16, 2017
I moved to north Texas, in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex (Arlington) over 3 years ago after I had a stroke. I came from a small town in southern New Mexico of 15,000 people. The whole county had 30,000. Now I'm over here where Arlington alone has 377,000 people. Big culture shock for me. And the weather can get so hot in the summer and fall, which seems to last forever. There are a lot of things I like here, but some I don't like. But for some reason I believe God has put me here. But I have to say I have found some really wonderful things here that I wouldn't have found where I was. One thing is a gym I just found that is about 5 miles away in the town of Euliss. It's called Neurogym. I've tried going to a regular gym a couple of time since my stroke but have not lasted long. I'm happy that I can drive and live alone but I still have some deficits from the stroke. Also when I went to the gym I felt like I was alone in a crowd. That didn't bother me before the stroke but it's harder now especially since I'm so far away from "home" and some of my family. Another thing I've found here (and they are tied together which I'll get to) is a couple of great support groups for brain injuries, which stroke is included in. They are both faith based too, and one is a kind of educational support group and the other is more social. The social is an offshoot of the first one. I've only been going to them about 5 or 6 months. But it is so awesome to be with people who care about each other and who understands what we are going through. Some are there because of some type of traumatic brain injury, some aneurysms, some strokes, etc. Anyway I have found them great. And it was through the educational support group that one of the couples (she's a caregiver for her husband) brought a print out of the web page for the Neurogym. I had looked at it and thought about it and then 2 weeks later, at the social group, they happened to have a brief presentation by Shelby who is the fitness director of the gym!
The gym is specifically for people with some kind of neurological problem. There are always several people in wheel chairs, on crutches, or walkers. Some leg amputees too. The weight machines are designed with a stool to sit on that can be easily moved so that someone in a wheelchair can roll right up to them. It has the normal stuff a gym has, except no pool or classes. It also has the balance bars. It is not too big, and there is the fitness director and one other staff person and volunteers. It is non profit. The cost is $30 a month but there is also a waiver for those who can't pay so they can go for free. Everyone is so friendly. Shelby, the fitness director, greets us each when we come in, no matter what he is doing. He can also help transfer people from wheelchairs to stationary bikes or whatever. I come away so uplifted each time because of the workout but also because of the people and conversations. One of the volunteers has her battles with multiple sclerosis. Another person, Gary, was a volunteer who had a brain injury in 2013 and then a stroke this past Christmas. He gets around pretty well. He was a volunteer until this week when he was made a second staff person. He also was a personal trainer. When I had my stroke, I was in the hospital and did some in patient therapy, and then outpatient for 2 months until my insurance ran out. That was 3 years ago. Although I've done some exercises on my own at home, I just kind of got stagnant as far as making progress on some of the things I deal with. But Gary has shown me some exercises for balance that made me feel recharged with not just getting a workout but working on my balance, right hand issues, and other problems. It was started by a guy who worked out, then ended up in a wheel chair. He started modifying some equipment in his garage so he could work out in his wheelchair. Some others heard about him and started going to his garage. Then he opened the gym. And a second gym will open this month in another city in the metroplex. So I think God had a plan for me when I came here. I would not have found the support groups or the gym where I was. I was a service coordinator for elderly and disabled and I knew what was available in my previous town.
So anyway, I'm just so excited about this gym and the people. Everyone is so friendly and I meet people each time I go. It's amazing to see people who want to work out but who have different types of neurological problems. I've heard from several that this is the only place around that caters to the needs of people like us. I also see people who seem to be in better shape than me. But you can't tell by looking at people what's going on that we can't easily see. For example I can walk but I have to concentrate on my walking to keep from veering all over the place or falling. I do it but it takes a big toll on my mental energy by watching constantly what I'm doing and makes me tired.
Anyway, I just want to say I'm so excited about my gym and my support groups who help me to deal and work with my new reality.