Strength Training | Rehab | Recovery | TBI Survivor

strengthThey say a picture says a thousand words……

It’s been 19 months since I fell on a patch of ice, landing full-force on the back of my skull. I suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) plus whiplash, torn muscles in my neck, shoulder and chest, and I also dislocated my sternum.

What this photo doesn’t show is how I wasn’t able to do ANY exercise, even mild, for the first year. Just walking around the grocery store was enough to leave me spent for the rest of the day, let alone carrying the bags of groceries into the house.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I lived pretty much in my bed or on the couch for over a year. I would schedule¬†photography sessions a few times a week (because that’s my ONLY form of income….. and I had bills to pay) and would pay the price for two days….. icing my aching neck, and popping ibuprofen like it was candy (i’ve since quit this pill habit …. YAY!)

Even just six months ago, I couldn’t properly stand up straight, let alone do strength training. And let’s not forget about the horrible vertigo and balance issues that came with the TBI. But I finally decided that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. It was time to do SOMETHING… anything!! So I started doing Yoga for about 10-15 minutes a day……

At first it was HARD. Really hard. I could only do very basic, simple stretching yoga poses, and would hold onto a chair for any¬†standing poses so that I didn’t lose my balance. But you know what?!? IT HELPED!! It started me on a path to gaining back my strength and endurance!

AND NOW LOOK AT ME! I am working with a fab trainer and we are using weights and resistance to get my body back to pre-injury status. It feels SO GOOD to be able to walk standing fully upright, and have the strength to carry my groceries into the house. I feel absolutely AMAZING and my symptoms are subsiding (the physical ones….. the neurological ones are still present).

I know it seems impossible when you’re in the darkest days after a TBI…… i’ve completely been there. But man, when you finally start to step out of it and say “FUCK YOU, TBI“…… you take back control of your life. If I can do this, I know YOU CAN TOO!!