Friday, July 8, 2011

Fairhaven Fitness

This is an article taken from a recent newsletter from my gym, Fairhaven Fitness and Tennis Club

Happy Friday, friends!

Something To Be Proud Of

I started working with Lyda Clark in the beginning of 2011. She came to me with a list of challenges and goals that she wanted to achieve. Lyda suffers from Rheumatoid arthritis an autoimmune disease that may cause physical limitations from inflammation in the joints.

1.3 million Americans suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis and three times as many women as men. Performing regular exercise is a vital part of any arthritis treatment program. The goal is to increase strength and mobility while reducing pain.

"When I joined Fairhaven Fitness I was at a very low point in my life. At 24 I had been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for 12 years and had just recently gotten over one of the worst bouts of swelling I’ve ever gone through. I spent four months struggling with swollen knees, hips, elbows, wrists and a few other joints, to the point where I was stuck on my couch, unable to walk around my apartment very well.

I gained weight and lost muscle. I was so frustrated with myself and wanted to get control over my body again. Once my doc (Doctor Wisner, or Doc Wiz as I like to call him,) got me back on track with a good medicine, we talked about my physical fitness. He knew I had the motivation, but not the tools, so he got me hooked up with Ginny Spooner."

The first sessions started with core stability and building Lyda’s confidence in using her own body weight as the resistance. With determination and a lot of homework Lyda was progressed to the TRX. She found the TRX assisted her in many different exercises that she couldn’t perform on her own (squats, lunges, push-ups and planks).

"When she started me on the TRX suspension training. She told me that I would be able to do things like squats and lunges without having any strain on my knees. I just assumed she was a big liar, until I actually did it. First there was utter shock. Then hysterical laughter. Then I kept going." 

Lyda, continues to progress by pulling her own body weight in advanced exercises on the TRX. Today she is doing activities such as taking long walks and hikes. She is surprised to see what she has accomplished this early in the training program. 

"Before I started working seriously with Ginny, my husband and I would go on walks around the Edgemore neighborhood. I loved everything about this walk, except for the big hill we had to make it over at the very beginning. Going up that hill was the worst. A couple of weeks ago we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and go for that walk. About half way up, at the point when I would normally stop and say “Hey, look over there,” while huffing and puffing, I realized something: I wasn’t in pain. I decided to pick up the pace and see what would happen. When I made it to the top of the hill, I turned to look down at where I had come from. It was the first time in my life that I made such an accomplishment!" 

I want to thank Lyda for such an inspiring testimonial. Seeing her return to a lifestyle of pain free activities from our sessions together has been very rewarding as well as inspiring. Here is her message to all who struggle with some type of disability. 

"Every day I write about my life with arthritis. The biggest complaint I hear from people is that they “can’t do it”. You talk about exercise and they immediately shut down. What I have found is that keeping up with exercise and movement is key. You CAN do it! I am stronger than I have ever been in my life and I feel better than I ever. All it took was a little work. And some dark chocolate." 

Ginny Spooner

Fairhaven Fitness at the Bellingham Tennis Club

800 McKenzie Ave.
Bellingham WA, 98225



  1. I love this! It's great when you get a trainer that gets what you are dealing with. I'm really lucky like that with my kickboxing class. Exercise always makes me feel better and it keeps me happy : )

  2. I am sooo glad you have done this and accomplished what you set out to do. I agree that exercise is important and wish that insurance companies would help to cover the cost of proper instruction etc. I hope you can keep at it and love your positive post!

  3. I wish I hadn't waited so long to get serious about exercise. It has taken me from survival to actually living again. The hard part now is that people don't believe that I'm still fighting a battle. They think because I run I'm totally healthy and then can't understand why I won't take on more volunteer work or jump in to do more. It is such a balancing act!

  4. Exercise has always been an important part of my life too and especially as I am feeling better. Being strong during a flare is so important.

    This article is great. thanks for sharing it with us!


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