Summer 2016 is slowly drawing to a close and…what was the result of your efforts? Did you hit your targets, or get as close to them as possible? Did you commit to fitness and began exercising again on a consistent basis? What challenges did you experience and how did you overcome them? If you personally didn’t have any challenges, were you able to help others with theirs? What kept you motivated? Or…
Did you quit?
It’s common that during the summer months, most people take a break and pace their drive a little bit to accommodate their busy schedules with family, work, and vacations. It’s also common that some will completely abandon their goals and “wait until later” to start again which often times can lead to excess weight gain and overall demotivation.
Truth is: we hear you.
That being the case, please allow this story of perseverance to jump start your engines and give you some mojo to work with. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a couple of fitness professionals and friends whose examples are one to be recognized, acknowledged, and admired. They had personal trials to endure no different than yours, some more medically serious than others. Nonetheless, they all had a common denominator: quitting was not an option.
Enter Jernine Carter.
After re-connecting with her this past summer via Facebook (it had been almost 7+ years since our last interaction), we had a solid exchange of our own individual updates and by far, her accomplishments outweighed mine…not that we are competing, but, she won (just saying!). What’s so significant about her story? I’ll let her tell you herself via a letter she produced for a competition in her current hometown Alaska, USA. Get your jumper cables ready because you’re about to be recharged:
Hello, my name is Jernine Carter and I am a 30-year-old Physical Therapist living here in Alaska, and it is my desire to participate in Mount Marathon this summer. In February 2014, what started off as a 4-day vacation to Alaska, ended up being a moment that changed my life forever. While experiencing all that Alaska has to offer, I was in a snowmachining accident in the back country of Willow. I sustained a severe right Tibia/Fibula spiral fracture and another fracture through the mid line of my tibia. It was 3 days later where I met Dr. Schweiger and Jessica. I was told I would need intermedullary nailing, which involved a rod and 6 pins being placed in my leg for a period of 4-6 weeks; I would be NWB. After that I assumed I could return to my normal life. 2 months had passed and my leg looked exactly the same, no calcification, nothing at all. Mind you, I am a “young”, healthy, college level athlete in tennis, who loves to kickbox and workout on a daily basis. Being NWB for that amount of time killed me. A year had passed and I was still taking medication for my pain. With a continuous limp, I went through a bout of depression, feeling bad for myself because every time I went for hike or worked out, my leg would be in pain for the next day or two. I had many follow-ups and my doctor and friend stayed by me. Surgery #2 occurred a year to date after my accident, Dr. Schweiger stated the next step was dynamization. Literally right after surgery I felt the difference in my leg, I was able to go hiking and I finally got off of pain meds. However, the pain continued, and I still wasn’t able to jump, run, pivot, or anything of high intensity. After multiple appointments and follow-ups, Dr. Schweiger said the next step is complete removal of the hardware. In December, I put my trust in my doctor for the 3rd time. With a rocky 2 weeks post op, I questioned myself “why didn’t I listen to him before and get this done a year ago?”. I was able to run, jump, pivot, and do my high intensity exercise I used to do. It has been a very long 2 years, with many ups and downs, but throughout the whole time OPA stayed by me and supported me through every decision. My goal last summer was to compete in a half marathon, but my pain still limited me. This summer I would like to compete in Mount Marathon, to prove to myself that this injury did not take me or change me. I would rather think that the injury changed me and made me a stronger individual, able to take on anything. And as a result, I’ve been able to help my clients rehab and recover from their own injuries with the same attitude.
Did you notice what she had that kept her going despite the major injury, multiple surgeries, extensive recovery, and bouts of depression?
Two words: mindset and support
Her mindset helped her to persevere with patience and persistence; her support team helped her to keep moving confidence that if she was to fall, she would have a cushion to land on. She maintained her focus despite the slight blur; she remained determined, refusing to be defeated.
She did not quit.
Team, you can do the same. Challenges will always be present and sometimes to a greater degree than others. But if you maintain the right mindset, refuse to give up, and rely on your support team to pull you up when you need it, obstacles will no longer be viewed as the problem but part of the process of progress.
Accept the challenge
Persevere with persistence
Welcome support and support others
And do not quit
Until next time…
Trainer Profile: Kareem Rawlins
Experience Personal Training – 5 years | Nutrition Counseling – 3 years | Group Fitness – 3 years