My doctors now say that being in shape is what ultimately saved my life.
I started Shredding in the summer of 2015, and soon I was taking three to five classes per week. I quickly went from being in “good shape” to “great shape.” I was stronger and faster than I had been in years. At 43, I felt 23.
Fast forward to early December 2015. I had a freak accident and severely broke my neck. I was facing a very risky surgery with an uncertain outcome. After many hours of surgery at Northwestern, the neurotrauma team of surgeons worked miracles. When I awoke, I wiggled my fingers and toes. I was told that the surgery was successful, and I wouldn’t spend my life paralyzed. But unfortunately, I faced a very long recovery. I had two rods, a plate, and 10 screws permanently holding my neck together.
I had escaped a catastrophe. Now it was time to heal and get my life back. To me, that meant getting back to an active and fit lifestyle. I was determined to make it back to Shred415. Throughout my recovery, my wife would come home every morning and tell me how great her Shred415 workouts were. She would tell me about the runs, the floor exercises, and the hills. I hated discussing it. I wanted to be there.
I worked day after day to get stronger. I started slow and every day I pushed myself to do more. I walked, then jogged, and then started to run again. Instead of doing my physical therapy strength exercises once a day, I did them four times a day. I climbed thousands of stairs on the Stairmaster. I was determined to get back to Shred415. I was determined to make a full recovery. Anything less would be a failure in my mind.
I returned to Shred415 on April 18, 2016—months ahead of schedule! I didn’t know what to expect. I managed to get through the first class. I immediately signed up for another class two days later. I did four classes my first week back! I was fully recovered!
My doctors now say that being in shape is what ultimately saved my life. It was also why I was so successful in my recovery. While Shred415 was a big part of my motivation, it was also the one thing that likely saved me. All those planks and push-ups and burpees made my neck and back muscles so strong that they kept my head up straight instead of having it give out.
It was a miracle that I wasn’t paralyzed. It was determination that helped me recover. I was motivated and I was driven. If you take away anything from this story, I hope it’s that you can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t give up. Keep pushing. Set goals and surpass them. Work as hard as you can. Be as fast as you can be. Be as strong as you can be.
To become Shredder of the Month, submit your Shred415 success story to [email protected]. Whomever is chosen will receive an unlimited month of Shred415 classes. He or she will also be recognized on our blog and social media channels.